Disruption in Higher education



This is Joseph.

Right now Australia is the leader in education disruption. They are quickly shifting universities to a more corporate model. The introduction of hot-desking into a University is a huge change in how academic space is used.  What is amazing is how small the saving are ($11 million on a budget of $1.16 billion) and yet it completely changes the University as a place to do focused work. 

Ernst and Young has even sent out a plan for the university of the future in Australia. The goal is to switch to being a knowledge services provider. Of course, this crazily pits the higher education sector against Google, without getting what makes a University valuable. It is not just the specific skills, at least for most classes, but the learning of professional norms (think of nursing) and signaling (it is hard to get into challenging programs). There is a lot of money in higher education and I am sure that management consultants would like to get most of it. 

It is debatable whether you'd prefer the taxi system or the Uber system as a driver. But I am unaware of any Taxi owners who have amassed a 2.7 billion fortune in running a Taxi business. I suspect that one might want to think about exactly how the incentives align in these schemes.