Giving Compass' Take:

• Ben Unglesbee predicts higher education trends in 2019 based on the events of 2018, from capital campaigns to AR and VR. 

• How can funders help schools buck worrying trends and advance promising ones? 

• Learn more about funding higher education.

Looking back at 2018 and ahead to the new year, we’ve outlined nine trends expected to shape 2019 as higher ed leaders respond to an always changing, and often challenging, playing field.

  1. Capital campaigns will get more ambitious.
  2. Many of those big gifts will come strings.
  3. Colleges will feel pressure to prove graduates are job-ready: In a September policy paper, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities said large research institutions are taking on the responsibility of workforce development and fostering entrepreneurship — long a priority for community colleges and technical programs but less explicitly so for larger institutions. Crucial to the task are federal partnerships, as well as support for emerging fields like advanced manufacturing and investment in entrepreneurship and innovation, according to the organization.
  4. The college presidency will be a revolving door: College presidents are spending less time in office. That may be unavoidable, as the issues facing today’s top executives are plenty: shrinking state funds, campus protests, free speech battles, fundraising imperatives, and sexual misconduct scandals are just a few.
  5. New credentials will flood the market.
  6. For-profits will seek new business models: December showed the for-profit sector's troubles are not over.
  7. OPMs will play a big role as colleges expand online: In July, The Economist warned traditional universities may have survived the rise of massive open online courses (MOOCs) but "risk being outwitted by OPMs." Online program managers (OPMs) are not doing it by beating colleges at their own game — namely, educating students — but instead by getting colleges to pay-to-play in the digital space.
  8. Colleges will hone data use to improve outcomes.
  9. AR and VR experiments will continue, but scale will remain elusive.

Read the full article about trends in higher education by Ben Unglesbee at Education Dive.