What’s currently trending in Higher Education?

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

As we begin the second half of 2022, let’s take a pause to reflect on the top trends in higher education.

Higher education has faced its fair share of ups and downs since the world was plunged into the COVID-19 pandemic that is still going strong today. The higher education industry was faced with tough choices at the start of covid, with many having to seriously reconsider how they were going to deliver their degree programs to students safely. Online learning and virtual classrooms stepped in to answer the call. While large portions of the population are vaccinated and many universities have returned to in-person classes, online learning still takes center stage.


As we continue in the second full year of the pandemic, the following trends in higher education appear to hold strong:


Students are seeking autonomous choice and flexibility.


Just like employers who are seeking hybrid work options for the perks of flexibility and convenience, many higher education students are opting for degree programs that will allow them to choose when and where to complete their study materials. Many undergraduate and graduate students have gotten a taste of both the challenges and freedom of online learning. While some may prefer in-person learning, many have realized that they thrive off the flexibility and ease of online classes.


Even students who are learning in person are seeking higher education options that feature hybrid learning modules, online learning, and/or digital materials.


Students care about sustainability


The pandemic is far from the only crisis that has taken the world by storm. Climate change has forced industries to adapt their policies and priorities, and higher education institutions have had to adapt as well.


Many universities have decided to take on policies that will allow them to reduce their carbon footprint. Colorado Collage was the first higher education institution in the Rocky Mountain region that achieved a net zero status by reducing emissions and buying carbon offsets, demonstrating that carbon neutrality can be achieved.


Students want to enroll in universities and higher education institutions that care about environment.


Students seek institutions that feature streamlined online learning platforms


With the exponential leaps in technology made every year, higher education and online learning have also changed drastically. Students enjoy their learning experience more when their learning platforms are user-friendly and streamlined. A focus on student experience has made institutions of higher education zoom in on their learning platforms.


Students want to work on their soft skills


Critical soft skills such as critical thinking and analysis, teamwork, problem-solving, empathy, and more are key to succeeding professionally. Students seek online degree programs that will not only give them the skills needed to succeed in their chosen fields of profession but also the transferable skills that can be applied to any job position.


The balance between professional skills training and soft skills training will be key for students.


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