This September we’re going back to school and exploring the future of education

Thursday 28th September 2017 – 08.30-09.30

The Fable, 52 Holborn Viaduct, EC1A 2FD

The Future of Education

Education is a financial behemoth in the UK. The Government spends approximately £85 billion on education each year – making it the 2nd largest category of spending in the Budget (behind only health) – while the tertiary education sector boasts revenues of around £31 billion.

The sector faces an uncertain future, however. While the Government is spending record amounts on education; rising pupil numbers, inflation and running costs mean that schools will have to cut approximately 8% from budgets by 2020. In addition, recent years have seen enormous shifts in the sources of income for the UK’s universities, with government cuts and increased tuition fees drastically increasing the costs of higher education and creating enormous urgency within institutions to attract students.

While universities are busy competing to recruit students, the UK is currently in the midst of a skills surplus. Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development shows that more than half of UK graduates take traditionally non-graduate jobs, ‘colonising’ particular industries like banking, education, the police and estate agency – making it increasingly difficult for school-leavers to find jobs that do not require a degree. More widely, Brexit threatens to reshape the education, skills and working landscape in just a few short years.

This graduate surplus comes at a time when the degree itself is beginning to face a serious challenge as the accepted proxy for competence. Many large businesses, most notably accounting firm Ernst & Young, have removed the degree qualification from its entry criteria, stating that there is “no evidence” that success at university correlates with achievement later in life. Meanwhile new, more agile forms of qualification are emerging: massively open online courses (MOOCS) provide opportunities for perpetual learning through short, specific and relatively cheap e-learning modules. This allows individuals to upskill in a manner more reflective of new forms of portfolio employment.

Is this the beginning of the end for our traditional understanding of education? Join us on September 28th to find out.

Get Smarter Over Breakfast

Our Trends Breakfasts have been running for four years, and each month sees a different topic discussed and debated over coffee and croissants. Taking place on a private floor of a popular city location, an array of figures from different industries hear our thoughts on the chosen topic, which often draws on latest findings from our global attitudes and values survey, Trajectory Global Foresight.

Please email Sarah ( to reserve your free place and join us for breakfast.