Hanover Research Releases 2017 Industry Trend Report for Higher Education

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April 6, 2017

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIAHanover Research (Hanover), a leading provider of market intelligence and related analytics, has released its second annual Higher Education Industry Trend Report. The report analyzes more than 800 research projects completed in 2016 on behalf of more than 300 higher education institutions to predict the top research trends for 2017.

“Last year, Hanover completed custom research projects for public, private, and two-year institutions of all sizes, affording us a unique insight into the concerns and priorities facing these organizations,” said Anil Prahlad, chief content officer, Hanover Research. “Our most recent analysis revealed many pressing challenges for higher education institutions including continued scrutiny on costs, changing demographics within student populations, and an uncertain funding landscape.”

Key trends forecasted in the report include:

  • Traditional higher education institutions expand their micro-credential offerings.
  • Higher education institutions employ diverse strategies to combat declining enrollments.
  • Reductions in funding for science and engineering likely to continue.
  • Colleges strive to develop and improve quality of online programs.
  • Pressure mounts to measure and communicate the value of higher education.

The analysis also showed indications that the topmost priority for institutions is expanding and aligning program portfolios to meet student and industry demand.  “Our analysis revealed that institutions are reacting to a new and challenging environment by focusing efforts on diversifying their program offerings, experimenting with new teaching methods, and emphasizing the value of higher education to stakeholders to make themselves more competitive,” said Prahlad.

Findings related to program portfolio enhancement include:

  • Fifty-three percent of all higher education research studies focused on the creation or review of academic programs.
  • The most common research request from institutions in 2016 concerned New Program Development, which helps institutions identify, explore, and develop new academic offerings to attract prospective students, totaling 40 percent of all requests.
  • Nearly one in five New Program Development projects focused on identifying high-demand programs that could be delivered in alternative formats such as online or blended offerings to expand the geographic footprint and enroll a growing number of students.

“We are seeing many higher education institutions embrace creative and non-traditional approaches to diversify their offerings and remain competitive. Everyone is competing for ‘value’ right now and you have to know what your meaningful outcomes are in a clear and tangible way for students to become more attracted and believe they will be successful. However, at the same time, there’s a real pressure to be cost conscious and ensure that your decisions are driven by data – institutions simply cannot afford to make a mistake,” said Sid Phillips, chief growth officer, Hanover Research. “There has been an institutional shift across many presidents, provosts, vice presidents, and deans to base more decisions on market data or feedback gathered directly from prospective students or alumni rather than the status quo or someone’s hunch. Our trend report provides an additional layer of key insights for institutions to reference as they consider their strategic planning and how best to navigate new challenges, take calculated risks, and make better decisions.”

To access the 2017 Higher Education Industry Trend Report, click here.


About Hanover Research:

Founded in 2003, Hanover Research is a global research and analytics firm that delivers market intelligence through a fixed-fee model to more than 1,000 clients across all sectors. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, Hanover employs high-caliber market researchers, analysts, and account professionals to provide a service that is revolutionary in its combination of flexibility and affordability. Hanover was named a Top 50 Market Research Firm by the American Marketing Association in 2015 and 2016, and a Washington Business Journal Top 50 Fastest Growing Company in 2014 and 2015. To learn more about Hanover Research, visit www.hanoverresearch.com.

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