Tag: Amrit Ahluwalia

Education IT Trends and Its Most Pressing Challenges

Response by Amrit Ahluwalia, director of strategic insights, Modern Campus.

I’ve had conversations with hundreds of provosts and senior administrators at colleges and universities across North America, and around the world, all reflecting on how the industry is evolving, how student needs are changing, and how institutions are adapting to keep pace with those shifts. While many institutional leaders try to reflect on whether changes are flashes in the pan or meaningful disruption, the fact is that higher education has been on a consistent trajectory to make education increasingly modular and to make the student experience increasingly flexible and learner centric. 

Promising: Better Student Engagement 

We’re seeing colleges and universities invest in technologies built to support the learner in ways they haven’t before: Platforms built with the specific goal of engaging learners. Technologies that give learners direct pathways to success with clear career outcomes, that personalize the online experience or even simplify things like registration—these digital assets take the modern student from a ‘learner to earner’ in the most personalized and efficient path possible. The fact is that students enroll in higher education to get a job—58% of freshmen say this is their primary motivator for enrolling—and the industry is elevating to support those needs.  

Technologies that put the student engagement and experience first—that support the ‘learner-to-earner’ journey—must become the norm in higher education. The modern learner is savvy, they have alternatives to the traditional path to higher education and therefore colleges and universities must adapt to the needs of the modern learner.  We saw this during the pandemic: while freshman enrollment in higher education dropped 13% industry-wide, bootcamp enrollment grew 30%. The many alternatives to higher education keep pushing the status quo in how we serve modern learners. 

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40% of High School Students Will Lose Interest In A College After A Poor Website Experience

Laptop, Woman, Education, Study, YoungU.S.-based high school students say the website is their most influential resource when conducting college research, and 40% will lose interest in a college or university if the website is frustrating or disappointing.

This, according to “Personal Connection: How to Maximize Enrollment, Retention and Re-Engagement, a research paper developed by Modern Campus, the industry’s leading “student first” modern learner engagement platform.

The research comes from Ruffalo Noel Levitz’s E-Expectations Trend Report, an annual survey of high school students exploring their behaviors and experiences as they research prospective colleges. The 2021 edition highlights the rising importance of personalization in engaging prospective students—and the need for colleges and universities to stand out in the increasingly competitive postsecondary marketplace.

“Modern learners think and act like consumers, so it’s critical for colleges and universities to build websites, social media presences and outreach strategies that address their needs and interests,” said Peter DeVries, president and chief operating officer of Modern Campus. “Those that do will thrive. We know this because we see it in our customers every day—on average they grow annual revenue by 19% and enrollments by 14%.”

Like any customer in any industry, prospective students conducting their college research are primarily trying to understand how the institutions they are considering match their needs and expectations.

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