Generation Alpha: Understanding the Next Cohort of University Students

by   Rushan Ziatdinov, et al.

Technology is changing at a blistering pace and is impacting on the way we consider knowledge as a free commodity, along with the ability to apply skills, concepts and understandings. Technology is aiding the way the world is evolving, and its contributions to education are not an exemption. While technology advances will play a crucial part in future teaching-learning approaches, educators will also be challenged by the next higher-education generation, the Alpha Generation. This entrepreneurial generation will embrace the innovation, progressiveness, and advancement with the expectation that one in two Generation Alphas will obtain a university degree. In anticipating the educational challenges and opportunities of the future higher education environment, this research reflected on Generation Alpha as the next cohort of university students, considering their preferred learning styles, perceptions and expectations relating to education. The research employed a theoretical analysis based on the characteristics and traits that distinguishes Generation Alpha, spearheaded by technology advances. The empirical investigation considered three independent studies that were previous conducted by authors from Slovakia, Hungary, Australia, and Turkey to understand the challenges and opportunities pertaining to Generation Alpha. The research identified the influence of social media, social connections, high levels of perceptions and the Generation Alpha's ability to interpret information as strengths to consider in future teaching-learning approaches in the higher education environment. This research concluded with recommendations on how universities could be transformed to ensure a better learning experience for Generation Alpha students, aligned with their characteristics, perceptions and expectations.


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