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Fast Forward Future of Education
Enhancing a better equipped and meaningful education system for all future leaders.

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Introducing Fast Forward Future!

In conversation to introduce Educity’s new platform, Fast Forward Future (FFF), Wan Ahmad Saifuddin, Managing Director at Educity Iskandar Malaysia, talks to Manoj Menon, founder of twimbit, about changes within the education industry, new trends impacting the higher education industry and how it culminates into Educity’s brand new platform.

Watch the full conversation here, or read on for highlights from the conversation below!

1) The deglobalization of education

Post COVID19, priorities and considerations from both prospective students and their parents drastically shifted. Pre-pandemic, the onus of traveling for education was on students, with parents being very open to long-distance travel for access to quality university education. However, when borders shut and the threat of disease became a constant, educational institutions were met with hesitation and reluctance from both students and parents. In solving this problem, the dynamics shifted to institutions needing to make education accessible from any part of the world.

“So, suddenly, this whole concept of deglobalization has resulted in a rethinking of “Am I as a parent or student willing to go far, far away for that education?” But make no mistake, the desire by the parents and students for good education is still there. They’re now looking at alternative ways. Can I do it in different ways? Can I do it on different platforms?”

– Wan Ahmad Saifuddin, MD Educity Iskandar Malaysia

2) Online education becoming a mainstay

As a result, the capability and robustness of online education platforms catapulted to new heights to fulfil the growing demand of education that is accessible from the safety and proximity of home. Higher education institutions must now recognize the need to deliver a seamless, functional online education experience to facilitate the changing attitudes towards accessing tertiary education.

“Before the pandemic hit, I think online education was very much a supplementary to face-to-face education. Although you had MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) they did not take off in a significant way, with their certification issues. So all these teething issues were there and institutions tended to have more of a supporting role for online education. Now it’s totally different. Now a lot of content that did not exist suddenly started existing online.”

– Wan Ahmad Saifuddin, MD Educity Iskandar Malaysia

3) Education hubs are now key in delivering the best of both worlds

In balancing different needs of international and local students, and differing reception levels towards digital learning across students, educational hubs are stepping in as a solution that delivers a compromise between physical and hybrid learning.

Education hubs in key locations globally allow higher education institutions enter new markets with a lower barrier to entry by providing shared facilities, and a network of partner institutions to leverage on before making investments into newer markets.

“What we’re saying is you don’t have to make a huge investment, you can partner with our colleges, we can do a twinning program or dual awards, et cetera. Many models are available, so we can start small. If the student numbers grow, and we see the demand is growing, then maybe you want to establish something more full-fledged. It has created the possibility of many different models and different approaches to institutions that otherwise would say no [to entering a market], as it’s not on my radar because we understand that the cost is so high.”

– Wan Ahmad Saifuddin, MD Educity Iskandar Malaysia

From a student’s perspective, education hubs can play a role in fulfilling the need in delivering high quality tertiary education while being closer to home, without sacrificing the educational experience. Education hubs also open up options to students by centralizing the availability of multiple institutions, making choices on education less risky and more accessible.

“[We provide many pathways] and again, I cannot overemphasize that education hubs have a way of giving you multiple pathways. So, education hubs and give you a variety of institutions that you can choose from, that is normally not geographically the main campus or the campus of origin, [that might be] far away, but [education hubs] brings it closer to you. So, this flexibility, these pathways, and these options, I think, are now in the minds of the parents as well as the students.”

– Wan Ahmad Saifuddin, MD Educity Iskandar Malaysia

4) Creating Fast Forward Future as a new platform dedicated to enhancing a better equipped and meaningful education system for all future leader

As an extension of EduCity’s education hub, Fast Forward Future is a platform intended to help industry practitioners and educational bodies gain insights towards the growing trends and best practices as the industry continues to evolve. Providing open avenues of information, interaction and insights are the new way forward for EduCity in helping friends within the industry to grow together towards a more sustainable, future-proof education system.

“So, we thought, okay, a lot of people are struggling, a lot of people have probably done good practices, and a lot of people probably have much to share. And this is why we’re setting up this platform so that people can discuss, people can interact, we can share best practices, and learn from each other. Because I think in the history of tertiary education, there has not been such a huge shift very quickly than ever, we had to do so. So that’s, that’s really the objective of the platform.”

– Wan Ahmad Saifuddin, MD Educity Iskandar Malaysia

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