Today is the last day of this year and in addition to New Year’s resolutions, I would like to share with you my Predictions for Higher Education in 2014. To begin, let‘s re-cap past predictions:
In 2005, I wrote a book, Ten Trends in Higher Education. This is what I predicted eight years ago:
- Higher education providers will become more numerous and diverse.
- Part-time college attendance will increase and schools will offer more classes in the evening and on the weekend.
- An increasing number of colleges and universities will work in partnership with employers to meet the workforce needs of the country.
- Telecommunications options will become standard practice, with students taking classes at home, on campus, everywhere.
- Technological capabilities will encourage the rise of global universities.
- Women, minorities, and adult learners will dominate higher education enrollments.
- Federal and state student aid programs will change to accommodate new and different student cohorts.
- Federal and state funding will decrease.
- International students will continue to come to the U.S., but the mix of students will change with more students coming from Asia and fewer students coming from Europe.
- The U.S. will compete with several other countries for the international mobile student of the future.
- Traditional colleges and universities will not disappear, but they will change organizationally and will be managed differently in the future.
I think you would agree with me that without exception, all of the above predictions are valid today.
In 2005, I wrote from the perspective of a university administrator in the U.S. Today I write from the perspective of an international higher education consultant. My ten predictions for 2014 for schools both in the U.S. and worldwide are as follows:
- A diverse student population will demand a more flexible educational delivery system. This includes when and where courses are taught, how students register for courses, and how they pay their tuition. After all the “hype” passes, Massive Open Online Courses will change forever how higher education is delivered.
- Incoming first year students will bring to college credits from either AP courses, IB courses, or MOOC courses.
- The fall and spring semesters system will become a relic of the past. Students will attend, or will create for themselves, a “third” semester in the summer.
- MOOCs and online programs will increase the number of students graduating in four years as more and more students opt to study year round.
- Most students in 2014 will have transcripts from more than one school.
- Colleges and universities will “buy” online courses from each other.
- Strategic enrollment plans will include the directors of career counseling and directors of alumni relations.
- Accreditation criteria will change with more focus on outcomes.
- International students will increase but instead of in-person enrollment driving the increase, many international students will enroll in hybrid or MOOC courses approved by their school.
- As always, CHANGE WILL BE OUR CONSTANT COMPANION.
As was true in 2005, I believe these 10 predictions will be true for 2014. Let’s check back in a year. For now, Happy New Year!
P.S. I have just completed writing a book, The 100 Questions You Should Ask before You Enroll in College, While You Are in College, and After You Graduate from College. I have taken all of the information from my 30+ administrative career and written a simple and easy to read guide for students and parents. I particularly want this information to reach students who do not have access to private college counselors or even guidance counselors. The book will be published in the spring in both paperback and eBook editions. More to come.