For some time now, the life expectancy of people worldwide has been increasing. Definitely the one in the industrialised countries. But it is also the case in many emerging countries. This is accompanied by the problem that working lives will inevitably lengthen. The reason for this is that the pension systems of many countries would otherwise collapse. And also because birth rates in the Western world mean that fewer and fewer young people have to care for more and more old people. Lifelong learning is becoming the focus of attention. But what does its future look like?
Elite universities for all?
Since the outbreak of the Covid crisis, it has become apparent that elite universities like Harvard, Yale, Oxford, INSEAD etc. have a problem. They finance themselves from gigantic fees paid by students. In return, they provide them with quality education. After Corona emptied the halls, the universities have turned to the internet. Of course, this raises the question of why students should still have to pay so much money? Moreover, digital content for e-learning is infinitely reproducible. Theoretically, billions of people could take part in the lectures on the internet. It would make no difference to the costs.
This gives rise to another problem: What is better? Having 1,000 students paying $100,000 in fees annually? Or 500,000,000 million students paying $10 fee per year because they are taught online? With one method the revenue is 100 million, with the other it is 5 billion. With such a difference, it is only a matter of time before a provider comes up with the idea of offering a globally recognised course of study from the Internet, with teaching content of the highest standard. Because as it looks at the moment, the massive tuition fees are not used to cover the costs, but also to artificially give themselves an air of exclusivity and deliberately exclude people. The feeling of being a select elite is worth a lot of money to many.
Learning techniques are optimised
In psychology and education, a lot of research is being done on the subject of cognition, memory, intelligence and mental performance. In addition, different learning methods have emerged worldwide that are apparently considered particularly successful. Languages are taught differently than they were 30 years ago, as are maths and science.
It is to be expected that teaching methods and materials will continue to improve. New findings ensure that learners can internalise more information in less time. Those who acquire such techniques will benefit greatly in lifelong learning.
The good news is that in the future it will probably still be possible to change jobs at the age of 40 or 50 without any problems. This means that hard-working people can look for the occupation they enjoy the most for every phase of their lives.