International Day of Education

Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2019 by Venn GroupNo comments


Today is the inaugural International Day of Education. The UN has chosen to use this day to raise awareness of the importance of education, which is a universal human right. Their Convention on the Rights of the Child goes further, by ordering that countries should make higher education accessible to all.

The correlation between increased access to education and the diminution of humanity’s biggest obstacles is clear. It equips people with the knowledge and skills needed to participate fully in society and contribute to its development. Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO states:

“Education is the most powerful force in our hands to ensure significant improvements in health, to stimulate economic growth, to unlock the potential and innovation we need to build more resilient and sustainable societies.”

In the UK, we are relatively lucky in that almost all people have access to an education. Between 2008-2012, 99.8% of males and 99.6% of females were enrolled in primary school. However, for higher education the participation rate drops significantly; between 2016/17 this was only 49.8%. Significant changes to student finance, including the abolition of maintenance grants for those on lower household incomes, has restricted access to a university education. This in turn means that for those who do elect to go to university, expectations of the standard of education from students and parents alike are higher. Similarly, funding for the institutions themselves has been cut. Universities have therefore had to adapt in the way they raise funds, to ensure they continue to match these rising expectations.

Venn Group has been placing specialists into the sector for almost two decades. These skilled professionals are at the forefront of helping institutions to adapt to industry changes, such as new legislation and regulations. Their role in maintaining and improving the quality of education people receive is of paramount importance.

One of the current trends our Education division is noticing is the focus on the student journey. While in the past students were more concerned with having attractive lecturing halls and buildings, their attentions are turning to the learning experience. Steven Hill, Manager of our Education Technology team is seeing an increase in the frequency of these requirements:

“Students want ‘smart’ facilities that add value to the learning experience, which is why we are seeing a lot of funding going into areas such as e-learning. There is also an increased demand for enterprise systems. These integrate all of the various systems used throughout the student lifecycle. The effects of enterprise systems impact all of the departments Venn Group recruits into.”

He also notes that the impact of rising expectations in the midst of spending cuts is also evident:

 “The increased competition within the industry means that as an agency we are being asked to supply the best possible staff in their field, but at salaries that still don’t meet those you will find in the private sector.”

While today can be considered a celebration of the existing high standard of education available here in the UK, we must remember the importance of constantly striving to improve our offering for children and adults alike. Venn Group will proudly continue to work with the sector to ensure organisations have the support needed to develop.

If you are a hiring manager within the Education sector looking for support in your team, please get in touch with our teams. You can find contact details for our offices here.

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