Education, both undergraduate and postgraduate, has changed extensively over the last three decades – in part through the restructure and formalisation of the university system and in part through the global forces which have come to bear on it. Rapid changes in communication technologies have brought changes in the way we undertake education — but also on what is expected.
Not only has the number of international students moving through universities, all over the world, increased but academics themselves are more mobile, attending conferences and undertaking research across the globe.
These changes have brought with them their own particular challenges — from questions of how to apply to university, help with the mechanics of the PhD Process, and tutorials on methodology and theory to intense preparation sessions for the viva exam at the end of the PhD.
Universities cannot, and arguably should not, be expected to cater to many of these new challenges as they are so individualised in nature and often unique to individual students. This is where private companies geared to the needs of individual students can act in concert with the universities to guarantee a truly exceptional educational experience.
Though this experience does not have to end with the PhD – there is a wide range of services, from editing to indexing, from turning a research paper into a powerful PowerPoint presentation to adjusting a paper to a particular journal’s requirements where private businesses can, and do, provide services to academics and students alike.
Education has changed – it has globalised, streamlined and, in many areas, become more specialised. As a result there is now ever more space for a partnership between academics, universities and private businesses in the field of education — in general and in relation to postgraduate education.