How Universities And Colleges Are Changing Their Business Model

The world of education is constantly changing, and with the advent of digital technology, the value of universities and colleges is starting to be questioned. It is happening due to the fact that tuition fees are usually very high, and people do not always get the career prospects they want after graduating from their institution. Furthermore, there are lots of opportunities to get free education online, which is much more convenient for many students. Such a trend is posing a significant threat to the survival of many higher education institutions, and they have no other choice but to adapt their business models to face the challenges. 

What Is Happening?

The long-established business models that have been running for ages in colleges and universities are facing great challenges. With each upcoming year, fewer students can afford to get a higher education or are simply not willing to invest so much money into getting a degree. At the same time, considering the lowering demand, colleges and universities have no other choice but to raise tuition fees to cover all of their expenses. All higher education institutions are facing great competition, with each of them trying to recruit more students to keep functioning. To make matters worse, the demographic situation in the country is only fueling the problems as the number of high school students is gradually decreasing and is expected to get better only in 2024. As a result of such trends, public and private colleges and universities have to come up with new ideas on how to invite more students to join their circle. 

To find a way out of the situation, most institutions, including private establishments, have been increasing the number of scholarships and offering great discounts on their tuition fees. There are already lots of “free college programs” that aim at improving the situation and getting students interested in pursuing higher education. However, even with these adjustments, there are certain types of institutions, like religious and private high schools, that still report they have a declining number of graduates, which threatens the future of most colleges and universities in the USA. It is not only the financial challenge that is stopping students from entering colleges and universities, but also the fact that the very value of having a degree has been questioned as graduates complain about having scarce career prospects and large tuition debts in their bank accounts. 

What Is a Business Model?

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In simple terms, a business model is about the way one plans to make money based on their product. With a higher education institution, a business model would presuppose the return of investments they get by educating students. If you are a student, you might see your academic results as your “business” and your fellow students as your “competition” What do you do to overcome the competition? Exactly, you need to find ways to improve your academic outcomes, for example, by reaching out to and hiring a professional academic writer to help you out with your studies. This is how you make sure that you will be better than others, and your final results will be the highest in the group. This is something of a “business model” representation, even though it doesn’t really involve making money. 

In general terms, a business model requires one to consider their end customer, competition, as well as the values and behaviors of the two. A business model can show the strengths and weaknesses of a business, its dynamic growth, or stagnation in the face of challenges. With the aforementioned situation at hand, colleges and universities are facing low demand and high competition, which means that their current business models might not be enough to survive in this challenging market. They need to analyze their current situation and identify effective ways to improve it. It is crucial to come up with new ways to raise demand, popularize the very idea of getting a higher education degree and get local governments to provide financial or social support to the institutions that are at risk of shutting down. 

How Is Higher Education Business Model Changing?

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In their quest to address the challenges, colleges and universities are becoming more flexible with their business models. It is something like they are coming up with “new products” to offer to the target audience. To be more precise, it used to be a common practice among higher education institutions to have a narrow specialization. This would mean that a college that specializes in liberal arts would have a limited number of programs, all of which would focus on liberal arts. In turn, such a narrow specialization would narrow down the list of potential students who might be interested in the establishment. However, considering the current trends, more and more institutions are abandoning this model. They are starting to introduce a wide variety of studying programs, hoping to recruit more students, both local and foreign. They are no longer “staying in the lane,” but are rather working for quantity. 
Many institutions are already reconsidering their tuition fee systems and are thinking about ways to make their services more affordable to students around the globe. In particular, there are a lot of discounts on pre-professional programs and online courses. Some universities are also partnering with third parties, like online learning platforms, to make their studying programs available online and share revenue with the platforms that publish it. For example, among the online learning platforms that partner with universities and publish their courses online is the platform called edX, where one can even take a course at Harvard University and get a completion certificate for around $200. Often there is also the option of getting an online degree, which is usually much cheaper than actually attending the institution. And these are only a few ways higher education institutions are adapting their business models to the demands of the current market.

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