It’s almost end of the year, which means it’s time to chart your enrollment goals and marketing plans for the upcoming year. Being aware of higher education trends today will help you make informed decisions.
In the past few years, colleges and universities have been facing a decrease in enrollments, increasing demand from the international student population, declining state support, growing popularity of digital classrooms and the ubiquitous social media. The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed, said William Gibson. Here are top higher education trends that you should know in case if you haven’t already noticed.
- Shift the focus to ‘student experience.’
For a long time, educational institutions have been focusing on building infrastructure, comprehensive courses, curriculum, and placements. While these factors continue to play a significant role, there is another factor that has emerged as crucial – ‘great student experience.’ As student population is becoming more diverse, colleges and universities should continue to focus on high-quality student experience, engage and serve them well both academically and administratively, for them to achieve success.
- Increase in international and non-traditional students.
Over the past decade or so, there has been a steady increase in the number of students who are above 25 years of age and also students who are parents or student veterans. It is expected to grow two folds in the foreseeable future. So, you might have to redefine your strategy to accommodate non-traditional students. Right from learning methods, financial options, and service needs, you need to redefine everything according to their preferences.
- Trends in higher education marketing
The approach, medium, and content of your marketing communications should be relatable to different student groups. Because of increase in international students and non-traditional student, the brochures, pamphlets, blogs and all forms of communication should be hyper-customized based on each student persona as per their unique needs and preferences. Social media has swiftly emerged as one of the best platforms to connect with diverse interest groups and with your prospective students in a personalized way.
- Changing preference in the modes of learning
Students expect a more interactive experience along with conventional methods of teaching. From flexible timings, mobile service desks, online communities, digital classrooms, to study materials and course details that are accessible online, student expectations have changed indeed. As discussed earlier, the increase in non-traditional students also contributes to these varied preferences and needs. Understanding what prospective students are looking for, and addressing their needs, will help you in attracting them to your university.
- The significance of higher education in future
The value of a college education itself has become questionable because of the gap between the opportunities promised and reality. Lack of job opportunities even after successfully earning a professional degree has made students to rethink the benefits of higher education. While this perception is spreading, colleges and universities are striving to demonstrate value by investing their efforts in understanding student expectations, needs and preferences to provide a positive student experience.In short, colleges and universities have to provide greater flexibility, strive to engage a student much like a customer, be very responsive to student needs, customize communication and actions for each student persona, rethink the learning process, and embrace mobile technologies to cater to the increasing diversity in student population.