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Education Trends

3 Higher Ed Predictions for 2019

man holding light bulb in 2019

Predictions abound at the beginning of a new year, and Encoura's Eduventures chief research officer, Richard Garrett, has weighed in with three of his own for 2019.

First, Garrett said he expects "at least five more R1 universities" to introduce low-priced online master's degrees, akin to Georgia Tech's master's in analytics ($9,900) or the University of Texas at Austin's master's in computer science ($10,000). While these programs traditionally have emphasized the MBA, data science and cybersecurity, the new breed of graduate study will focus on fields such as healthcare management and accounting, he said. These programs will be characterized by the "same admission standards, same rigor, same faculty," but the schools will emphasize "mass enrollment at a low price."

He added that at least one of the launches will come from a private institution; so far, the publics have been at the forefront with these.

Second, Garrett said he anticipated a group of colleges or universities to announce "an innovative co-development and licensing model." Citing evidence of the "ever more expensive" price of college, he suggested that a state university system or some other alliance of schools will come up with a new course creation and licensing model that will offer "top-notch courses" that could be licensed across the system. If this originates within public institutions, the state could bolster the effort by providing "central funding" and incentivizing universities to sign up. "Cost savings might then be split between institutions and students," he noted.

Finally, Garrett said he expects to hear a different higher ed "conversation" in the new year as a result of the "groundbreaking CLIMB initiative." As he explained, Collegiate Leaders in Increasing Mobility (CLIMB) launched two years ago as an alliance between researchers and universities to address three fundamental questions inherent in improving upward mobility for Americans:

  • Is higher education still an engine of social mobility?
  • Which colleges and universities do the best job on social mobility?
  • If so, why are some schools more successful at helping students gain income mobility after graduation?

Over the next 12 months, he predicted, CLIMB will begin to "publish groundbreaking insights into how specific schools break the mold by both admitting and graduating above-average numbers of low-income students who go on to become high earners." As a result, this "bold, ambitious" project will "bring much-needed clarity to the higher education debate."

The full article by Garrett is openly available on the company's website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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