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Students challenging the value of college
Trouble ahead - 2/3rds doubt value in college
Results of a survey by Third Way, a U.S.-based Think Tank, has some concerning news for the future of college enrollments. The survey examined a number of post-pandemic attitudes of from over 2,000 interviews of students and caregivers.
Although universities and colleges received high marks in the survey for many areas of pandemic response, a concluding set of questions should leave a chill with any admissions or recruitment office. When asked to respond to the question "Higher education is not worth the cost to students anymore", 2/3rds of all respondents across the demographics surveyed agreed.
This may not mean enrollments falling off a cliff but when over 60% of customers are unhappy with a product or service, it spells trouble. So, what do such results mean?
Educational myopia - Producing what is not wanted
Reaching back over 60 years, there is a good answer in a 1960 Harvard Business School article Marketing Myopia by Ted Levitt. The idea is that companies get tied up with the busyness of marketing and fail to focus on real customer needs. Instead of producing what customers want and need, companies often produce expensive market flops.
Higher education is replete with examples of educational myopia from faculty research for the sake of research, layers of administration, fundraising for buildings that will be obsolete when built, etc. Supposedly those of us in higher education are smarter and better equipped to know what students and other stakeholders need from our institutions. This survey says otherwise.
Seeing more clearly - Success across the student lifecycle
How does higher education get past its short-sightedness? My suggestion is a student-centric view focused on success for the student across the entire student lifecycle or what we call the Student360 success model.
Student success needs to be first and foremost. That does not just mean recruiting students or high grades but making the entire student lifecycle the focus. Using a combination of touchpoints and data, it is possible to develop the insights needed to deliver value.
Future installments of the Student360.Report will focus on how student lifecycle touchpoints translate into data and insights.
About the Student 360.Report
The Student360.Report is a bi-weekly commentary of key topics in higher education from a student-centered perspective. The Report is a product of EduPartner.Solutions OÜ, a data analytics as a service company focused on assisting higher education with understanding and driving to higher levels of student success.