A sixteen year old sits Googling university computer science degrees on the iPhone. Which one to choose…The Apple or Facebook University, or one they have no relationship with?
The populist-style branded university may not exist yet, but is it really that far away? Remarkable brands are a growing part of our culture and if universities want to produce the entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow and thrive, they need to understand the culture of today.
Those in Generations Z (not to mention Alpha) have a different way of life. Yet, having worked broadly across education, the public sector and industry, it’s clear many universities do not understand this culture in a way that Google, Nike, Supreme and Facebook do. We are entering the era of the remarkable brand, so what universities will survive the great cull of the mundane?
Working for many years with young people in communications and brand development, I have advised organisations of all sizes on their direction, communications and branding. This is my insight into the steps universities should be taking now to prepare for the future.
Understand the journey
Understand the culture and what’s important
Having said all of this, there is some outstanding development work being delivered by universities. Exeter, Coventry, Kingston, Hertfordshire and Loughborough are just a few who stand tall, but it is not enough for the sector to increase growth. The Apprenticeship Levy is the new game in town and it’s here to stay for a while. Young people have a huge amount of options before them and it’s growing; the game has changed and higher education must change with it.
If this is something your university is starting to think about (or already doing), get in touch – we would love to hear your views and experiences.
And finally, if you work at a university and don’t know who James Jebbia is, get Googling! There’s always someone we can learn from.