By Simplus ANZ

3 Business Lessons We’ve Learnt from Universities

infographics about reshaping education

For those who aren’t currently part of the higher education industry, you most likely know someone who has been impacted by the challenges the industry is facing. Whether it’s a student who is now taking their classes in their bedrooms, or an academic that’s suddenly having to learn how to give an engaging lecture remotely.

While there are challenges that are only unique to the higher education industry, a recent webinar hosted by shared some lessons that all industries could learn from.

The first? According to Giuliano Pozza, Chief Information Office at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore: “You can’t just replicate what you would do in the analogue world in the digital world.”

Joining Giuliano in the global discussion was Simplus customer Alex Au, Head of Web & Application Services at University of Technology Sydney and Sergio Saldaña Prieto, Digital Evolution, Office of the Vice President for Quality and Organisational Transformation at Universidad Francisco de Vitoria.

Here are three business lessons we’ve taken away from the ‘How will COVID-19 reshape education?’ webinar.

1. What a good response to sudden change looks like

The best way to describe the responses of these universities from all corners of the globe is they acted – fast. When we consider how quickly COVID-19 escalated, what these universities have managed to accomplish is noteworthy.

When talking about how UTS leveraged technology to recreate forms and send fast and effective communications, Alex explained they had to pause teaching for a week to get it all going.

“The Salesforce platform allowed us to be agile and our partner Simplus helped us turn things around. The students, staff and academics have all responded positively,” said Alex.

For Giuliano Pozza at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, the key to their response was integration. When the pandemic hit Italy, Giulian brought together two previously siloed teams to build an integrated help-desk in just three days.

“There’s a tighter feeling of community. The collaboration that we’re seeing – that’s the positive side,” said Giulian.

2. Now is the time to reassess your business model

Overnight universities had to think about reinventing themselves. And whether it’s small-scale modifications or a much bigger transformation, all industries will benefit right now from reassessing their business models. Because with every crisis comes opportunity.

“What has happened has changed our culture. Students are now saying, ‘Why do I have to come to campus to listen to a lecture? If I come I only want it to be for team work or lab work,’” explained Giuliano.

There’s no denying a different way of working and learning has entered our psyche, which is why universities have started rethinking their operating models beyond the initial crisis.

“We used to say we have five campuses, but I would now say we have six with the digital campus,” said Giuliano.

3. Embrace reinvention

Change has a bad reputation – especially when it’s unexpected. But these universities don’t agree. For the University of Technology Sydney, they’re taking a lot of their student services online and making them more accessible, such as their counselling services.

And with the interaction and social aspect of campus life an important part of the student experience, the University Francisco de Vitoria has reinvented its campus vibe online.

“We’ve moved student art exhibitions and bands to Instagram. They can do these activities in the safety of their home but still feel part of the community,” said Serigo Saldaña Prieto at Universidad Francisco de Vitoria.

Hear more about how these universities managed changed by watching the recorded webinar.

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