2023 Higher Education Trend Watch — from educause.edu

2023 Higher Education Trend Watch

Also see:

2023 Strategic Trends Glossary — from educause.edu

Excerpts:

  • Closer alignment of higher education with workforce needs and skills-based learning
  • Continuation and normalization of hybrid and online learning
  • Continued adoption and normalization of hybrid and remote work arrangements
  • Continued resignation and migration of leaders and staff from higher education institutions
  • Declining public funding for higher education
  • …and more
 

From DSC:
I’d like to thank Sarah Huibregtse for her post out on LinkedIn where she commented on and referenced the following item from Nicholas Thompson (CEO at The Atlantic):


Also relevant/see:


Also related/see the following item which I thank Sam DeBrule’s Machine Learnings newsletter for:


Also, somewhat related, see the following item that Julie Johnston mentioned out on LinkedIn:

Top 10 conversational AI trends for 2023 — from linkedin.com by Kane Simms and  Tim Holve, Tarren Corbett-Drummond, Arte Merritt, and Kevin Fredrick.

Excerpt:

In 2023, businesses will realise that, in order to get out of FAQ Land, they need to synchronise business systems together to deliver personalised transactional experiences for customers.

“We finally have the technologies to do all the things we imagined 10 years ago.”

 

Udacity’s Train-to-Hire Program Now Available in AWS Marketplace — from prnewswire.com by Udacity; with thanks to GSV for this resource

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Udacity, the digital talent transformation platform, today announced the availability of its Train-to-Hire Program in AWS Marketplace, a digital catalog with thousands of software listings from independent software vendors that make it easy to find, test, buy, and deploy software that runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS). With the addition of this program, AWS customers can now address technical talent gaps in their organizations by working with Udacity to create customizable, hands-on learning programs that attract and upskill net-new sources of talent. Through these Train-to-Hire Programs, AWS customers can transform the breadth and depth of their talent pipelines, lowering recruiting costs for in-demand roles and improving the diversity of their workforce by offering new opportunities to candidates from underrepresented communities.

As enrollment falls and public skepticism grows, some colleges are cutting their prices — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
The cost of college has stopped rising faster than inflation for the first time since the 1980s

Excerpt:

Colby-Sawyer College, a nearly 200-year-old institution that inhabits a campus in the heart of this bucolic scene, has announced that it will lower its tuition next year for undergraduates by 62 percent, from $46,364 to $17,500.

The move is among the first of what experts are predicting could be many colleges’ so-called tuition resets. Other schools are adjusting what they charge in different ways.

Fewer than one in five families understand that the “sticker price” colleges put on their websites and in their catalogs is almost certainly more than they will have to pay, and six in 10 say it’s made them walk away without even bothering to apply.

From DSC:
That’s very understandable on that last item/quote.

Next Chapter Matters – Two More Universities Launch Midlife Programs For Every Budget — from forbes.com by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox; with thanks to Ray Schroeder out on LinkedIn for this resource

Excerpt:

Whether you are retiring with millions in the bank or stuck at midlife desperately dreaming of a career pivot, there may soon be a university program for you. The latest offerings coming to the market are a testament to the diversity that is likely to develop as educational institutions start to respond to ageing societies and the future of work.

The idea that you get all the education you need up front in a four-year bundle at 18, should fast fade as careers lengthen towards the six-decade mark and retirement ages drift ever upward. There are now 12 programs on offer, and the two latest launching this year in the US are the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado Denver. (I’ll be looking at programs launching in Europe next).

Report: Progress on College Completion Rates Stalls — from insidehighered.com by Safia Abdulahi; with thanks to GSV for this resource

Excerpt:

A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows that college completion rates have stagnated, with 62.3 percent of students who enrolled in 2016 completing a degree by June 2022—virtually unchanged from last year’s six-year completion rate of 62.2 percent.

Is This the Beginning of the End of the ‘U.S. News’ Rankings’ Dominance? — from chronicle.com by Francie Diep

Excerpt:

If the law deans’ criticism sounds familiar, it’s because it echoes the complaints that have been leveled for decades against an even bigger project: the magazine’s ranking of undergraduate colleges and universities. There, too, critics have said the magazine’s metrics are flawed, opaque, and harm equity efforts.

But seldom have institutions acted on their concerns, as Yale and its peers have recently. And if elite colleges are willing to withdraw their support from one U.S. News ranking in the name of equity, why not another? In other words, is the undergraduate ranking the next venue for this kind of protest?

Not yet.

LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky: Skills, Not Degrees, Matter Most in Hiring — from hbr.org

Summary:

Ryan Roslansky, the CEO of LinkedIn, thinks the site should be a place where its members’ billions of years of collective work experience should be freed to upskill anyone, anywhere, any time. Skills, more than degrees or pedigrees, are the true measure of what makes a great new hire, he argues, especially as the workforce evolves in fast and dramatic ways.

 

How the University of California Strike Could Reshape Higher Education — from news.yahoo.com by Katie Reilly

Excerpts:

“To have this many workers on strike is really something new in higher education,” says Rebecca Givan, an associate professor of labor studies at Rutgers, who is also president of the union for graduate workers and faculty at her university. “The willingness of these workers to bring their campuses to a standstill is demonstrating that the current model of higher education can’t continue, and that the current system really rests on extremely underpaid labor.”

The striking workers argue that their current pay makes it challenging to afford housing near their universities, in a state with one of the highest costs of living in the country. Jaime, the Ph.D. candidate, says he makes $27,000 per year as a teaching fellow and pays $1,200 in monthly rent for an apartment he shares with two roommates. (Median rent in the Los Angeles metropolitan area is about $3,000, according to Realtor.com.) “We are the ones who do the majority of teaching and research,” he says. “But nevertheless, the university doesn’t pay us enough to live where we work.”

Also relevant/see:

Hundreds of UC Faculty Members Stop Teaching as Strike Continues — from chronicle.com by  Grace Mayer

Excerpt:

The strike is shining a spotlight on a longstanding problem within higher education: Today, tenured, full-time faculty members make up a smaller percentage of university employees than they did 50 years ago, in part due to the financial pressures facing universities amid funding cuts. The proportion of other university employees, who receive less job security and lower pay, “has grown tremendously,” says Tim Cain, an associate professor at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education, who studies campus activism and unionization.

“There’s such stratification between the tenured full professor and a graduate student employee or a postdoc or a tutor,” says Cain. “They’re doing a great deal of the work, and the work that they’re doing in the classroom is often very similar to the work of others who are getting paid substantially more.”


Speaking of schools in California, also see:


 

Table of Experts: Trends in Higher Education — from bizjournals.com by Holly Dolezalek. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal held a panel discussion recently about trends in higher education.

Excerpts (which focus on law schools/the legal profession):

Anthony Niedwiecki: The legal profession and legal education are very conservative. Covid showed they can, and we as institutions can, change. At Mitchell Hamline, we were the first law school in the country to offer a partially online JD degree. We’ve had that experience since 2015, which has really helped us through Covid. But I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from our students through this process is the need for flexibility. We thought students would want to go back into the classroom at some point and be around people. No! They voted by the classes they signed up for: They signed up for the classes that were online. Some students want to be on campus, some online. So we’ve had to develop our program around different types of modalities we may not have given any thought to before. The students in the online program range in age all the way up to 73 years old. They’ve been in careers, they’re accountants, they’re doctors, they’re health care professionals, elected officials. The other thing is office hours — students like online office hours because it’s convenient, and they can be in an office where other people are talking and learn from it.

 The lesson I take from that, in some ways, even applying it to the law school, is having that partnership with people who want to hire students to make sure that they’re actually involved with the students. We’re finding they help mentor those students, help us make sure we have the right courses in place, and give them opportunities to do internships and externships. So we’ve been starting to partner with some national professional organizations that are attached to the law.
 

Can a Group of MIT Professors Turn a White Paper Into a New Kind of College? — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

A group of professors at Massachusetts Institute of Technology dropped a provocative white paper in September that proposed a new kind of college that would address some of the growing public skepticism of higher education. This week, they took the next step toward bringing their vision from idea to reality.

That next step was holding a virtual forum that brought together a who’s who of college innovation leaders, including presidents of experimental colleges, professors known for novel teaching practices and critical observers of the higher education space.

The MIT professors who authored the white paper tried to make clear that even though they’re from an elite university, they do not have all the answers. Their white paper takes pains to describe itself as a draft framework and to invite input from players across the education ecosystem so they can revise and improve the plan.

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

The goal of this document is simply to propose some principles and ideas that we hope will lay the groundwork for the future, for an education that will be both more affordable and more effective.

Promotions and titles will be much more closely tied to educational performance—quality, commitment, outcomes, and innovation—than to research outcomes. 

 

A student debt study unravels the American Dream ideal that college will propel you to the middle class — from fortune.com by Bytrey Williams with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn


Excerpts:

Looking at a cohort of borrowers from 2009, the report highlights that 50% of undergraduate debtors hadn’t repaid their loans. Across different types of loans, borrowers owed between 50% to 110% of their original loan 10 years after repayment began.

A college degree is undoing the American Dream
Getting a college degree has long been heralded as a staple to the American Dream, viewed as the path to wealth that will eventually buy a house in suburbs with a white picket fence. But the Jain Institute report shows that’s no longer the case.

 

From DSC:
Will this become a trend within higher education (i.e., more transparent, accurate pricing)?


Why so many colleges have been resetting their tuition — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke
Colby-Sawyer College is reducing its prices by 60% so tuition more accurately reflects what students pay. Other institutions are doing the same.

Excerpt:

Starting next academic year, Colby-Sawyer College will be decreasing tuition, but it’s not just shaving a few hundred dollars off its sticker price. The college is cutting its price from $46,364 to $17,500, a drop of more than 60%.

The move, said President Susan Stuebner, is intended to make more students consider attending the private New Hampshire college.

“We really recognize the need for transparency in pricing and we’re trying to align the published price more closely with what students currently pay,” she said.

But for Stuebner at Colby-Sawyer, the choice was clear. 

“The pattern of higher education being on this trajectory of high-price, high-discount has just gotten so confusing for families. We’re really doing a disservice to them,” she said. “And they’re starting to push back.”

 

How AI will change Education: Part I | Transcend Newsletter #59 — from transcend.substack.com by Alberto Arenaza; with thanks to GSV’s Big 10 for this resource

Excerpt:

You’ve likely been reading for the last few minutes my arguments for why AI is going to change education. You may agree with some points, disagree with others…

Only, those were not my words.

An AI has written every single word in this essay up until here.

The only thing I wrote myself was the first sentence: Artificial Intelligence is going to revolutionize education. The images too, everything was generated by AI.

 

Are Microcredentials Finally Gaining Traction? — from insidehighered.com by Joshua Kim

Excerpt:

This month, the London School of Economics expanded its degree partnership with 2U to launch a series of edX microcredentials that provide learners with a flexible, stackable pathway towards pursuing a fully online undergraduate education. Wim Van der Stede, LSE’s new academic dean for extended education, graciously agreed to answer my questions about these new programs.

In that time, we’ve seen the power that online learning has to meet learners’ needs at every stage of their lives and careers.

The world around us is changing, rapidly, and we need to support professionals, alumni and students in refreshing and adapting their knowledge and skills, as and when they need, through evolving lives and careers. This is at the heart of LSE’s mission as a global social science hub of research and education, and plays a key role in achieving our mission to educate for impact by empowering students to develop the skills to solve society’s most pressing issues in an ever-changing world.


A side thought from DSC:
Speaking of Economics, I wonder if and how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will impact the field of Economics?


 

Instructure Research Reveals Higher Education’s New Directive as Students Demand Flexibility and Return on Investment — from prnewswire.com by Instructure

Excerpt:

SALT LAKE CITYOct. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Instructure, the maker of Canvas, recently released its annual global report focused on the state of higher education. Key findings from the report include the factors that lead to student success, what’s hindering students from succeeding and important elements for measuring success, such as the importance of mental health support for students. View the full report: State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education.

“We are seeing a growing group of non-traditional students that demand change in the way institutions offer courses,” said Melissa Loble, chief customer experience officer at Instructure. “Learners are looking for flexibility and an emphasis on career skills in preparation for entering the workforce. Institutions that offer holistic solutions, such as mental health resources and mentoring programs, will go a long way in ensuring student success.”

In its third year, the “State of Higher Education” research reflects a survey of over 7,500 current students, administrators and faculty from 23 countries representing a mixture of two-year, four-year, public and private higher education institutions. The report uncovered six key trends:

Also relevant/see:

 

Higher Education in Motion: The Digital and Cultural Transformations Ahead — from er.educause.edu by John O’Brien

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

In 2015 when Janet Napolitano, then president of the University of California, responded to what she saw as a steadily growing “chorus of doom” predicting the demise of higher education, she did so with a turn of phrase that captured my imagination and still does. She said that higher education is not in crisis. “Instead, it is in motion, and it always has been.”

A brief insert by DSC:
Yes. In other words, it’s a learning ecosystem — with constant morphing & changing going on.

“We insisted then, and we continue to insist now, that digital transformation amounts to deep and coordinated change that substantially reshapes the operations, strategic directions, and value propositions of colleges and universities and that this change is enabled by culture, workforce, and technology shifts.

The tidal movement to digital transformation is linked to a demonstrably broader recognition of the strategic role and value of technology professionals and leaders on campus, another area of long-standing EDUCAUSE advocacy. For longer than we have talked about digital transformation, we have insisted that technology must be understood as a strategic asset, not a utility, and that senior IT leaders must be part of the campus strategic decision-making. But the idea of a strategic role for technology had disappointing traction among senior campus leaders before 2020.

From DSC:
The Presidents, Provosts, CIO’s, board members, influential faculty members, and other members of institutions’ key leadership positions who didn’t move powerfully forward with online-based learning over the last two+ decades missed the biggest thing to hit societies’ ability to learn in 500+ years — the Internet. Not since the invention of the printing press has learning had such an incredible gust of wind put in its sails. The affordances have been staggering, with millions of people now being educated in much less expensive ways (MOOCs, YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, other). Those who didn’t move forward with online-based learning in the past are currently scrambling to even survive. We’ll see how many close their doors as the number of effective alternatives increases.

Instead of functioning as a one-time fix during the pandemic, technology has become ubiquitous and relied upon to an ever-increasing degree across campus and across the student experience.

Moving forward, best of luck to those organizations who don’t have their CIOs at the decision-making table and reporting directly to the Presidents — and hopefully those CIO’s are innovative and visionary to begin with. Best of luck to those institutions who refuse to look up and around to see that the world has significantly changed from the time they got their degrees.

The current mix of new realities creates an opportunity for an evolution and, ideally, a synchronized reimagination of higher education overall. This will be driven by technology innovation and technology professionals—and will be made even more enduring by a campus culture of care for students, faculty, and staff.

Time will tell if the current cultures within many traditional institutions of higher education will allow them to adapt/change…or not.


Along the lines of transformations in our learning ecosystems, also see:


OPINION: Let’s use the pandemic as a dress-rehearsal for much-needed digital transformation — from hechingerreport.org by Jean-Claude Brizard
Schools must get ready for the next disruption and make high-quality learning available to all

Excerpts:

We should use this moment to catalyze a digital transformation of education that will prepare schools for our uncertain future.

What should come next is an examination of how schools can more deeply and deliberately harness technology to make high-quality learning accessible to every learner, even in the wake of a crisis. That means a digital transformation, with three key levers for change: in the classroom, in schools and at the systems level.

Platforms like these help improve student outcomes by enhancing teachers’ ability to meet individual students’ needs. They also allow learners to master new skills at their own pace, in their own way.

As Digital Transformation in Schools Continues, the Need for Enterprising IT Leaders Grows — from edtechmagazine.com by Ryan Petersen

K-12 IT leaders move beyond silos to make a meaningful impact inside and outside their schools.According to Korn Ferry’s research on enterprise leadership, “Enterprise leaders envision and grow; scale and create. They go beyond by going across the enterprise, optimizing the whole organization and its entire ecosystem by leading outside what they can control. These are leaders who see their role as being a participant in diverse and dynamic communities.”

 

 

2022 EDUCAUSE Horizon Action Plan: Hybrid Learning — from library.educause.edu

Excerpts:

Building on the trends, technologies, and practices described in the 2022 Horizon Report: Teaching and Learning Edition, the panel crafted its vision of the future along with practical action items the teaching and learning community can employ to make this future a reality. Any stakeholder in higher education who teaches in or supports hybrid learning modalities will find this report helpful in preparing for the future of hybrid learning. The future we want is within reach, but only if we work together.

Asked to describe the goals and elements of hybrid learning that they would like to see 10 years from now, panelists collaboratively constructed their preferred future for institutions, students, instructors, and staff.

Institutions

  • Higher education is available on demand.
  • Learning is not measured by seat time.
  • Collaboration across institutions facilitates advancement.
  • College and university campuses are not the sole locations for learning spaces.

Students, Instructors, and Staff

  • Everything is hybrid.
  • Student equity is centered in all modalities.
  • Professional development is ongoing, integrated, and valued.
 

Student Preference for Online Learning Up 220% Since Pre-Pandemic — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpt:

According to a recent Educause survey, the number of students expressing preferences for courses that are mostly or completely online has increased 220% since the onset of the pandemic, from 9% in 2020 (before March 11) to 29% in 2022. And while many students still prefer learning mostly or completely face-to-face, that share has dropped precipitously from 65% in 2020 to 41% this year.

“These data point to student demand for online instructional elements, even for fully face-to-face courses,” Educause stated.

Also relevant/see:

  • A Surge in Young Undergrads, Fully Online — from insidehighered.com by Susan D’Agostino
    Tens of thousands of 18- to 24-year-olds are now enrolling at Western Governors, Southern New Hampshire and other national online institutions. Does this represent a change in student behavior?
 

More Than 3 in 4 Americans Believe College Is Difficult to Afford — from morningconsult.com by Amanda Jacobson Snyder
And about half of U.S. adults say in-state public universities are “not affordable,” as shifting trends in enrollment may make flagship state schools seem financially out of reach

Excerpt:

  • A college education is widely perceived as unaffordable for most Americans, with 77% of U.S. adults saying a college degree would be difficult for someone like them to afford.
  • 82% of women said a college degree would be difficult to afford, compared with 73% of men.
  • Roughly 4 in 5 Black and Hispanic adults said college would be difficult to afford.
 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian