For university administrators, whether they’ll still have a campus to govern come 2023 will depend on how quickly they can embrace changes in fundraising, faculty demands, and student demographics.
Sebastian Thrun, founder of Udacity and Google X, last year predicted that only 10 institutions would be delivering higher education in five decades. Researchers at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Education said between 25 and 50 percent of universities will be in bankruptcy in 15 years.
While many educators said these numbers are drastic predictions of the future, they also admit universities that don’t embrace technological changes in education could be in serious danger by 2023.
“There are schools at each margin, the very safest and the most in-danger, but the winners and losers across the vast majority of the sector will be defined by the speed and thoughtfulness with which they iterate and improve over the next decade,” said Charles Thornburgh, the former president of Kaplan Virtual Education.
Mark Milliron, who left his post as chancellor of Western Governors University-Texas earlier this year to help lead the adaptive learning company Civitas Learning, said many university administrators are already looking to future.
“If the academy can be at its best, diving deep into good data with critical thinking, creativity, and thoughtful action, many more institutions will not only survive, but thrive on the road ahead,” Milliron said.