Conference Papers

Educational Agility – A Conceptual-Developmental Model

This paper argues that educational institutions must be able to deliver academic provision to meet the requirements of both government policy and employers. This task will become more challenging over time – particularly as the rate of change and market demand increases.

Increasing levels of worldwide competition, in part brought about through technological change and innovation, have provided unprecedented challenges for businesses. At the same time, educational providers have faced their own trials in aligning outputs to both governmental and industrial requirements. Whilst arguments exist to signal the reasons behind the educational challenges, it can be argued models put forth to ease their burden have not always managed to overcome the trials faced.

This paper highlights relevant supporting strategic frameworks and proceeds to present a conceptual strategic model arguing for the agile alignment of all elements of the educational process from the point of initiation (Government policy) through to the educated individual in the workplace via the use of the agility concept, and more specifically agile supply chains. It is envisaged this will help to overcome turbulence factors that have historically presented challenges to the sector.

The key framework models underpinning this work are identified as:

  • The Agility Road Map (Ismail et al., 2006)
  • The framework for agile supply chains (Ismail and Sharifi, 2006)
  • The Strategic Agility Framework (Ismail et al., 2011)
  • EFQM Excellence Model (EFQM, 2013)
  • The extended Ansoff matrix (Sharifi et al., 2006; Sharifi et al., 2013)

This paper concludes by presenting a strategic model of the agility concept for educational provision, making it more market-centric and able to adapt to changing needs at relatively short notice. In so doing, it integrates every element of the educational supply chain, incorporating government requirements, data-driven market knowledge, learners and employers, thus reducing waste and improving efficiency within the system as a whole.

Naughton, S. (2018) 'Educational Agility – A Conceptual-Developmental Model', paper presented to The 14th Annual Conference of the British Education Studies Association (BESA), 27–29 June, viewed 09 August 2020, <>