Message from the ceo

Message from the CEO

The current higher education model will experience more significant changes in next 10 years, than those accumulated in the last 1,000 years.

Pete pizarro
President and CEO
  • Pete pizarro

    Higher education is experiencing a fascinating moment, not just in Latin America, but all around the world. If we look back, we can understand that the basic concept of a university, as we know it, has not changed for centuries. The oldest one in Europe is the University of Bologna, founded in 1088, followed by Oxford University, founded in 1096. It’s remarkable to realize that most of the universities around the world still replicate this exact same model, which is now almost 1.000 years old.


    Today there are three factors driving the evolution of this 1.000 year old model: technology, access to knowledge and globalization; the latter two are also driven by technology. There is no doubt that the current higher education model will experience more transformations in the next 10 years than it did in the last 1.000 years. Technology puts pressure on the traditional model to transform and evolve, and it is the main disruptive factor because students do not necessarily have to be in a specific location in order to learn – they can do so from anywhere, as long as they have Internet access – and whenever it suits them. Furthermore, technology provides students with access to a volume of information that no single campus-based university library in the world could offer. As a result, academic content needs to become increasingly dynamic, relevant and pertinent. Technology also enables academic staff to work on international research projects without the need to be physically present making it possible to share knowledge with colleagues from different countries and helping to ensure that their content and their courses reach more students, both nationally and internationally.

    ... Latin America, with almost 60 million students, will be one of the top three regions in the world in the number of higher education students ...

    Globalization is also playing an important role in the future of education. Another benefit of technology is that students are no longer limited to the options available where they live; they can now virtually enroll in any institution that offers online education. 

    We believe that higher education institutions that fail to understand these structural and deep changes will face serious difficulties in the future. Clayton Christensen, a renowned professor at Harvard University, wrote in a recent article that based on his analysis, by 2.035 more than half of all existing universities in the United States of America will have closed their doors. In other words, in the next two decades over 2.000 universities are destined to disappear.

    Technology, unlimited access to information and globalization will also force the Latin American market to evolve. In this particular case, we believe there is an additional but highly relevant variable: the strong growth that the educational sector is facing. According to the World Bank by 2035 Latin America, with almost 60 million students, will be one of the top three regions in the world in the number of higher education students. The growth and economic development forecasted for the region will generate a significant demand for qualified and trained professionals, and this is why expanding access to quality higher education is a regional priority.

    ...This is why ILUMNO was born, to help prestigious higher education institutions that are looking to modernize and expand in a sustainable way...

    Because of all these reasons we believe that education in Latin America will play an ever-increasing role in social transformation. Institutions that do not anticipate the future and urgently evolve will have trouble surviving this paradigm shift. 

    Virtual education supports prestigious local institutions in becoming national brands. Some of these brands, by sharing resources and gaining scale, can even aspire to become international brands. As these institutions gain more students, they gain scale, which allows them to continue to invest in technology and quality. On the other hand, survival for small campus based institutions without scale, without technology and, with limited resources to invest in quality, will be extremely challenging.   

    This is why ILUMNO was born, to help prestigious higher education institutions that are looking to modernize and expand in a sustainable way. ILUMNO currently serves 13 prestigious higher education institutions in seven Latin American countries, with almost 213,000 students and 12,000 academics and administrative staff.


Academic institutions that embrace the digital transformation and reinvent themselves will thrive in this new era and emerge as the education leaders of the 21st century. At Ilumno, our mission is to transform higher education institutions to enable growth and improved student outcomes through technology and innovation.