“IMMAGINATION” AND INNOVATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION 2021
INFORMATION FOR TRUSTEES, PRESIDENTS, VICE-CHANCELLORS, PROVOSTS,
ACADEMIC DEANS, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICERS, DIRECTORS OF HEALTH AND
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS, ENROLLMENT MANAGERS, INTERNATIONAL DEANS
AND RECRUITERS, FINANCIAL AID OFFICERS, CAREER COUNSELORS, LIFELONG
LEARNING COUNSELORS, REGISTRARS, ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROVIDERS,
EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANTS, AND AGENTS
BULLETIN # 35 JANUARY 4-8, 2021
MARGUERITE J. DENNIS
This is the biggest thing that has happened since the rise of the big universities
after World War ll. Higher education will never be the same and should not go
back to business as usual. The pandemic has created the greatest challenge and
the greater opportunity for higher education.
Peter McPherson, president, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
Happy New Year and welcome back. I hope everyone reading this bulletin is in
good health and is ready to welcome the new year with all of its possibilities.
My weekly bulletins will be somewhat different from previous ones. You will
notice that the title has changed from the impact of the virus on higher education
to the imagination and innovation in higher education 2021 and I will share longer
pieces of information to replace what I now realize was often disjointed content.
So I think it only appropriate that I share with you my predictions for higher
education in 2021.
My 20 predictions are:
- Students, faculty, and staff will travel with Digital Health passports, verifying the
health status of the traveler from COVID-19.
- Students will enroll in colleges and universities with well-established health protocols.
- Colleges and universities will create offices for health and disaster preparedness.
- Colleges and universities will hire chief innovation officers to implement vision plans.
- Students will attend school year-round in some combination of in-person and online instruction.
- Credit-bearing, GAP year programs, will increase in popularity.
- An increasing proportion of higher education enrollments will come from company-sponsored, short-term certificate programs and boot camps. Enrollment in Google Career Certificates and Microsoft’s global skills initiative, among others, will increase.
- Vision planning will co-exist and complement strategic planning.
- Schools will hire chief innovation officers charged with implementing vision plans.
- Consumer behavior will be incorporated into all future strategic and recruitment plans.
- Career counseling will begin before enrollment, throughout matriculation, and after graduation. Colleges and universities will embrace multi-year acceptance, matriculation, and graduation plans for students.
- Graduation counselors (formerly registrars) will map out all of the multi-year courses needed for graduation prior to a student’s matriculation.
- Financial aid and debt counselors will provide estimates of costs and debt prior to enrollment.
- Transcripts will list course competencies as well as grades.
- Students will graduate with at least one internship.
- Antiquated higher education business models will be replaced with differential pricing structures.
- Virtual recruitment and admitted student events, as well as faculty and staff conferences, and faculty and staff meetings, will replace some in-person interactions.
- Some colleges and universities will cease operations. Others will merge with both national and international partners.
- International student mobility will become more localized, within regions and continents.
- Geopolitical rivalry between the U.S. and China will impact future international student enrollments.
This list of predictions is by no means complete, and reflect more administrative, and less academic, changes.
Let’s check-in at the end of the year and assess which of these predictions were accurate and which were not.