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Major Trends and Societal Developments in HE

Watch Gertraud Leimüller to know more about trends and developments that impact how subjects are taught.

Let’s start with the big societal developments and trends that impact the subjects that are taught and also how they are taught. We have collected them for you:

Digital transformation

  • New digital teaching and learning technologies
  • New learning routines and digital behaviour of students
  • Expectations of seamless transitions between digital and on-site („hybrid teaching“)


  • Higher proportion of students from emerging markets
  • Older student and researcher base due to decreasing birth rates

Market dynamics

  • Fierce competition between institutions of higher education
  • Agile non-degree offers from new players

Remote work

  • Climate-responsible work travel for staff and students
  • Decreased mobility of students and staff due to harsher immigration policies

Challenges for societies impacting teaching & research content

  • Climate crisis and its alleviation
  • Socio-economic inequalities on the rise
  • Covid19 pandemic and other health issues

Labour market impacting teaching content

  • New technologies and technological disruptions in the labour market
  • Workforce preparation: holistic education with vocational skills, communication skills and leadership skills

Changing identity of universities impacting research content

  • Mission-driven research is getting more important
  • Data-driven research and science
  • Young researchers are more purpose-driven

After this collection of trends and societal developments, we will have a look at the history of universities. In the next video we will explain how universities evolved from clerical elite institutions from the Middle Ages to today’s knowledge factories that aim for practical application of the generated knowledge.

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