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Challenges Facing Universities in 2021: 5 Higher Education Challenges



Challenges Facing Universities

The constant advance of time has led to the generation of new educational trends, so the challenges for Challenges Facing Universities, are to adapt their system, structure, and operation to the demands of today. This post shows you some of the challenges facing universities and how they can face them. And no, not all of them are related to technology and the situation resulting from the healthcare crisis. If you want to know more, join us!

Changes in the educational paradigm.

It is a reality that, after the health crisis caused by COVID-19, the challenges for universities have increased. For this reason, adjusting to specific teaching patterns is a process to which both teachers and students are still getting used to and looking for the best way to adapt. It is one of the challenges facing universities that must be resolved in the short and medium-term.

And, little by little, they are achieving it. This progress can be seen in implementing hybrid education in universities, where educational models have taken advantage of the benefits offered by the face-to-face style and online classes to form a unique and beneficial teaching system for the student.

Universities and the rest of the educational institutions were forced to adapt to the necessary changes. It is how the traditional education systems, which were based on aspects such as the following, changed:

  • Classroom work
  • Physical interaction
  • Practical evaluation
  1. Adaptation and implementation of new technologies.

In line with the previous point, one of the challenges for Challenges Facing Universities is integrating new technologies and modern teaching procedures into their teaching system.

This means that elements such as online education and online universities acquire much greater weight within their structure. But are these training centres prepared for this change?

While it is true that the computer era has been taking place since the 50s of the previous century, the situation arising from the health emergency caused many people to resort to the use of digital devices and platforms to stay connected.

But what does higher education need to incorporate technology effectively?


Electronic devices (tablets or laptops. Even smartphones).

Internet connection (even guaranteeing optimal connectivity).


Students should use the resources available to them with the mindset that it is an educational tool rather than an entertainment mechanism. Although many people consider that technology is only for leisure and fun, many others are betting on it, thinking it is helpful for university education.

And, of course, this kind of challenge for universities also means that teachers must be trained to use these kinds of tools. Prepare teachers and teach them how to take advantage of technology for learning; in this way, they will be apt to train young people in this area.

2. Need personalization learning.

The teacher can no longer be a transmission channel and the student a mere recipient that stores information. The dynamics of education in universities must go beyond that since the process is tedious for the student. In addition, the mere repetition of content is not productive and does not work in real life.

With a personalized experience, the student will feel sufficiently motivated to be fully trained and stand out from the rest. And we are not only referring to the subject of classes but other important factors must be considered.

One of the great challenges for universities is to personalize the whole experience for the student, have fluid communication with them, and promote the attraction of potential students to their campuses. The university can no longer view students from afar because, like any shopping experience, people are more attracted to the place that cares about their concerns.

3. Focus on emotional education.

Believe it or not, emotional intelligence is an essential element in learning. The emotional section should also be addressed despite being dismissed by the traditional education model, which only focuses on teaching academic material and little else.

Universities should not be seen as centres where people only go to acquire content and, in the end, receive a diploma. For real success, factors beyond the knowledge you can acquire must be taken into account.

And this emotional learning must go hand in hand with academic education. One of the challenges of universities is to generate integral professionals with aptitudes and attitudes by life.

Although ideally, this process should begin at an early age, with higher education, people enter adulthood and begin to have a sense of what the real world represents. Therefore, they must learn to deal with their emotions and form an autonomous, positive and empathetic adult.

4. Encourage creativity in learning.

Although the creative process should be inspired and encouraged from childhood, the education sector is little to promote this kind of behaviour. This is a mistake since thinking creatively is a great added value for any professional.

Although many people consider creativity an innate talent, this ability can be developed and worked on. Suppose it is carried out under optimal conditions and this type of behaviour is encouraged in educational training centres. In that case, it will be a new tool to be used by the student, which will help him better cope with his difficulties and will also be one of the challenges the universities have already overcome.

It is why creativity seeks to modify those patterns that are ingrained in university education. One of the ways to help students be more creative is to give them the space to foster their creative thinking, and, in turn, teachers should reinforce the qualities of their students and help them be a better version of themselves. I can even give you an example from my personal life. I was lucky at university – my teacher encouraged my creativity a lot. When I needed to write my paper or essay, he insisted that I take the topic I was interested in. He always encourages me to ask additional questions and observe things from different sides.

5. Make education convenient.

While graduating from a university campus involves dedication, perseverance, and discipline, one of the significant challenges for universities is eliminating the barriers that allow students to access this achievement.

Many of the students who attend these campuses tend to be:

  • Part-time or even full-time workers.
  • People with families to support (fathers and mothers)
  • People who are available with distance education

For this reason, higher education must find ways not to limit, as much as possible, the access of these students to achieve their goals. When we talk about these types of challenges for universities, we are referring to challenges such as the following:

  • Limited class offerings
  • Complicated degree requirements
  • Difficulty in registering for courses

Helping the student achieve his or her ambitions will motivate him or her, despite his or her particular difficulties and efforts. For example, if a student has access to his grades, it is a good start, thanks to the simple to manage digital platforms.

The fundamental idea (and one of the most complex challenges for universities to manage) is to avoid student dropout and facilitate, as far as possible, their access to the degree. Gathering the necessary skills and knowledge for the degree is the student’s job (with the direct influence of the professors, who must be fully trained to give them the integral tools for this purpose).


Universities have to start focusing less on the subjects that the student masters and start worrying more about the student himself.

Ideally, they should look for creative and innovative processes that meet these challenges for universities. Also, they should count on the help of the States to be able to face a great part of their functions (especially if they belong to the public sector) and to return to the role they had as training centres, with the addition that now they will play a more important role in the integral and human aspect of people.


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