In the summer of 2017, we took the opportunity to ask our student interns what they would want from the ‘university of tomorrow’ and challenged them to work together to bring their ideas to life.
Using our ‘One’ crowdsourcing platform, 370 interns took part and generated 125 ideas and more than 1,000 comments and suggestions. The top 12 ideas based on online votes and feedback were presented at two Dragons’ Den-style events and a winner was selected at each by a panel of industry specialists.
When we categorised all of the ideas posted on the ‘One’ platform and compared them with the types of solutions they had proposed, the following themes emerged:
The use of technology has become second nature to them. They realise the importance of technology and understand its potential impact on Higher education within the coming years.
A shift in students’ perceptions of themselves as customers to being stakeholders in their own education looking to influence the strategic direction of their universities as well as get value for money.
Recognising the importance of making a positive impact in their local communities, using their local area as a source of inspiration for their ideas and another way to add value to their degrees and employability after graduation.
Enthusiasm about finding different opportunities to work together across multiple disciplines as another way to enhance their degree courses and broaden their horizons.
An awareness and desire to support their fellow students on issues beyond academics that impact student life, from mental health to housing was a feature of the challenge. These were tackled with mainly technology enabled proposals, which also highlighted the creativity they believe is required to make a difference.