The boutique university?

I recently completed working on a project with Huntington University to open a highly focused Digital Media Arts satellite campus located within a creative community environment. Conceptually it is a collaborative venture involving business, higher ed, social enterprise, non-profits and government.

Each of the collaborators contribute by supporting each others efforts while retaining their separate identities.

This entire venture sounds very much like that described by Steve Parkinson in this post The Boutique University.


1. a small shop selling fashionable clothes or accessories
2. a business serving a sophisticated or specialised clientele

We’ve seen the rise of the boutique hotel – small and  individual hotels. Focused on being comfortable, intimate, stylish and aspirational. They are set apart from the homogeneity of their large chain rivals.

Could we see the rise of the ‘boutique university’?

Well, what would the characteristics of a boutique university be?

Small scale and individual.
Each boutique university would be a small scale affair. Offering a localised service and specialising in a particular theme of learning. Probably concentrating on the business, tech and design subjects. The skills that will help drive the developing urban tech scenes.

In effect, serving the growing market of ‘skill hackers’.

Skill Hacker: noun; a person that continuously revisits, reinvents and reinvests in skills. A restless pursuit of new skills to offset declining market…

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