Student retention and future success have been the main objectives for most educational institutions, but that often requires personalized learning. Universities do this effectively but often with relatively small teacher-to-student ratios and at a high cost. Technology holds great promise to engage students and deliver personalized learning at scale, even at the corporate training level. However, most institutions have not yet embarked on their digitization journey — a needed step to expand learning beyond classroom limits.

Adapting to market dynamics: the three horizons
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Microcredentials, smart campus, smart staff, live institute, engaged parents, passion-driven students

Key Patterns

  • Ecosystem oriented
  • AI-first processes
  • Sentience
  • Business platforms
  • Hyperproductivity
  • Human + gig + machine
  • Elastic and edge infra
  • XR-assisted virtual labs (AR, VR, MR, haptic)
  • Open educational resources
  • Borderless skills-based certification


  • Industry needs innovative, Agile-friendly, and adaptive employees
  • Industries partner with universities for research, education, and innovation
  • Courses matched to industry-specific roles
  • Virtual degrees from multiple universities
  • Social and digital brain for course recommendations
  • Job-ready students with needed soft and technical skills
  • Theme-based integrated courses, shared resources for content, lab-facilities, and faculty across university
  • Learning via discussion, engagement, experience, sharing (physical, remote, blended)
  • Evaluation through evidence-based work, on-the-job training, and problem-solving
  • Content from multiple sources
  • Immersive teaching and learning using AR-VR
  • Microcredentials and anytime, anywhere learning
  • Real-time data for students, staff, faculty, and parents to allow timely action
  • Seamless experience for all roles



Student success-focused, efficient staff, informed parents

  • Digitization
  • Enterprisewide automation
  • Bite-size and adaptive learning
  • Competency based
  • Predictive analytics
  • Persona-specific journeys
  • Modular platforms
  • Agile model
  • Cloud native
  • Mobile and smart products
  • Recruit right students via microsegmentation
  • Self-service for parents
  • Smart service to staff, students
  • Automate admission and operations using bots
  • 24X7 virtual assistance
  • Enable self-paced learning, flipped learning
  • Teachers as mentors and advisors to track and guide courses and learning
  • Enable social learning via sharing
  • Plan and track career aspirations
  • Measure and improve student engagement
  • Industry partners: research, internships employment, and sponsorships
  • Alumni: connect, contribute, and collaborate



Modern, connected, anytime-anywhere learning

  • Online learning
  • Anytime, anywhere access
  • Online collaboration
  • Online assessments
  • Student information systems
  • Migration and modernization
  • Digitize content
  • Leverage tools and technology in teaching and evaluation
  • Information is stored and consolidated
  • Analytics to know institute, class, and student performance
  • Leverage systems in academic year planning and course delivery

Key trends across education subdomains

Student admissions and enrollment

Trend 1

Improved prospective student experience

Changes in the global economy — such as financial crises and health outbreaks — have introduced new challenges to institutions and learners. These lead to reduced federal funding, technology challenges, shifting enrollment patterns, travel restrictions, and socioeconomic issues regarding student recruitment for college admissions.

Trend 2

Digitized admissions and personalized onboarding

The recent move toward test-optional admissions policies have encouraged traditionally underrepresented students to apply to more selective colleges. That has, in turn, generated more pressure on admissions offices to process and respond to applications quickly.

Academics - planning and instruction

Trend 3

Comprehensive faculty information management

New instructional models and innovative uses of technology allow higher education faculty to increasingly serve as coaches, advisors, and instructional leads.

Trend 4

Smart academic planning

The latest trends in credentialing are certificates, badges, stackable credentials, job-related curricula, and micro- and nanodegrees. They disrupt the reliance on traditional degrees and provide students with new alternatives.

Student learning management and success

Trend 5

Next-generation learning

Personalized learning caters to diverse learning styles and needs. Advancements in technology allow institutions to deliver individualized content based on student preferences such as time, location, and mode of delivery.

Trend 6

Advanced student engagement

Institutions are leveraging cloud-based software systems and software-as-a-service to create personalized learning experiences and to manage student data. Institutions are defining the data-capture process for learning situations and administrative processes; thus, over time, a body of data is built.

Institutionwide services and infrastructure

Trend 7

Digital process automation

Institutions are consolidating multiple support channels (email, chat, phone, web) under a single umbrella to help students, parents, and staff easily raise service requests. This allows optimization of support staff's time and efforts, while effectively supporting the users from multiple channels.

Community, alumni and donor engagement

Trend 8

Alumni engagement

Institutions can gather more engagement data from social media interactions, email communications, mentor-mentee collaboration, and volunteer participation. Digitization of alumni engagement offers advancement teams the essential knowledge they require to make smarter decisions and develop stronger alumni relationships.

Governance, risk, and compliance

Trend 9

Live institution

The ongoing expansion of IoT — combined with the steady rise of 5G — will greatly increase the number of devices and applications that security teams need to protect. Institutions' integrated risk management programs enable digital innovation through the establishment of comprehensive planning and governance groups.

Trend 10

Advanced project and program management

The higher education community is under significant pressure to change in all sorts of ways. Initiatives include efforts to become more operationally efficient and effective, improve student outcomes, increase access to higher education, control costs, recruit and retain top faculty and researchers, and many more.

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Ask Experts

Borra Srinivasa Rao

Borra Srinivasa Rao

Principal Consultant

Kiran Kumar Abbaraju

Kiran Kumar Abbaraju

Principal Consultant, Education CoE

Nikki Seifert

Nikki Seifert

Principal - Infosys Knowledge Institute

Thirumala Arohi

Thirumala Arohi

SVP, Head - Education, Training & Assessment