We in Higher Education are woefully ill-prepared for the disruption that lies ahead. We've seen other industries in tumult. Our researchers have published papers about the 'Digital Future' as it pertains to them. Yet our own world remains a bastion.
I see four tipping forces coming together. As these strike with simultaneous impact, the University as we know it may have to change rather fast.
The technology now works! A limitless cloud of stuff and apps really is available from any device, anywhere, any time. Innovations are coming faster than ever.
We now understand how learners learn online. The best MOOCs have shown that it really is possible to educate at scale - for peers to help each other towards mastery - for online relationships to be real and meaningful.
Bright young people are increasingly resentful of the debt associated with their 'boarding school degree'. They want more choice and flexibility as they move on and up. They advise others - their younger siblings - to seek different routes to career fulfillment.
The HE bill is opening up the UK market to new entrants - new suppliers of degrees. And employers will want value from the big new Apprenticeship Levy they now have to pay. Will they start bringing in the talent through this different door?
We had better hold on tight!