Authored by Rick Huijbregts

This blog on Education in 2031 is the second in a two-part series from our Global Leaders Forum #EducationNow track. Read the first blog on Reimagining Relevance at George Brown College.

The Next 10 Years

What will education look like in 2031?

In the next 10 years, we need to reimagine the student experience, delivering services and learning where they want, how they want, and in three clicks/interactions or fewer, without students ever providing the same information twice.

We need to offer stackable, individualized credentials that allow learners to upskill and reskill quickly. 

A decade from now, we won’t be an institution you just attend for a full-time two-, three- or four-year program and credential. We will be an applied institute for lifelong learners, maintaining a membership-like relationship with those we serve.

In 2031, the classroom will look nothing like it does today. We will innovatively blend physical, virtual, and experiential learning such that traditional environments will likely take a backseat.

In 10 years, we will be a fully digital organization (note: this does not equate to 100% online teaching and learning…but rather be a technology enabled institution of higher education), supporting not only the 34,000 students that we can fit in our classrooms, but hundreds of thousands more – while scaling the amazing experience and talents of our faculty to all corners of the world.

Our campuses will be even further integrated into the community, with collision spaces where learners, educators, and industry collaborate and co-create education of the future.

And this “10 years” I speak of should really be five – or maybe even next year. For most post-secondary institutions, the decade ahead is going to be quite a journey. Like any organization facing disruption, our ability to build a culture of innovation and collaboration will be key.  

Looking Forward to 2031

To jumpstart this journey at George Brown, we’re reprioritizing and directing our strategic investments into four priority areas: 

  1. Deliver unprecedented services and experiences to our learners that contribute to personal and lasting success.
  2. Redefine the future of skills to transform what our students learn and prepare them for a rapidly changing, digital, and global workplace.
  3. Build bridges and partnerships with other institutions and corporations – domestically and internationally – to co-create relevant curriculum and meaningful learning experiences.
  4. Invest in future teaching and learning models that place learners– not the institution – at the centre of the evolution. 

To ensure we are ready and able to support and accelerate this transformation, we are doubling down on fundamentals such as: investing in our own people, building leading-edge digital infrastructure, managing our change and transformation, achieving environmental sustainability, and focusing on the decolonization and indigenization of our curriculum and operation.

Our physical and digital environments must enable and accelerate our transformation. We need to break down barriers, remove unnecessary infrastructure, simplify, simplify, simplify, and add agility and flexibility to evolve with the changing needs of our students.

This is where facilities and IT come in. For us, they are so intertwined and critical to our future success that we have combined them into one powerful campus innovation team. There is no facility decision that doesn’t impact IT, and there is no IT project that doesn’t impact facilities. These two simply HAVE to be together for us to succeed.

We will leverage our existing IT investments to modernize our campus experiences, and embrace new technologies and innovations to transform our built environment. And yes, we do this on top of resilient, secure, and sustainable Cisco networks. 

Our partnership with Cisco has been, and will continue to be, critical for the successful evolution and transformation of our institution. From our academic work with Cisco’s NetAcad (doing our part together to shape the future talent of the tech sector) to our wired and wireless infrastructure (which supports flexible growth, expansion, and mobility) to our focus on security and collaboration (with the latest and greatest solutions, inside and outside the classroom), this partnership provides the fundamental building blocks necessary to transform and evolve.

Together we will…

  • Innovate.
  • Collaborate.
  • Be learner-centred
  • Disrupt and transform. 

Let’s build the next generation of education together so that when 2031 arrives, we are ready.

Hungry for more? Read more from our Global Leaders Forum series and stay tuned for more great thought leadership from #EducationNow.


Heather Keleher

Marketing Coordinator

Cross-Industries Marketing