Podcast Series: The Future of Education


In this 4 part podcast series, Springer Nature author & editor Prof. Rupert Maclean talks to us about key trends in education during an age of disruption, the importance of skills development for employability and lifelong learning, equitable access to education and effects of the current international health pandemic on educating and preparing a 21st-century workforce. Prof. Rupert Maclean of RMIT University is now based in Australia, but spent much of his educational career working for UNESCO in Paris, Bonn, Yangon, and Bangkok.

Listen to The Future of Education Podcast

Episode 1: Background and Major Trends - The Future of Education

Established in 1945 after World War II, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) works to inspire and help build peace through promoting robust and comprehensive educational opportunities and reforms worldwide. With 193 member states in all parts of the world, from Thailand, Iraq, and Germany to the Pacific Islands and virtually all countries in between, the organization takes on issues like gender disparity, teacher training, and equitable access.

In this first episode, Prof. Maclean discusses the educational trends he has identified by working internationally, and how they connect to his primary interests in vocational education and adapting curricula to fit rapidly evolving workforce needs. He also provides a brief overview of the multiple book series and handbooks published by Springer Nature that he’s worked on throughout his career as an academic, UNESCO professional, and educational consultant. 

Episode 2:  Dr. Rupert Maclean on Preparing a 21st-Century Workforce: The Future of Education

As the cost of education continues to rise, prospective students wonder how their postsecondary education will help them land a career. When universities feel the pressure to prepare students for the ever-changing job market, how does that impact the offered curriculum?

In this second episode, Prof. Rupert Maclean interrogates how a vocationally-driven education model has impacted how we view schooling, and the good—and bad—that can result from this shift. He then moves on to discuss the appeal of lifelong education in the information age, and how that connects to the rise of the vocationalization of education. “We have to learn over the full span of our lives. We can be assisted with this, but we must also take personal responsibility. If we don’t engage in lifelong learning, we’re going to be left behind. We’re not going to have the repertoire of skills required to continue in gainful employment.”

Episode 3: Dr. Rupert Maclean on Let's Talk Access: The Future of Education

As wealth disparities grow and the costs of higher education rise, inequities in access to education become starker. The value of education to society depends in part
on the number of people it reaches, but lawmakers and educators keep wondering: who’s going to pay for it?

In this third episode, Prof. Rupert Maclean discusses how equitable access shapes job opportunities, which affects not only young people entering full-time employment, but older generations asked to update their expertise in order to remain economically valuable. “People are in occupations that are going out of favor, that are no longer required, and they have to retool or reskill themselves to actually be able to meet the changing job market needs”.

Episode 4: Dr. Rupert Maclean on Emerging Trends and Pandemic Effects: The Future of Education

When COVID-19 entered our lives, one of the underlying anxieties from the looming illness was the uncertainty—when will life go back to normal? As the race for a vaccine continues, we face the reality of sitting with this pandemic long-term, and what that means for our education and economy.

In this final episode, Prof. Rupert Maclean considers the major elements of social disruption in this past year, and how our education systems need to adjust to alleviate our social, economic, and educational inequities. He discusses both the short and long-term effects of the pandemic on education and the job market, and predicts a transformation in the 21st-century skills that employers will demand. 

The Education eBook Collection

Springer Nature is one of the leading education research publishers in the world. With a global author base and readership the award winning Education eBook Collection includes a comprehensive range of DRM free authoritative monographs, textbooks, and reference works covering all fields of education. The books in this collection are of interest to academics and professionals in Education, and many related fields including medical education, international and comparative education, professional and vocational education, educational psychology and the philosophy of education, early childhood education, lifelong learning, and education policy.

Below we highlight some of the Springer Nature book series and handbooks our podcast guest, Prof. Maclean, has worked on throughout his career as an academic, UNESCO professional, and educational consultant. For more information, or to make these and any other education titles, available to your users please contact us here.


Book Series

New 2021

Editorial Director Nick Melchior talks about the Education eBook Collection

Nick Melchior

Read our interview with Nick Melchior, Editorial Director for Springer Nature’s Social Science and Education books program about highlights of the Education eBook Collection, how the program has developed over the years, and emerging themes during the pandemic.

Market-leading Education Book Series include:

Top downloaded DRM Free Textbooks include:

Education eBook Collection & UN Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2015-2030) provide an important and ambitious outline of the issues that need to be addressed to achieve global peace and prosperity. Access to quality and inclusive Education is crucial in achieving these goals. Springer Nature aims to support and amplify the SDGs through the content that we publish and this is reflected in many of the titles published in the Education eBook collection.

Everyone is working to reach these goals and of course we focus a lot on SDG4 and inclusive education but we also have deep links to SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and SDG  5 (Gender Equality). We have increasing amounts of content that looks at environmental issues within education and meeting the challenge of inequality and we are also feeding books into the Springer Sustainable Development Goals Book Series. 

- Nick Melchior, Editorial Director for Springer’s Social Science and Education books program.