To answer that question, the focus would have to be put on the underestimated importance technology has in education, since it essentially fills in many gaps that the conventional educational field cannot notice. In those ways, the education system after high school would need to keep up if they wish to stay relevant.
One of those gaps is the access between prospective students and the curriculum. Wherever there is a tutorial, any video-hosting site has it available. The most prominent example being YouTube, but there are many other sites which contain MOOC’s, or massive open online course.
Another avenue of easier access would have to include curriculum that any student might be interested in but is not offered in their own local college. It could often involve, for instance, languages which are not taught around their area. A student could do an independent study course, but even that can be limited to the experience of any of the professors.
The relevance of MOOC’s would only increase along with the evolution of technology, because universities and other educational institutions rely on technology in every opportunity. They would need to take advantage of web-based technologies, such as student canvases and the school’s site; as well as updating the presentation applications, such as projectors and disc players (the latter of which would probably not even exist in the future).
A point that insurance entrepreneur Patrick Bet-David made about technology rapidly evolving is that the types of technological devices 20-30 years ago are all available in a single iPhone at a fraction of the cost. If clocks, camcorders, and handheld cassette players can be outpaced, what would that say about the university course.
I do not think that the university system would be the same in the next 5-10 years. From what I can predict, the university would only be relevant so as to bequeath upon students a sense of credibility. For example, people would more likely work with someone earned a graduate degree at this-or-that university. Other than that, it seems like the university system would not become the only option, especially if the student loan debt gets worse especially since as the new decade arrives, American student loan debt has reached $1.6 trillion.
Cost would absolutely play an incredibly important role in determining the future enrollment statistics for any university. In the MOOC site, Udemy, there are courses taught by university professors who claim that their own MOOC’s are an entire semester at a fraction of the cost of an actual accredited university course. It sounds like a bold move, since the ethos of the MOOC instructors could dramatically alter the role that the college professor has in the future.
Arizona State University, which prides itself in being one of the most innovative universities in America, has offered MOOC’s of their own on edX–which are accredited as introductory courses. If an innovative university such as ASU is able to take advantage of this type of technology, then that would be a sign of what will eventually come. That being that introductory and general education courses for community colleges and universities could be available offline or online for any busy or (let’s be real) uninterested students. Although there are colleges that offer online courses, the ultimate deciding factors would be the easier access and lowered cost.
Employers would definitely follow this trend, since four years of a degree and a few internships might not suffice the relevant experience needed, rather they would need to be quick and adaptive since technology would have changed in 4-6 years. Basically, MOOC’s would be given far more attention by everyone in this new decade, since it would dramatically change the relationship between the public and the universities.