THE ROLE AND RELEVANCE OF UNIVERSITIES IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY Exploring the opportunities and risks arising from MOOCs, big data and cyber security

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1 THE ROLE AND RELEVANCE OF UNIVERSITIES IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY Exploring the opportunities and risks arising from MOOCs, big data and cyber security in contemporary higher education AUTHOR: BRAD DAVIES, DIRECTOR DANDOLOPARTNERS INTERNATIONAL, FEBRUARY 2014

2 Contents Foreword Foreword...01 Summary The Conversation and Conclusions Arising Why the digital economy demands a conversation among university leaders Major Conclusions from the Conversation MOOCs 2.0: from broadcast to multi-cast Observations About First Generation MOOCs and Lessons Learned Opportunities presented by MOOCs The art of cyber-security: creating an inside out defence Moving from Perimeter to Cellular Based Defence Challenges and costs associated with cyber-security Opportunities Data as the new oil The role of data in big decisions Big data is being applied to the broad range of university functions...18 A question often asked of higher education leaders is will universities still be here in 50 years? The answer, to the best of our collective knowledge, is that they will be here although they will take fundamentally different forms. Given the rate of change that is occurring, it is conceivable that universities will change more in the coming 50 years than they have in the previous 100, or even 200 years. The new global knowledge economy one powered by information and communication technology (ICT) is by no means restricted to universities. One understated aspect of the Internet s impact has been the erosion of universities effective monopoly on knowledge creation and curation. Contemporary sources of knowledge are broader and more open today than ever before. No longer is the academic approach based on reflection, lengthy research, peer-reviewed publication in learned journals or scholarly monographs the dominant mode of knowledge creation (let alone dissemination). Corporations and professional service firms, along with insightful individuals with access to knowledge, can and do produce challenging and high quality research. The power of universities as creators of knowledge remains formidable, but new sources of data and wisdom will need to permeate the university discourse if universities are to remain relevant. The dispersed generation and curation of knowledge has potentially adverse consequences. The web contains millions of factually untrue or distorted sources of information, often appearing in the form of unsynthesised and uncontextualised junk, or even more disturbingly masquerading as authoritative. The university will continue to have a role in providing context, validation and meaning to knowledge but it will not have this role exclusively. The discussions at San Jose State University (SJSU) around cyber-security, big data, MOOCs and the Internet of Everything were excellent examples of productive sharing between universities and a corporation with relevant expertise. An important reason for universities and corporations like Cisco to engage in deep and open conversation is to enable a sense of authority to begin to emerge from the myriad facts (and fictions), particularly in areas that have significant public policy implications. Our reasons for being involved in the inaugural Presidents Conversation were as varied as the institutions we represent, but can be traced back to a single factor. We recognise that university leaders who can understand the major trends that are occurring - and who can effectively convey that understanding to their own communities will help position our institutions for necessary transformation. By collaborating effectively and openly we will adapt as institutions, supply better education offerings in new, more flexible ways and achieve better research outcomes. The Presidents Conversation, appropriately, had a global membership. It reflects the fact that the digital economy is increasingly borderless and sources of knowledge are broadening. The inaugural Presidents Conversation signals the start of a collaborative dialogue that will help to ensure that higher education institutions generally and the universities we represent specifically are better prepared for the challenges ahead. 4.3 Revenue opportunities for universities around big data Building a resilient university Resilience involves bouncing forward not just bouncing back Moving from conversation to action Burning platform Taking the conversation forward...24 MOHAMMAD QAYOUMI, PRESIDENT SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY MICHAEL BARBER, VICE CHANCELLOR FLINDERS UNIVERSITY 01

3 Summary Universities play a significant role in shaping economies and societies. They create and disseminate knowledge, develop human capital and increasingly commercialize intellectual property. The business models, pedagogies and infrastructure that have underpinned these functions have been remarkably consistent over time. But there is a sense that these are changing. The higher education sector is undergoing immense change, and incremental improvement may not be a sufficient response. The emergence of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and their potential to disintermediate content and a range of other factors are causing universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere to ask fundamental questions, including: Identifying a number of practical opportunities, through joint projects and other collaboration, that could be pursued to create a joint response. This report is a record of those discussions, with a Foreword by President Qayoumi and Flinders University Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Barber who were significant contributors to the agenda for Conversation. It also provides the basis for planning the next phase in the conversations, starting with meetings in Australia in February How do universities survive, thrive and prosper in the digital economy? The nature of the Conversation How does a university differentiate itself, if it is not through content? Where will future demand come from when being proximate to local demand may no longer be a suffi cient advantage? What business models will drive new funds when traditional revenue sources dry up? Technology is a cause of, and an inescapable part of the response to some major challenges being faced by the higher education sector. There is a growing recognition that to remain relevant in contemporary economies and societies universities will need to fully embrace technology in all aspects of their operations: in administration, teaching / learning and research. The power of technology is also having an impact beyond universities physical boundaries, enabling them to engage more regularly, broadly and meaningfully with the communities they serve. The power of technology to facilitate more productive partnerships with industry, in particular, will not only assist universities in their quest for ongoing relevance but also help to generate new sources of competitive advantage and revenue. Some university leaders have recognised the risks and opportunities presented by the changing landscape, and are taking on the role of change agents in their own institutions. A group of university leaders from Australia, the US and the UK met in an initial Presidents Conversation to share ideas, experiences and ambitions about the best way for their institutions, and the higher education sector more generally, to respond to these unsettling but exciting questions. The initial meeting, hosted by SJSU President Mohammed Qayoumi with the support of Cisco, had three objectives: Providing Presidents/Vice Chancellors with an opportunity to discuss/debate issues with likeminded peers. Distilling the major challenges: current and emerging. Technology pervades every aspect of higher education, from teaching and learning, to administration and research. Three technology domains were selected for deeper analysis as part of the inaugural meeting. The first major discussion item was MOOCs, in part because its long-term impact on universities is potentially profound and in part because SJSU the host of the Conversation is recognised as a pioneer in this area. While some argue that MOOCs impact will remain limited without a viable underpinning business model, others are less sure. All agree, however, that the immediate impact and the longer-term potential threat of MOOCs have caused universities to fundamentally re-evaluate their student and campus experience and pedagogy. The second major discussion item was cyber security, which is perhaps less obvious as a major strategic business issue but equally critical. Security has historically been dealt with as an operational information technology issue. Cyber-security has not necessarily had visibility with university Vice Chancellors and Presidents, in part because it was treated as a compliance and risk management exercise. Given universities current and growing reliance on information and communication technology (ICT), and therefore what s at stake if mission critical applications and systems fail, including intellectual property, the institutions attending the Conversation insisted on its inclusion. The third major discussion item big data is recognised as potentially transformative but poorly understood. Universities, perhaps more than other institutions, trade on the collection, analysis and dissemination of data. The evolution of technology has created fundamental change in the way data is captured, analysed and disseminated. The application of big data is as broad as it is exciting, with implications for teaching and learning (learning analytics), performance monitoring (business analytics) and research (everything from genome sequencing to analysis of unexpected correlations to inform the world s wicked policy decisions). The discussion topics were also selected on the basis that all of them offered both opportunities and risks for universities. Figure 1 depicts the contrasting dimensions of these issues through the eyes of a contemporary institution

4 Opportunity? Growing the total market Improved educational outcomes Capacity for real time experiments Democratising learning New models of teaching and learning Data driven decision-making Big data as a service Training data scientists Lifting data/analytics workforce capabilities New market for security specialists Research and innovation in cyber security products and services Cyber security as a service and consulting opportunity MOOCs Big Data Cyber Security Figure 1: Major opportunities and risks arising from the Conversation Risk? Substituting speed for quality Erodes price of education Creates a substitute for university provision Disruption from unbundling of university functions Added complexity for staff & faculty to manage More data, no capacity to turn into information Privacy and data integrity Culture shift from intuitive to data driven decisions Disconnect between available data and strategic decisions Challenges skills, attitudes, confidence of staff and faculty Vulnerability to attacks and risks to critical research assets Threats to teaching and administration infrastructure Challenges securing university stakeholders personal data Potential disruption to administrative and student services 01 The Conversation and Conclusions Arising 1.1 Why the digital economy demands a conversation among university leaders The assumptions, values, and practices of higher education around the world are all being tested by the rise of the digital economy. Every dimension of the work and life of a university is being disrupted, including teaching, learning, student experience, administration and operations, and relationships with industry, government and the not-for-profit sector. This disruption is also taking place within and across the societies that universities serve, driven by the extent and pace of change in technology platforms and tools and the associated cultural changes they drive. Broadly, higher education institutions that have traditionally been relatively closed, elite, and distant are being challenged to become more open, collaborative, and engaging. They are also expected to demonstrate their value to a much more discerning cohort of learners. As it is in pretty much every other sphere of social, economic, civic, and political life, this transition is proving to be difficult and demanding but full of potential for renewal and growth. The Perfect Storm in Higher Education The impact of technology on traditional industry sectors such as retail, manufacturing and banking is widely reported and acknowledged. But higher education, it could be argued, is even more profoundly impacted given the nature of the service it provides, the demography of its learner base and the myriad extraneous factors that are simultaneously touching universities. Examples of major shifts occurring in higher education and society more generally include: The implications of the Conversation Exploiting the opportunities and minimising the risks presented by MOOCs, cyber-security and big data represent one cluster of rising challenges to the future relevance and performance of universities. The Presidents Conversation focused on the need for universities to be resilient in the face of change, but not defensive. Truly resilient universities will not just bounce back from technology shocks but bounce forward, using these potentially major disruptions to evolve stronger foundations for, and responses to, the demands of the digital economy. Building a resilient university is a multi-dimensional exercise. It includes the creation of resilient cultures, commercial models and flexible infrastructures. Obviously three days of conversation were never going to solve these intractable problems, but they did allow the participants to share their perspectives. To this end, the Conversation between global pioneers in higher education is just starting and is set to continue and grow. SJSU and the other progressive universities represented at this first Presidents Conversation have clearly grasped the implication of the demanding paradox. The discussions in San Jose proved to be both productive and practical. The question is how to keep the discussions going, to grow them and to turn them increasingly not just into new stocks of shared knowledge but also into a growing number of collaborative projects between the universities that take the ideas and insights and put them to work. The gradual evaporation of traditional funding sources, particularly from government. The rise of the millennial cohort which is characterised by early adoption of technology and consequently high expectations that the institutions with which they interact will harness the potential of technology to personalise and enrich their services and engagement. Transformation of economies and the changing needs of the labour market, driven by global competitiveness and companies desire to be agile. Globalisation of higher education beyond the traditional international student market focus. Rapid urbanisation where the top 600 cities in the world are forecast to contain 25% of the global population, and generate 60% of GDP by McKinsey Global Institute, Urban World: Cities and the rise of the consuming class, June 2012, available at: <> 04 05

5 These issues combined with the impact of technology are posing fundamental questions about the role that universities play in contemporary society. For some, the very relevance of universities is under threat, driven by the perceived disconnect between the way that institutions have traditionally operated and the world in which they now exist. The implications of that disconnect between institutions and the learners they serve are particularly stark, as observed in a recent global study in education to employment transitions. Employers, education providers and youths live in parallel universes. 2 The need for a global conversation in higher education It is not unusual for the response to some of these big disruptions to be led initially by a relatively small group of pioneering and progressive institutions. They tend to take an early lead in confronting the implications and opportunities of these kinds of big, shapeshifting transitions. They may do this because they see the implications of these changes more clearly than others, or because these changes may affect their own institutions more dramatically. The premise for the inaugural Presidents Conversation was that like-minded, influential individuals could draw insight and support from each other in helping to understand and respond to some of the shifts occurring in higher education. It was designed to harness collective perspectives by providing a forum for sharing, collaborating, testing, and evolving ideas about the role and relevance of universities in the digital economy, with three initial technology anchors: 1. Massive online open courses (MOOCs); 2. Cyber-security; and 1.2 Major Conclusions from the Conversation The Presidents Conversation was designed as a starting point, rather than an end in itself or as a one-off event. Three major conclusions were drawn by participants and serve as a useful structure for the remainder of this document: 1. The unbundling of universities; 2. The rising premium for adaptive institutions; and 3. The rapid emergence of the connected university as an emerging business model for sustainable growth and rising performance. The conclusions were based on the collective experience and insights from experts both inside and outside universities that contributed to the discussion in San Jose. The unbundling of universities Universities have traditionally offered a holistic education experience. To borrow a concept from the commercial sector, universities have tended to offer a fully bundled service where all aspects of the teaching and learning process have been designed and delivered in-house. The rise of MOOCs, where the course content itself is being increasingly thought of as a discrete component, is forcing universities to question whether a fully integrated approach is appropriate or sustainable. For example, it was suggested that many aspects of teaching and learning are already being disintermediated in some jurisdictions, as depicted in Figure Big data. Course design Course content Course delivery Student support services Assessment Credentialing Pioneers will always be able to adopt the technologies; we need to be thoughtful about how to bring the rest along in terms of skillsets to operate in and compete in that new world of the Internet of Everything VAN TON-QUINLIVAN, Vice Chancellor (Workforce and Economic Development Program) California Community Colleges Emerging delivery options Traditional MOOC providers MOOC 2.0 providers eportfolios Content aggregators/ joint ventures Examples Figure 2: Emerging examples of disintermediation occurring in higher education 2 McKinsey Center for Government, Education to Employment: Designing a system that works, accessed at: <> 06 07

6 This unbundling process brings major opportunities as well as significant risks. It insists on new business models, and will force universities to make decisions about which components could (and should) be `out-sourced rather than provided in-house. The airline industry was identified as potentially analogous, where customers are charged on the basis of which bundles of service they want and not necessarily simply on a standard set of services that get them from one place to an end point. The emergence of adaptive universities The institutional processes of education have remained remarkably consistent for centuries. Even in the past decade, and in the face of significant changes posed by technology, many of those processes have remained virtually unchanged. It was observed by participants in the President s Conversation that universities have traditionally expected learners to adapt to the university as an institution. This has historically been the experience for most institutions in finance, government or business which were used to their stakeholders broadly adapting to them. That is changing, and changing fast. In the future universities, like other institutions, will increasingly be expected to adapt their core functions and processes to the behaviour and preferences of the communities they serve, primarily the students who will increasingly be paying for certain expected value. The reason for this shift is complex, but it is partly driven by the fact that learners now have higher expectations of all institutions that they come into contact with and they can more easily exercise choice in the higher education market than ever before. In many important ways, often driven by new technologies, students (as with other consumers) can access a wide array of cheap and simple tools and platforms to create the value they feel they are not getting from traditional institutions. In a simple sense, if institutions are getting in the way, consumers and citizens may find a way to circumvent them to get what they want in other, less expensive and easier ways. This has already started to happen, to a degree, with MOOCs where learners have been attracted to models that allow them to learn at their own pace which is not always possible in a traditional delivery context. Developing the capacity for agility is not straightforward, particularly in institutions as complex, large and long-standing as universities. It was argued by some Conversation participants that early adoption of technology was an important step towards becoming adaptive. For example, the work being done at SJSU in the area of MOOCs not only offered the potential benefit for a higher quality and more efficiently delivered teaching and learning experience, it provided faculty staff with experience in how to adapt to change. This kind of experience and capability carries potential long-term benefits to the institutions, staff and students. Early adoption in essence creates the skillsets and organisational agility required to respond to impending seismic changes. The massive connectedness of universities The profound changes forecast for higher education will, at least in part, be fuelled by the rapid convergence of data, connected people and physical objects, new business processes and the implications this has for institutions. Cisco reported work on a powerful phenomenon the Internet of Everything or IoE which emerges as people, data, things or objects and underlying business processes become both more connected and interdependent. The Internet has evolved from connecting people with videos, photos and text to a greater focus on connection to physical objects. In a higher education context, these objects are likely to include physical assets such as devices including audio-visual equipment, buildings, inventory and machines through to the data exhaust from mobile phones and others mobile devices that offer a window into patterns of use and engagement by students and staff across a university campus. Cisco s research suggests that 99% of physical objects that may one day be part of IoE are currently not connected 3. So while it feels like we are in a completely connected society, the reality is that we have connected only 1% of objects that may ultimately be connected. That means more data, more applications and more value running over network infrastructure. The 2013 Horizon Report predicts that smart objects will become ubiquitous in higher education by As things and people become more connected, and as new business and operational processes evolve to take advantage of new streams of data and analytics, these objects become integrated into larger social networks. In this way, the value of such objects will increase for both research and learning. This level and complexity of connectedness will present massive challenges for universities from an infrastructure, culture and economic perspective. It will also provide an exponential opportunity to collect and creatively use new intelligence with big data applications. For example, data about how people learn will be much broader and deeper, creating the potential to examine unexpected correlations about the times of day where people are most effective, the type of content that is most engaging and the personal characteristics of individuals that provide the greatest indicators of likely success in a particular field of study. The impact of the Internet of Everything in education is forecast to offer a 10-year net present value of US$175 billion globally 4. That value will be created through the financial benefits associated with streamlined and personalized instruction, and through the collection of data for better decisions and reduced expenditure on instructional resources. The focus of universities will quickly move from figuring out how to connect things to the Internet to benefits realization, which is often under-resourced as part of the technology adoption process. Figure 3 shows developments and benefits that the shift to IoE will support in the next four years 5. 3 Cisco, Embracing the Internet of Everything To Capture Your Share of $14.4 Trillion, Education and the Internet of Everything How Ubiquitous Connectedness Can Help Transform Pedagogy, Cisco Consulting Services and Cisco EMEAR Education Team, October 2013, page 7 5 Adapted from Cisco, The Internet of Things: How the Next Evolution of the Internet is Changing Everything, April 2011, page

7 02 MOOCs 2.0: from broadcast to multi-cast Current state Forecast for an Internet of Everything World Challenges for Universities The New York Times declared 2012 as the Year of the MOOC 6, but the rise of MOOCs has the higher education market divided. Some argue that MOOCs will fundamentally transform the teaching and learning process, along with the pedagogies and revenue models that have underpinned universities for generations. Others suggest that MOOCs are a high profile, but potentially short-term phenomenon whose promise of long-term impact will eventually be undermined by the difficulty of discovering a sustainable business model. Physical attendance with teachers Scale teachers and best quality of instruction: any device, anywhere Faculty training Culture change Infrastructure MOOCs are aimed at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. Some of the world s leading universities are making their top professors available free of charge, and online forums that are linked to MOOCs will become spaces for new networks to develop and grow, connecting people from all walks of life and giving education to those who do not have access to high-quality content or instructors in their own locale 7. Static, linear content with low control Learn at your own pace, focus on relevant content only, richer, interactive content Individualisation at scale Timetabling, planning At home accessibility Network infrastructure The Presidents Conversation provided an opportunity to explore how MOOCs were impacting education institutions, and more importantly what that impact might be in the future. There was consensus on many issues, including that the first generation MOOC implied by the definition above was already being superseded. Costly instructional resources one size fits all Ad hoc decision making Access to crowd-sourced content, ability to customise curriculum Data-driven decision making Quality assurance Permissions structures Enabling the student voice Security and privacy Establishing protocols Network infrastructure How to evaluate We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run. ROY AMARA (an insight which is now known as Amara s Law) Figure 3: The implications of an Internet of Everything world for universities The MOOC discussion at the Presidents Conversation was framed by global authority and serial entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun. As the founder of Udacity one of the world s most prominent MOOC developers Thrun acknowledged that the kind of infinitely-scalable, broadcast-style content that had propelled MOOCs was already being challenged. The collaboration between Udacity and SJSU had revealed, for example, that retention rates for this type of course were unsatisfactorily low and that investment in individualised student support services was a necessary augmentation. This quest for the right balance between scalability and effective learning outcomes continues. 2.1 Observations About First Generation MOOCs and Lessons Learned A broad range of issues was discussed as part of the Conversation. These ranged from the overall poor understanding of what works (and doesn t) in education generally, to difficulties translating traditional pedagogies into a MOOC-rich environment and the complexity presented by issues such as authentication and security. The challenges associated with automating (and therefore scaling) the assessment and enrolment processes were also identified as issues that would need to be resolved. 6 The Year of the MOOC, New York Times, 2 November Adapted from Cisco, The Internet of Things: How the Next Evolution of the Internet is Changing Everything, April 2011, page

8 Perhaps the most significant challenges experienced by universities pioneering the integration of MOOCs related to faculty staff. This included the potential impact of MOOCs in re-defining faculty staff s roles and responsibilities, particularly around course development. The Udacity model, which has been implemented at SJSU, involves close collaboration between the MOOC provider and the institution. As an example, a jointly developed Udacity subject at SJSU typically involves up to 500 hours of faculty staff time to ensure that the course is not only engaging and usable but also pedagogically sound. The cooperation and commitment of faculty staff is clearly a prerequisite for success. Discussion focused on a number of lessons learned from pioneering universities represented at the Presidents Conversation, including that: Motivation, not technology, is the key to learning. To be successful, MOOCs need to provide more than a platform for mass content distribution, they must fi nd ways to better engage students in the learning process. This includes incorporating multi-disciplinary activities, problem-solving and collaboration opportunities into the learning process, as well as opportunities for increased gamifi cation, or the use of serious games to make learning fun and engaging, as an integral part of higher education teaching. Learners benefi t from individualised support services that assist in the interpretation/application of content. Providing content alone is often not suffi cient to enable students to master content and the application of ideas and concepts. To demonstrate, while the cost of MOOC content developed by Udacity was as little as USD$1 per student (based on development costs amortised across a large population) the cost of student services to support a student in completing a MOOC subject could be 100 times that fi gure. MOOCs can expand the learning market, and represent a solution to a range of business challenges The initial hype surrounding MOOCs tended to focus on its potential to destroy bricks and mortar universities. The presumption was that MOOCs would be targeting the same students. As MOOCs have evolved there is evidence that the greatest potential value proposition for MOOCs is their capacity to provide an attractive, affordable education alternative to people who would not otherwise want, or be able, to access a traditional university in the first place. In essence, MOOCs greatest promise may be that it dramatically expands the higher education market and makes learning accessible particularly, but not exclusively, to those members of the community currently under-served by the higher education market. The potential for growth is not limited to the countries represented in the inaugural Presidents Conversation. Perhaps not surprisingly, India, for example, has emerged as the largest market for MOOCs among students outside of the US 8. This may reflect the fact that India has the largest population of university-age students in the world (94 million and growing), while higher education in India is often inadequate in quantity and sometimes in quality. With 17 million students already enrolled in higher education, India has one of the world s lowest population to higher-education enrolment ratios, even among developing nations. The value of MOOCs, it is increasingly acknowledged, may be to address the 95% of those not engaging with textbooks and create a basis for mass education. Let s use technology as a weapon of mass instruction! PRESIDENT MOHAMMAD QAYOUMI San Jose State University One of the inherent values of MOOCs is the capacity for educators to learn and adapt, in real time. MOOCs online platform offers the capacity to undertake real time experiments in different approaches to learning and teaching that are virtually impossible to replicate in a traditional delivery context without having to resort to complex longitudinal studies. For example, the MOOCs platform allows universities to track how content is accessed and shared, and can be used to inform the design of subsequent materials for that learner or future courses which can be introduced back into the teaching process very quickly to be further tested and refi ned. 2.2 Opportunities presented by MOOCs MOOCs are an antidote to a range of business challenges The promise of new enrolments including learners from interstate or overseas was the focus of early discussions about MOOCs. The promise of growth through unbounded scalability has attracted many institutions and companies to make significant investments in platforms, content and applications. SJSU s focus was not scale, but rather the potential to resolve a range of other learning and operational challenges. For example MOOCs were considered to play a particularly important role in getting students through their courses faster, more cost effectively and with greater success. Specific examples of business drivers for MOOCs reported during the Conversation included: There are three major opportunities presented by contemporary MOOCs: 1. Expanding the total market for learning; 2. Solving a range of business challenges; and 3. Driving and enabling change. The capacity to reduce course bottlenecks by enabling students to take a MOOC course where a face-to-face or blended equivalent was not available. Flexible scheduling to improve student satisfaction and drive workforce productivity (for those involved in full-time work). 8 Financial Times, Moocs might matter even more in emerging markets, 4 November 2013, accessed at: <> 12 13

9 Increasing throughput, primarily by reducing the proportion of courses that are conducted on-campus, thus enabling more learners to be supported by the same physical infrastructure. 03 The art of cyber-security: creating an inside out defence The capacity to differentiate in a competitive market. MOOCs are being treated as a major force for change in institutions and an opportunity for faculty and administrators to change behaviours MOOCs, as they stand, represent a force for change. The design, delivery, accreditation and charging models associated with MOOCs have forced institutions to examine organisational constructs, habits and assumptions long considered almost sacrosanct. MOOCs are a force for change in a range of areas, informing contemporary thinking about the learning process itself and the role of faculty as depicted in Figure 4 9. It would be inaccurate to suggest that MOOCs alone were responsible for the changes mentioned. In many cases MOOCs seems to have either attracted attention to existing challenges or accelerated significant structural and pedagogical changes that were already in train. Despite this, in many institutions including some of those represented in the Presidents Conversation MOOCs had become a powerful catalyst for change. The impact on faculty is particularly acute, with the need to accommodate the impact and potential of MOOCs representing a deep change in the work and culture of universities. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are embedded in every essential service, including education. Universities are providing nearly ubiquitous communications to their learners, faculty and stakeholders to ensure that they remain relevant institutions in the digital economy. By doing so, universities are striving to increase their productivity while simultaneously driving innovation. That means that the reliance of universities on the security of their systems, and the data held within them, is almost total. As a participant in the Presidents Conversation acknowledged, the threat is not just of losing data, but that of compromising someone else s: a student, a researcher or an industry collaborator. In that sense, cyber security has become much more than a set of complex technical challenges. It has worked its way firmly onto the central strategic policy and planning agenda as a first order business priority. The need for cyber-security has been described as one of technology s hidden curses. At last count there were more than 10 million known virus signatures, a figure that is rising exponentially. The need for better cyber hygiene has become a fundamental business challenge for public institutions, particularly in light of the speed with which technology is being integrated into universities. Consider, for example, the following factors: Device proliferation. It is estimated that up to 50 billion things including an increasing number of smart devices - will be connected to the Internet by the end of Historical cornerstones of universities Content as the primary differentiator Learning an individual pursuit Summative assessment Learning by listening/reading Contemporary thinking Experience as the primary differentiator Learning as a collaborative experience Formative assessment and intervention Learning by doing Changing demographics and their impact on technology use. The Millennial cohort fi rst came to prominence because they were considered to be the fi rst generation growing up with computers in their homes, and researchers began pondering what this might mean for the way they interacted with society and institutions. Today, given the explosion in the use of social media, a computer in one s home barely begins to explain how technology has permeated this new generation. The rapid transition to cloud-based technology. The rapid adoption of cloud-based technologies was described in the Presidents Conversation as a counter to the miracle of marginal costs. In the same way that Einstein described the miracle of compound interest as the eighth wonder of the world, cloud s capacity to create massive economies of scale enables marginal costs to be reduced by orders of magnitude greater than had been contemplated previously. Instructor as subject matter expert Instructor as facilitator Learning anchored by the campus Mobile/unbounded learning Figure 4: Forces for change in universities with which MOOCs have been at least partly associated The Conversation explored two specific aspects of cyber-security for higher education. The first was the impact of cyber-security risks for the operation of universities themselves. These risks include potential threats to systems that underpin teaching and learning, administration, physical safety and security, the quality of the student experience, and relationships with students before and after they attend the institution. The second aspect covers the opportunities for universities to develop the courses and expertise that will help train the professionals with the capacity to anticipate and resolve threats, whose capabilities will be in demand on an unimaginably more substantial scale than ever before. Universities can help to produce the successive cohorts of skilled and well-trained professionals to deal with a challenge to which they themselves will be as vulnerable as anyone else. 9 Australian Study Tour to the US and Canada, 2013, authored by dandolopartners

10 3.1 MOVING FROM PERIMETER TO CELLULAR BASED DEFENCE Recognising that the reliance of universities on ICT systems is almost total, universities have no choice but to ensure that data and systems are as available, uncompromised and secure as possible. The traditional approach to cyber-security in universities and other large organisations was characterised as perimeter-based defence, focused on keeping threats from penetrating the organisation s firewalls. The sophistication of new cyber threats, and changes in the way that technology is being used and managed (for example the Bring Your Own Device phenomenon and the apparently unstoppable growth of mobile applications), has meant that a fortress model that seeks to keep threats outside the perimeter wall is now virtually impossible. So the focus has changed from building a higher wall to defending the organisation from the inside. To do this means embedding security measures within the cellular structure of the organisation itself, in the same way that anti-virals are used in the human body. This cellular-based defence is therefore focused on creating the capacity to mitigate threats as soon as they emerge, rather than focusing on keeping them out. The question is not whether we will be attacked, as we know it s happening already. The focus is on how to neutralise the attack not prevent it entirely. DON PROCTOR Senior Vice President, Cyber Security, Offi ce of the Chairman, Cisco 3.2 Challenges and costs associated with cyber-security The major challenge for universities in responding to cyber-security threats was keeping ahead of attackers in what has become effectively an arms race. Universities are now facing a barrage of attacks from a range of sources that are being launched using a myriad of techniques and technologies. Perhaps even more concerning, universities are at risk of becoming unwitting partners in the growing number of distributed denial of services (DDOS) attacks where holes in university security are being exploited to attack other individuals and organisations. The costs of a successful attack are potentially devastating to a university, which is why the challenge of prevention and response is becoming such a significant personal priority for Presidents and Vice Chancellors as the custodians of intellectual property and data held in the university environment. The costs are broader than simply the cost of data that is compromised, dramatic though that can be in its own right. The functioning of a university network is increasingly imperilled by cyber-security threats that are more frequent, sustained and voracious. Consider, for example in 2013: The average attack demands 691% more bandwidth, up from 6.1 Gbps to Gbps. The average duration of an attack has increased by 21%, from 28.5 hours to 34.5 hours. The Presidents Conversation focused on the need for cyber-security responses within universities to deliver on three key outcomes: Protect against potential threats. Detect an attack. Remediate rapidly in the face of an (inevitable) attack. Participants concluded that cyber security needs to be a strategic management responsibility, given the potentially catastrophic nature of the risks that were being mitigated. Critical to risk management is the creation of a trusted architecture. A common misnomer about cyber-security is that it is dealt with at the application layer of an institution s technology architecture. In reality, the most effective means of protecting, detecting and remediating threats involves cultural changes, new skills and work habits as well as deep resilience at the infrastructure layer. The total number of infrastructure attacks has risen by 26.75%, outstripping the total number of application attacks which have increased by 8% 11. The challenge for universities is the creation of trusted processes, trusted systems and trusted services in an environment of rapid change. Rather than treating cyber-security as a compliance-driven exercise where an organisation s preparedness is assessed against checklists the issue needs to be dealt with in the spirit of continuous improvement. This recognises that the cyber-security threat is dynamic, not static, and an innovation-based course of action is necessary to effectively anticipate and mitigate risk. 3.3 Opportunities There are teaching and curriculum opportunities for universities in responding to cyber-security challenges. Many universities are already gearing up teaching on the different facets of cyber-security strategy, investment, and execution. As concerns around cybersecurity rise, and as new solutions and practices emerge as best or at least as good practice, the demand for access to quality teaching about cyber security from higher education institutions themselves will inevitably grow. And increasingly, these demands take the cyber-security issue out of the hands of the technologists alone and place it firmly in the domain of university Presidents and Vice Chancellors. So while universities may be potential victims of cyber-security threats that are impacting businesses in all other sectors, universities stand to benefit greatly from a whole new field of study, research, and training. 11 Egan, Matt, Intensity of DDoS Cyber Attacks Explodes in 1Q; Avg. Bandwidth Surges 691%, Fox Business, 17 April 2013, accessed at:

11 04 Data as the new oil 4.1 The role of data in big decisions The importance of data in a contemporary university is hardly a new insight and, predictably, widely acknowledged by all of the participants in the Presidents Conversation. Data s potential to transform research, teaching and learning and administration functions led discussion leader Arizona State University Business Intelligence Strategist John Rome to describe data as the new oil. Data, Rome argued, had become a precious commodity and strategic asset for contemporary universities. Data, however, does not equal insight or information. The Presidents Conversation focused on the fact that data only had value if it was capable of helping people make decisions. Data, it was argued, had a powerful role to play in augmenting intuition, upon which institutions have traditionally relied to make decisions. Investment in data and analytics is growing in both significance and impact, and affects universities in different ways. To become a truly data driven university participants recognised that sustained commitment and investment were required, and that a focus on data had to become part of the institution s DNA. There was a growing trend towards the appointment of a Chief Analytic Officer (CAO), and predictions from Presidents Conversation members that the CAO would eventually be considered as important a position as the Chief Information Officer. While big data provides significant benefits, there is a tendency for many to over-simplify the process for extracting value from big data. A common myth is that insight is automatically generated as data is captured. While this is occasionally true, with unexpected correlations arising from large datasets, significant effort is generally required to identify the kind of value sought from a data set, the design of analytical frameworks and the formats required to present data in useful ways. This was particularly true in the area of business analytics, where it often takes years of refinement to extract insight that is truly meaningful and actionable. 4.2 Big data is being applied to the broad range of university functions Big data and analytics are increasingly central to all of the areas impacted by the reform tasks facing universities from recruitment of professional staff and students, student and faculty/staff engagement, improving student learning, to performance monitoring and management, productivity and cost reduction. The notion of a data-driven university is beginning to emerge as a strategic priority, with applications of big data in three areas Business analytics Big data was providing opportunities for universities to more critically assess performance against business fundamentals. At Arizona State University, for example, sophisticated dashboards (underpinned by big data sets) had been created to more critically assess faculty member performance against a range of metrics including utilisation, return on salary and output. One of the major challenges identified as part of the Presidents Conversation was ensuring that the output from business data was both accessible and consumable Learning Analytics Easier access to large stores of data for teaching and learning and an increased body of knowledge about lead indicators of performance and retention is fuelling the rise of learning analytics. This is allowing universities to explore in much greater depth the factors leading to student engagement or disengagement, where best to intervene, when and how to maximise the learning and student experience, course design and content customization, and, ultimately, the emergence of more personalised learning profiles. Learning analytics are considered a vital tool in the quest for improved student retention, particularly given that government funding is often provided on completion of courses rather than enrolment Research Big data is providing opportunities for new fields of exploration and academic enquiry. Particularly in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the capacity for researchers to capture, analyse and explore correlations in areas as diverse as genomics, nanotechnology and biotechnology offers the potential to unlock new discoveries. There are many challenges involved in exploiting the potential of big data in research, including how to ensure that data is appropriately codified so that it can be accessed by those that need it in the future. Some universities have assigned responsibility for metadata tagging to the librarian, recognising their competencies in the development of taxonomies and cataloguing. A range of technology complexities is associated with the collection and management of large datasets, including procurement of secure, scalable and efficient storage and computer infrastructure. 4.3 Revenue opportunities for universities around big data The opportunities presented by big data are not confined to university core functions. Demand for highly skilled people that understand how to manage and analyse data, and discover and present its value, was identified as a major opportunity for universities. A McKinsey & Co study identified a major shortfall in the number of qualified data scientists by The study projects that this shortfall could be as significant as 50-60% of the required data scientist market, with significant shortages projected in education, scientific research and development services. The US alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with analytical expertise and 1.5 million managers and analysts with the skills to understand and make decisions based on the analysis of big data. Universities clearly have an opportunity to respond to such a significant strategic skills gap, with major potential benefits in terms of relevance, reputation and revenue. Another potential revenue opportunity identified for universities was in offering big data capability as a service. Universities have made and continue to make significant investments in computing facilities and advanced software tools. To date, this infrastructure has been applied to solving universities own research problems. Given the high cost, and specific nature, of the relevant infrastructure and applications there is an opportunity to offer big data as a service to commercial and other research entities. While commercial models would need to be evaluated, specific services focused on the collection, curation, retrieval and analysis of research data could be offered. 12 McKinsey Global Institute, Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity, May

12 05 Building a resilient university 5.1 Resilience involves bouncing forward not just bouncing back In the face of a perfect storm of economic, technological and social changes, and against the backdrop of the rise of the digital economy, universities identified the need to be resilient. True resilience, it was argued, comprises not only the capacity for universities to bounce back but to bounce forward : to use the current context of rapid changes not just as a chance to get back to where they were but to become stronger, more capable and more relevant than ever. To demonstrate the point, participants asserted that simply being patient in the face of imminent change would not position universities for relevance to the next generation of learners, companies, communities, governments and researchers. They identified a range of factors that would impact on their capacity to bounce forward, including the capacity to imagine a different future, rebuild their institutions DNA and create a resilient business and technology architecture. 1. Capacity to imagine a different future Elements of a resilient university 2. Capability to rebuild the institution s DNA Capacity to imagine an alternative future The first step in creating a truly resilient university is to develop the capacity to anticipate change and imagine a different role for the university in contemporary society. Strategies are as varied as the changes being responded to, but there were some consistent themes about what works (and doesn t): Sustained strategic commitment over quick wins. Collaboration over independent action. 3. Creation of a resilient architecture A new role for data and pattern-based analytics and, as a consequence, a shifting balance between data and intuition for better decisions. The convening of the Presidents Conversation, at its core, was both a recognition and reflection of exactly those principles. It sought to identify and critically analyse data, assess opportunities through a strategic lens and come to independent decisions through a collaborative process Capability to rebuild an institution s DNA The importance of leadership and vision were on display, rather than discussed at length as part of the Presidents Conversation. The impact of technology on people working within universities was profound, and would continue to be. For example, in a contemporary university faculty staff are increasingly being expected to co-design courses and materials with external parties, interact with students via a range of modes and at all times of the day, and operate in a flipped environment where their primary role is that of curator and facilitator rather than only as a subject matter expert. Failure to achieve culture change and quickly to adapt to these expectations was identified by most participants in the Conversation as a major risk. Obstacles to achieving culture change included skill and will issues. A major issue that had urgently to be overcome was the mix of skills required to bring about genuine change in the way that the university organized itself. New work practices capable of reflecting new academic reality were embraced by some, but not all. Strong leadership and a compelling narrative about a desired future were a prerequisite for helping faculty and staff to not only accept the need for change, but also embrace it and bounce forward. Culture change is not just about changing attitudes and perceptions. The Conversation focused on the need to ensure that faculty and staff were provided with appropriate systems and levers to innovate. One of the clear themes emerging in the Conversation was the importance of committing to experimentation and feedback loops. The speed of the design-test-learn-redesign cycle is key to determining how quickly and effectively universities can re-tool learning and other processes to take advantage of data-driven insights from current experience and performance. With many of the technology advances now impacting universities, for example those that underpin the evolution of MOOCs, real-time experimentation is more efficient and effective than ever. SJSU, for example, is using its partnership with Udacity to undertake rapid experiments focused on aspects of its curriculum content. The results from those experiments including understanding what types of content were most effective / popular are fed back to the design teams to ensure the learning is constant and incorporated into subsequent versions. A relentless focus on what all these changes mean for the student experience was acknowledged as a fundamental tenet of a contemporary university s DNA. Investments in high-definition video, individualised learning content, student support services and improving student choice (in subjects, delivery channels, scheduling) are significant. Investments in the campus experience perhaps ironically have been brought into sharper focus by the uptake the MOOCs. The rise of MOOCs has caused universities to contemplate a simple question: if the primary differentiator of a university is not their course content, what is it? The answer for many universities is the campus and broader student experience Creating an architecture of resilience The capacity for universities to innovate quickly, and continuously, relies on an architecture or deliberate design for resilience. The architecture refers to more than the design of physical spaces (though important), or the enterprise architecture at a technology level. The Presidents Conversation explored the need for, and importance of, a range of architectures that are necessary to exploit technology s potential in higher education. These include: Organisational architecture Organisational structures, governance arrangements and workforce policies need to support agility. Continuous innovation requires organisational flexibility. Universities represented in the Conversation spoke of a range of new models that were emerging to ensure that the organisation was better equipped to respond to the rapidly evolving needs of students, industry and the community. A strong organisational or business architecture pulls together a set of critical components, including strategy, business processes and a range of people issues including culture change and staffing

13 Cluster hiring, for example, is being trialled as a new component to the SJSU business architecture. Rather than hiring individuals to fulfil specific roles in the organisation, President Qayoumi spoke of the move towards hiring complete teams of faculty to ensure a broad range of skillsets, and to send a powerful message that staff were expected to collaborate. Faculty staff are increasingly being supported to collaborate with external parties including private firms in the design and development of courseware, recognising that collective effort generally provided a better outcome. Commercial architecture Funding constraints, rising costs and the emergence of new competitors were forcing universities to challenge historical commercial policies and constructs. On the revenue side of the balance sheet, universities are contemplating innovative ways of capturing earnings without devaluing or undermining traditional funding sources. Georgia Institute of Technology recently launched its Online Master s Degree in Computer Science as a MOOC. What captured attention was not that a MOOCs Masters Degree was possible, but that it could be offered at the price point of approximately US$4,500 (around one tenth of the cost of the same program delivered in a traditional, or face-to-face, mode). On the cost side of the ledger, different approaches to financing major infrastructure projects are becoming more commonplace. Cloud technologies have been embraced because they can radically reduce unit costs and offer economy of scale benefits. Technology implementations were increasingly attached to financing arrangements that helped universities avoid the up-front cost of procurement and implementation, and had refresh schedules and performance monitoring built into the contracts. Technology architecture Robust, scalable, secure and future-proofed technology infrastructure is increasingly the inescapable foundation for reforms. This has two functions for most universities. At one level it served as a platform for reducing organisational costs and maintaining levels of performance necessary to meet core business requirements. But, perhaps more importantly, technology infrastructure was increasingly seen as a platform investment for innovation. The Presidents Conversation focused on the role of technology infrastructure to increase speed to deployment, that is the time it takes to make a new capability or application ready to be widely adopted and used, and more importantly the time taken to capture business benefits and reduce implementation risk. By investing in the foundation infrastructure universities spoke of being able to create an organisational nervous system that supported a broad range of planned and unanticipated functions. Examples of the university applications that depended on quality infrastructure being in place include the use of video in teaching and learning as well as the capture, analysis and presentation of big data through to the tracking of inventory. In an Internet of Everything world the range and number of connected agents will grow exponentially. University networks are complex. Demand is sporadic across time and location dimensions and they need to be capable of being accessed by lots of different (and demanding) people in many different places at very different times of the day and night. Almost all students have at least three devices capable of accessing networks. Research demands, especially for high capacity computation, generates further and more atypical demands beyond those of the normal business enterprise. 06 Moving from conversation to action 6.1 Burning platform 95% of people are talking about innovation, but only 5% are actually doing it. PRESIDENT MOHAMMAD QAYOUMI San Jose State University Collective imagination is a desirable and necessary component of major change, but collective action gets things done. The inaugural Presidents Conversation was intended as a first step in creating a growing movement across borders that can mobilise a group of universities interested in taking collective action that would help their own institutions and, as a consequence, contribute their experience and expertise back into a more resilient and relevant higher education sector. While the profiles of institutions represented in the Presidents Conversation varied significantly from large, research-focused universities to smaller teaching-focused universities many of the priorities were remarkably similar. Universities expressed a shared interest in being more agile, data-driven and adaptable to the needs of their student body. The Presidents Conversation concluded with a discussion about opportunities for common and collaborative action between the participating universities (and potentially others that would be invited to join). Bilateral and multilateral collaboration opportunities were explored by universities in a number of areas, particularly around teaching and learning and the use of data and analytics to support business and pedagogy decisions. The greatest interest, perhaps not surprisingly given the involvement of Sebastian Thrun and SJSU in the program, was in the area of MOOCs. One of the major conclusions drawn about MOOCs was not about the content at all, but rather the implications MOOCs posed for the future campus experience. The initial value proposition of MOOCs was that they did not require on-campus attendance, and in doing so made university education accessible to a larger market. One question emerged as worthy of collective exploration for participants: What is the impact of MOOCs on the student experience on and off campus? The lessons of the first generation of MOOCs had demonstrated that the campus experience including the environment in which people learned and the support services that surrounded them was critical. A range of related questions were canvassed, including how MOOCs benefit from, and feed, an increasingly important and valuable big data/analytics capability? What can the experience of MOOCs teach us about the design and delivery of face-to-face or blended curriculum? What impact will MOOCs have on the university business model, particularly in balancing universities desire to keep aspirations for access, quality and financial sustainability in balance? 22 23

14 6.2 Taking the conversation forward One hope behind convening this inaugural Presidents Conversation was that another Conversation might be stimulated, turning the discourse into an evolving, cross-border discussion between higher education leaders. As well as gaining some immediate value from this first meeting in San Jose, leaders expressed an interest in using future conversations as a way to develop more open and collaborative approaches to thinking about, and designing responses to risks and opportunities. The very relevance of universities was being challenged by the digital economy, and a collective response by university leaders was warranted and desired. As well sharing this report as the record of Presidents Conversation an intensive and productive peer-to-peer discussion about matters clearly of high mutual interest participants have already started to think about how momentum will be built into At this stage, the proposal is to convene one or two meetings annually, along the lines of the first session in San Jose. The discussions would bring together those involved in the inaugural Conversation, as well as leaders from other universities with an interest in or perspectives on the major issues of the day. It s likely that many of the sessions will be virtual, facilitated by Cisco using their growing suite of collaboration technologies and platforms. At some time in 2014 there are plans to convene a second face-to-face Presidents Conversation, bringing the group back together, with others added from institutions that want to join and contribute. In each of the meetings, the focus of the discussion will be broadly the same, including the following elements: If you want things to stay the same Universities are going to play a major role in the digital economy. This role will necessitate a huge investment in people, assets and knowledge. While the inaugural Presidents Conversation was anchored by a question about universities future relevance, it was broadly acknowledged that universities will not simply disappear, no matter how disruptive some of the new technology and market driven changes appear to be at the moment. Their cumulative and traditional roles in knowledge creation, deep and long-term research, teaching and skill development and social engagement will, if anything become more important and, potentially, more pressing. Consider, for example, the forecast that 50 years from now 95% of everything that the human race knows will have been learned in the previous 50 years 13. Universities stand to gain more than perhaps any other mainstream institution in that transaction around knowledge. But like any other institution, universities cannot assume any of these outcomes as if by right or by sheer weight of their impressive history and distinguished reputations. They will have to earn their place and the attention of learners, and discover ways, some by adapting old ideas and some by adopting very new ones, to sustain their relevance and performance. The new mantra, as it is for anyone else seeking to hold on to their place in the institutional sun, is that if you want things to stay the same, things will have to change. SJSU and the other universities represented at this first Presidents Conversation have clearly grasped the implication of that demanding paradox. The discussions in San Jose proved to be both productive and practical. The question is how to keep the discussions going, to grow them and to turn them increasingly not just into new stocks of shared knowledge but also into a growing number of collaborative projects between the universities that take the ideas and insights and put them to work. Information-sharing (who is doing what and why?) a process of peer-to-peer learning, questioning and sharing to give participants access to rapid, practical and experiential knowledge on topics of common interest and concern All participants, including Cisco, look forward to taking on that challenge into 2014 and beyond and hope that others will join the Conversation. Implications in both the short and long terms, what might these emergent trends and issues mean for those operating at decision-making levels in universities? Identifying opportunities for joint projects where any combination of the Conversation participants can collaborate to work on a project 13 Dave Evans, Cisco Chief Futurist 24 25

15 DANDOLO.COM.AU CONTACT DETAILS Brad Davies Level 1, 155 Queen Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 E: M:

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