Impactful Trends in Higher Education


  • Non-tuition revenue and new markets for tuition-driven revenue are essential for institutional growth.
  • Business and industry will have a larger role in curriculum development through industry recognized and endorsed programming, micro-degrees, and stackable credentials (for-credit and non-credit).
  • Strategic partnerships are on a continuum, with cooperation with other institutions on the minimum end and mergers and acquisitions on the other.
graduation procession

The higher education learning commission (2020 Higher Learning Commission (HLC) higher ed trends white paper) has outlined several trends that will have impact on higher ed. Some of those trends are indicated below.

  • Mega-institutions are becoming dominant providers of online education
  • Decreasing enrollment of 18-21-year-old students continues to make an exponential impact – with an increasing emphasis on jobs, liberal arts are at risk of being marginalized
  • Adults are entering higher education with very different needs than traditional students
  • Access and equity to higher education is an increasing need
  • Alternative educational pathways of learning are real and higher education must embrace and include these pathways into their strategy
  • Dependency on tuition revenue is one of the top threats to higher education institutions
  • Mergers and affiliations in higher ed are on the rise
  • As university budgets get more complex, and more times than not, shrink, professional development should be an alternative revenue source
  • A high majority of students have stated that they will attend more than one institution – making transferability and prior learning assessment a major role in institutional strategy
  • The purpose and value of a college education is under fire due to severe tuition increases and lack of workplace readiness


TUConnects is an initiative that is focused on all aspects of workforce readiness from a "local to global" perspective.

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