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5 New Realities for Colleges and Universities

by NSC Blog | May 31, 2022 | Education-based Insights, K-12, Opinion, Research Reports, Research Services, Transcript & Data Exchange Services, Verification Services |

The Pandemic and Technology Have Upended Education; Here’s What Lies Ahead

The world is constantly changing, and the education industry is no exception. In fact, higher education has faced significant shifts over the past few years driven both by the pandemic and the need to teach in new ways and advances in technology that make place and time virtually irrelevant.

In a recent article for Inside Higher Ed, Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt take a look at the future of higher education and cover five new realities that they say the education industry should be bracing for now.

  1. Innovators and more competitors are entering higher education. The article’s authors predict that other disruptive forces will continue to emerge creating more competition in the market and driving prices down.
  2. Consumers will gain more control as institutions, themselves, have less control. “The digital revolution will put more power in the hands of the learner who will have greater choice about all aspects of their own education,” they say.
  3. Because of widespread access to digital devices and the internet, students will begin to consider and consume education in much the same way they currently consume music and movies.
  4. There will be a shift from a focus on time spent gaining an education to the outcomes gained from that education — “what we want them to learn — not how long we want them to be taught.”
  5. Education will be consumed in smaller bites as organizations continually need to re- and upskill, and students need just-in-time learning. Certificates, micro-credentials, and badges will be favored over traditional degrees.

For those institutions that successfully navigate these changes, adapting and shifting to meet new market and student demands, the future may look bright. As Levine and Van Pelt write: “In times of profound social change, innovative institutions emerge as profoundly different alternatives to mainstream colleges and universities.”

In a related article, Clearinghouse President and CEO Rick Torres stated, “By giving students actionable information about how their current academic experience compares to the experience of competitive job candidates, institutions will be able to help them design an effective path from where they are now to where they want to go.”

As educators face these new realities, the National Student Clearinghouse remains committed to serving the education and workforce communities and all learners with access to trusted data, related services, and insights.

“In times of profound social change, innovative institutions emerge as profoundly different alternatives to mainstream colleges and universities.”

Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt

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