International indicators show that the Finnish education system and pedagogy are of high quality. In order for this to remain the case, education must develop in pace with changes in society – or preferably even one step ahead of them. For learners, this means more decision-making power over their own studies, a wider variety of approaches to use and more extensive course offerings as well as accessible, timely and individual guidance.
As higher education institutions largely determine the provision of education itself, the learner may be left with rather little room for maneuver regarding the methods used and time given for completing studies. It is in the interests of both the learner and society as a whole that learners be given more room for maneuver and the threshold for study admissions is continuously lowered at different stages of life.
What will the future learner be like?
The Digivisio 2030 programme aims to ensure that, in the future, everyone will have opportunities to learn continuously in a manner that suits their needs and life situation, regardless of their background or prior education. As one’s level of expertise needs refreshing to meet today’s needs, it is hoped that in the future we will see a broader range of learners with different ages and backgrounds.
If the current thinking is that we should wrap up our studies in one fell swoop while we’re still young and then work until we retire, the groundwork has already been laid to think of each and every one of us as future learners. In other words, the same person can play a role as a learner in different life situations at different times. The continuous updating of expertise throughout life will also bridge the gap between learning and inequality.
Understanding the needs and motivations of different learners is key to planning services and study paths aimed at them. This requires a systematic change, starting from the fact that, in the future, the planning of studies must be learner-oriented.
Digivisio opens doors at all stages of learning
In order to ensure that, in the future, learners will be able to learn the right things for their own needs and life situations in an easy and flexible way, major digital change is needed. In Digivisio, a great deal of thought is currently being given to how learners can find interesting study content that will benefit them the most.
In the future, we will see services in which, for example, the course contents of different higher education institutions can be examined by learners at the same time and compared with each other based on what course arrangements are most suitable for the learner. The learner’s perspective is closely taken into account in the development of services.
The changes made possible by Digivisio will open doors for learners both during their studies and in working life. Digitalization, internationalization, working life and lifelong learning can no longer be separated from higher education – they must instead all be tightly interlinked. Finnish learners also deserve the ability to choose for themselves a learning path that is seamlessly integrated with working life.