10 new trends defining the state of higher education

Establishing innovative strategies for growth and preparing for industry disruption are just two of a number of trends higher-ed leaders should expect to come their way in 2018, according to a new report.

The State of Higher Education 2018, from professional services firm Grant Thornton LLP, offers guidance around emerging and potential higher-education trends in 2018. The leadership challenges and opportunities outlined in the report are shaped by the firm’s interaction with higher-ed clients.

Trends include achieving growth strategies; preparing for disruption; outsourcing via shared services consortia; using public-private partnerships; mergers, partnerships, and collaborations; tailoring fundraising to generational nuances; using independent verification and validation ( IV&V) for cloud implementation success; innovations in campus facilities usage; preparing for social media reputation risks; and new ways to measure success.…Read More

Survey: Students seek academic info on school websites

When searching higher-ed websites, students tend to be more interested in information about academic majors and minors than a school’s ranking or cost, according to a new survey from best practice research company EAB.

According to the survey of nearly 5,000 students, 70 percent say finding information about majors and minors is their top priority when searching websites. Nineteen percent most want information about a school’s ranking or reputation, 45 percent say they want information about costs, and 24 percent are interested in financial aid.

In terms of digital advertising, students found general information (50 percent) and information about majors and minors (41 percent) most helpful.…Read More

How my university is disrupting higher education

If higher education is a ship, it has struck an iceberg. It’s taking on water rapidly, and while the situation is urgent, many people on board simply refuse to acknowledge what’s happening.

The lifeboats in this metaphor? Disruption.

That may sound a little dramatic, but it’s undeniable that many colleges and universities are stuck in 20th-century—or even 19th- century—models of higher education. In our 21st-century world, that’s no longer acceptable. Institutions are floundering, and if they don’t start to catch up, they are going to sink.…Read More

Can coaching help college presidents to cope?

The college presidency, Mark Twain once said, is the “greatest of all callings” for its potential to shape young minds. It is certainly not the easiest calling today. The responsibilities and challenges beyond the ”day job” of running the institution are immense. Nearly half of presidents say they lack time to think and reflect, according to the American Council on Education’s most recent American College Presidents Study.

Yet time to reflect is critical for presidents in an era of tremendous flux in higher education, with each institution plotting its future course without confidence in what academia will look like in 10 or 20 years. For the college president, dealing with ambiguity, absorbing new skills and technologies, and adapting to change can’t be done within the space of policy meetings, planning sessions, donor lunches, or sporting events.

A new source of help…Read More

Admissions officers spy decline in international applicants

More than half of admissions officers said they are concerned that a decline in international applications could become a nationwide trend, according to a Kaplan Test Prep survey.

Though 63 percent of the 392 admissions officers surveyed were alarmed at the implications the decline could have for higher ed as a whole, just 32 percent said they anticipate a decline in the number of international applicants to their own schools.

Additionally, more than one quarter of admissions officers (28 percent) say they are concerned about their school losing American and international students to colleges in Canada and elsewhere.…Read More

How a student-loved technology helps a university with financial aid

In 2014, Western Union made a surprising discovery when surveying millennials about their financial habits: More than 20 percent of them had never written a check.

This may seem unusual to those of us from older generations. After all, many of us have used checks as our primary way of paying the mortgage and other monthly bills.

But millennials–that group of people born between the 1980s and early 2000s–have earned the nickname the “unbanked generation” for a reason. Thanks to the increasingly ubiquitous nature of smartphones and payment apps, young people are not just eschewing checks, but many other functions associated with physical banks. This creates some interesting challenges in how colleges and universities approach financial aid for today’s students.…Read More

Why university fundraising must embrace technology and adopt smarter strategies

For today’s advancement professionals, the pressure is enormous.

As colleges and universities face challenges like declining enrollment, depressed student retention, and mounting student debt, along with shifting perceptions of the value of a college degree, higher education’s leaders must find a new mix of funding to achieve sustainability, let alone to expand and invest. No longer able to rely on tuition revenue to support growth, institutions are now looking to their gift officers to secure more significant contributions and secure them now. In a recent Ruffalo Noel Levitz survey, 90 percent of chief advancement officers identified dollars raised as their top priority. To add to that pressure, gift officers report that current fundraising practices lack the necessary level of effectiveness and efficiency to meet higher goals. Institutions are now in an age where they must raise more dollars on tight timelines without proportional increases in resources.

The only way fundraisers can meet these demands and the expectation to do more with less–or even the same amount–is by intelligently leveraging new technologies, applications, and practices to reach more of the right people more efficiently. In most cases, today’s gift officers are still being asked to sift through more data, build deep relationships, personalize their outreach, and manage bigger prospect pools–all with outdated approaches and outdated technology.…Read More

Here’s why user experience is absolutely critical to higher education’s future

Harnessing user experience is the most powerful tool higher-education institutions have to transform learning–but user-experience design is mostly foreign in higher education.

Despite its sporadic use, user-experience design is, in fact, a critical part of the future of higher education, according to ISTE CEO Richard Culatta, who expanded upon the idea during an EDUCAUSE 2017 session.

“If we look at how we can build around the needs of students, we will absolutely transform their lives, and our roles and values as institutions,” Culatta said.…Read More

25 education trends for 2018

Year after year, educators and those invested in education love to speculate about what will take off in the near future. And as far as riveting news goes, nothing quite peaks the interest like new trends that have the potential to fundamentally change learning.

In almost all of the commentary from both educators and industry, the mention of AR and VR for 2018’s big trends were ubiquitous. So much so, we could only include just a few AR/VR pieces here in our inaugural “eSchool Media’s Annual Trends Report,” which compiles some of the most practical, forward-looking predictions from educators and industry on what will trend for the upcoming year in both K-12 and higher education.

In this straight-forward report, eSchool Media discusses what to expect, overall, in 2018; how 2017 compares to 2018 for both K-12 and higher ed; and predictions from educators and industry on both K-12 and higher ed trends for the new year.…Read More