His three mega themes were:
- Globalisation - needs no explanation really
- Massification - the mass expansion of HE in he world. Currently the world can't provide enough physical Universities to fulfil the demand for HE. We need to move from thinking bricks and mortar to clicks and mortar.
- Privatisation - 1 in 3 students in the world are now studying in a private institution and the private sector will have an increasing role to play in UK HE. They have the expertise in brand, marketing and quality of service and we need to look at partnerships with them
Technology itself is not the answer - people need to be ready, willing and able to accept it, and all underlying processes have to have been put in place to allow technology to be successful. If you haven't got the money for staff development, don't invest in technology. Brainware is just as important as hardware and software.
His view is that Higher Education has to become more learner centric with personalised information feeds, mobile tools and personalised resource archives tagged to the student's preference serving up content they need in a way they want it. This will re-motivate learners and create a greater sense of personal fulfilment.
When asked how this was all going to be affordable, his view was that it doesn't have to funded from within the University. Use partnerships with Google, Microsoft, Apple and do it with someone else's pound. He encouraged everyone there (who were from a wide variety of roles in HE....) to be courageous and work with their IT Department not believe them when they gave you 10 different reasons why it won't work...