The last few years have been a roller coaster in higher education. Even before the pandemic, colleges and universities were facing rising competition in the market and a shrinking pool of high school graduates. Then in 2020, COVID sent schools racing to adopt technology to go fully remote, setting the course for still more industry disruption. By late 2022 student preference for online courses jumped to 220% — and there is little reason to believe that trend will reverse as consumers become more and more accustomed to highly personalized on-demand experiences. Along the way, online program management (OPM) companies went from a preferred model for many institutions to being scrutinized by Congress. And now more than ever, cybersecurity and data-driven insights are top concerns for higher ed.
So, what’s next for higher education? Collegis Education experts share their forecast for 2023.
Director – Solutions Architecture
Technology will affect higher ed culture. The pandemic and socioeconomic factors have accelerated the adoption of remote learning and other technological solutions in education — and even though some institutions have been resistant to these changes, they are here to stay. They will play a significant role in shaping the future of higher education in the years ahead. Digital recruitment, teaching, and graduation without requiring the student’s physical presence on campus have become the norm on today’s campus. The short-term and fragmented efforts to integrate these digital experiences into the student’s “application to graduation” journey must now be turned into long-term strategies. Given the complexity and cost associated with building such an integrated and holistic student experience, institutions will turn to higher ed solution companies for help developing and executing technology strategies that achieve strategic objectives and meet market demands.
Associate Vice President – Marketing
Personalized marketing is key to meeting student expectations. In today’s marketing space, personalization goes well beyond simply adding a prospect’s name into the email subject line. This is now about leveraging data to create experiences catered to the prospects. Personalized marketing means meeting students where they are and delivering what they need, when they need it, across all touch-points – from awareness in marketing to lead nurturing within enrollment teams.
Associate VP – Solution Development
Congress will continue to scrutinize the OPM business model, with particular focus on tuition-sharing agreements. Members of the House and Senate are focused on the idea that OPMs are driving up the cost of education, steering students to less selective, high-priced degrees and saddling them with a heavy debt burden ($100K Master of Social Work degree, anyone?). However, potential regulation is not the only headwind OPMs are facing. Presidents, provosts, and CFOs have become increasingly soured on the traditional OPM model. The biggest issues we hear are lack of control, no transparency and, most importantly, declining enrollment numbers. Many OPMs have started to unbundle and offer more fees for service offerings, with mixed results. The pressure from Congress and the competition in the market will only accelerate these moves, and it will be interesting to see which OPMs are able to successfully shift their model and operations in response.
Senior Manager – Information Security
Cyber-insurance coverage will become more difficult to obtain. This space has been becoming even more competitive since the pandemic. The insurers are gaining knowledge from security incidents and events that they have had to honor. Thus, these vulnerabilities are being specifically identified — and if institutions do not have remedies available or implemented, insurers may deny coverage.
Collegis has been at the forefront of education technology and solutions for more than two decades, helping partners adapt to a rapidly evolving marketplace with a data-driven approach and a commitment to true strategic partnerships. With comprehensive capabilities across the landscape of higher education services, Collegis stands ready to help your institution face whatever challenges 2023 may bring.