The Evolving Student

Understanding Your Markets

90-120 min keynote presentation, or full-day enrolment workshop 

In the past few decades, the college and university student population in Canada has multiplied and diversified exponentially, to include growing numbers of international students, new Canadians, Indigenous youth, older working students, students with special needs, diverse gender orientations and multiple learning styles. Traditional students still exist, but alongside them is arising a populous new breed of careerist and consumerist students with very different motivations, objectives and expectations. The student gene pool is diversifying, evolving, and challenging institutions to provide more academic and personal advising, enhanced residences and co-curriculars, early warning systems and proactive supports, flexible and career-focused programs, and a wider variety of pedagogical approaches. The DNA of 21st century students will increasingly be evolving through exposure to digital technologies, with growing expectations for learning that is interactive, experiential, mobile, and social. Institutions, and the faculties or schools within them, need to understand their market, anticipate its evolution, and refresh their programs, services and delivery modalities to provide the ideal environment for the new species of students to flourish.

If you are lucky, every now and then you may have an opportunity to witness real mastery. Ken Steele provided this opportunity in a masterful, thought provoking presentation. He has a unique ability to transform data into a riveting, visually pleasing story that has big and lasting impact.

Eileen De Courcy, Director, Professional Development, Humber College

Ken Steele is Canada’s leading higher education monitor and futurist. He co-founded Academica Group, created the Academica Top Ten, manages Eduvation Inc, co-authored Canada’s first book on enrolment management, and hosts a weekly webcast, Ten with Ken, that reaches thousands of subscribers on a dozen platforms. Ken brings his unique perspective and insight to a broad range of audiences, from faculty and instructors, boards and senior administration, to information technology staff, concerned parents, and Canada’s most powerful corporate CEOs.

In this dynamic, visual and media-rich keynote, Ken synthesizes a vast array of up-to-the-moment research data, trends, news and forecasts to provide an unparalleled “big picture” view of the evolving PSE student in Canada and around the world, and some promising approaches to recruitment, retention, student services, academic programs and pedagogy. The content of the presentation is being continually updated, and will be customized for your region, institution, audience and objectives for the day. (Ken will schedule a one-hour call with your leadership, and will review your most recent institutional enrolment plan, to help focus the presentation for your needs.)

Ideal Audiences

  • Board Retreats
  • Executive Teams
  • Academic Retreats
  • Deans & Directors
  • SEM Committees
  • Campus PD
  • Conference Keynotes
  • Launch for Academic Plan Process

Optional Extras

  • You could schedule this as a full-day retreat, a half-day workshop, or a keynote presentation followed by Q&A.
  • You might consider 2 or 3 presentations, possibly for a variety of audiences, drawn from Ken’s hot topics.
  • Optionally, Ken can review more extensive enrolment data and market research specific to your institution, to prepare an in-depth full-day enrolment management workshop.

Related Resources:

These articles and white papers reflect some of Ken’s ideas, and could potentially be used as pre-reading for workshop participants:

Here are some relevant episodes of 10K, for a sense of Ken’s approach and as potential examples to share with participants in advance:


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