Higher education leaders today confront a bevy of criticisms ranging from worsening affordability persistent socioeconomic disparities to a lack of relevance in the ever-changing economy. Institutions by internal challenges and external pressures. Business models are cracking under enormous pressure appropriations decline and net tuition growth wanes. Business as usual simply can’t continue.
The nature of competition in higher education is changing—presenting both challenges and opportunities. For decades—centuries, even—higher education has been on a continuous trajectory of developing more complex and comprehensive institutions to build and disseminate knowledge and educate students. But technology is enabling a new, disruptive path: simpler, more affordable, more accessible educational experiences, built in alignment to the needs of the workforce. Leaders can look to examples of institutions that are successfully innovating in the new environment, some along this new disruptive path, and others by incorporating disruptive technologies to move forward along the traditional trajectory: