Yes, higher education is grappling with seismic change. The demographic cliff is squeezing traditional enrollments, impacting already tight budgets and paralyzing operating resources. Meanwhile, rapid technological advancements and rising student demand for flexible education options have universities racing to keep pace.
And, yes, the challenges facing higher education are real and numerous. However, the challenges are equally matched by the enormous opportunities that online and hybrid modalities offer. Digital learning is not only essential for meeting the growing student demand for flexible learning options, but they also represent tangible revenue-building potential for universities.
Many colleges and universities are already making a concerted effort to increase online and hybrid programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels and university leaders are reporting that these programs are driving minimal institutional cost increases.1
As the enrollment landscape continues to shift, there are ways universities can leverage multimodal approaches to overcome enrollment challenges and make the most of their resources.
Increase Your University's Reach and Enrollment
Simply put, online education allows universities to reach more students. At a time when educational needs are changing quickly, there is an unprecedented opportunity to reach new markets. Hybrid and online modalities help universities open untapped student segments and reach learners previously left out of higher education.
Using data-driven strategies is essential for building sustainable programs that provide high value for students and benefit universities. By leveraging a combination of audience insights, labor market data, search demand, and competitive analysis, universities can identify their unique place in the market and pinpoint opportunities for growth.
Achieve Cost Savings Through Scale (Without Compromising Quality)
Program scalability is another important element in realizing cost savings and operational efficiency. Since online courses can be delivered to larger numbers and more diverse audiences of students, universities can achieve economies of scale. As online program enrollment increases, universities can spread the fixed costs of their programs across a larger student base, lowering per-student costs.
Successful scaling also requires a data-driven strategy, relevant programs, high-quality learning experiences, and a technology infrastructure that supports the student experience and drives a virtuous cycle of insights and optimization.
Universities can apply insights gained from data analysis to inform future course content, instructional strategies, and assessment methods that enhance student engagement and success.
Get The Expertise You Need
Universities that invest in building their internal capabilities for the future will be well-positioned to take advantage of these growth opportunities. However, staying at the forefront of this dynamic market demands expertise and staffing resources that many universities lack, and investing in staffing resources may not be realistic for those launching new programs on tight budgets.
Everspring equips universities to adapt and thrive as technology and demographics reshape higher education. Learn how we can help your university take advantage of these opportunities.
1. Inside Higher Ed’s 2023 Survey of College and University Presidents