While 2021 may have thrown us a few less curveballs than 2020, it certainly managed to keep us on our toes. For higher ed, 2021 was the year that Emergency Online Learning gave way to “COVID-normal.”
On a positive note, the past year sparked even more momentum for innovation. Colleges across the country continue to actively master the super-charged digital recruitment environment, revisit their online strategies, rationalize sprawling academic portfolios, experiment with hybrid learning—even rethink pricing and funding models.
But the peaks were not without valleys. Continued decreases in bachelor’s enrollment and shifting application volumes and yield rates, among other challenges, were common. Many colleagues made decisions to switch jobs or retire early. And new Eduventures data indicates that traditional-aged prospective students are expressing even greater anxiety about their odds of getting into the colleges of their choice (more to come on this in 2022).
As a reflection of where higher education is today, nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, here are the top five Wake-Up Calls of 2021. We look forward to sharing a new year of research with you, and we thank you for your readership!
Eduventures Senior Vice President of Research at Encoura
Top 5 Wake-Up Calls of 2021
How Student Mindsets are Shifting in a Pandemic Recruitment Cycle
We’ve seen subtle shifts in the percentages of students in one Mindset or another before, but never a wholesale realignment.
The Problem with Transfer Student Pathways and Technology
How can institutions better leverage technology to address gaps in transfer student pathways? This is a surprising gap given how much technology permeates the rest of higher education.
Swag Works (And Other Lessons Learned from the Best Recruitment Communication)
Who are the best recruitment communicators? Here are the top four colleges and universities from 2021 according to our expert jury: the students you are trying to recruit.
High-Impact Occupations and the Pandemic
What’s the current outlook for occupational growth over the remainder of the decade? Has COVID-19 influenced major changes that should factor into program strategy?