by Thu Pham / 11 minutes read

Five greatest mistakes in higher education COVID-19 strategy

There have been significant social and economic repercussions from the COVID-19 health catastrophe. Everyone is affected, but not equally. The pandemic highlights the fragilities and injustices in higher education around the world by escalating deep social rifts and enduring institutional inequalities. The sector may change as a result of COVID-19, achieving more impact and equity in teaching/learning, research/innovation, community service/engagement, and staff/student experience.

Today, OfficeHelps will show you how COVID-19 impacts higher education and five greatest mistakes in higher education COVID-19 strategy.

Five greatest mistakes in higher education COVID-19 strategy
Five greatest mistakes in higher education COVID-19 strategy

Importance Of Adhering To Best Practices For Marketing Higher Education

Marketing in higher education strategy's main goal is to increase enrollment, brand awareness, and prestige. When luring new students to the institution, effective marketing initiatives provide a sizable competitive edge and brand familiarity.

Teams are essentially able to target eligible customers, save expenses, maintain a competitive edge, and forge a firm brand identity thanks to effective techniques and best practices in higher education marketing.

Campaigns made possible by best practices provide marketers the chance to produce better content and pinpoint the target markets for that material. Marketing teams may offer great content to broader audiences across numerous platforms by putting the fundamental best practices in place.

Importance Of Adhering To Best Practices For Marketing Higher Education
Importance Of Adhering To Best Practices For Marketing Higher Education

Advantages of Using Best Practices in Higher Education Marketing

For several reasons, following marketing best practices in higher education campaigns can be advantageous. Securing a global audience and connecting with a global student population online is the first. Campaign metrics control also helps to reduce expenses, allowing marketers to get the most out of their resources.

When education providers adhere to crucial marketing best practices for higher education campaigns, they may remain competitive in the lead generation for the higher education market and have the chance to build a strong brand identity. Teams can also target more effective audiences who can later be turned into leads by implementing best practices across the marketing funnel.

Advantages of Using Best Practices in Higher Education Marketing
Advantages of Using Best Practices in Higher Education Marketing

Five greatest mistakes in higher education COVID-19 Strategy

1. Allowing the crisis reaction to overshadow the more audacious strategic actions that must be taken immediately to secure crisis recovery

Ask any college or university administrator how they are handling COVID-19, and many will detail the many operational choices they have made on their priorities for this week, the next and the month after. It's a practice in multitasking and finishing tasks. This task is challenging, but the issue is that attention is being diverted from longer-term planning because of the daily crisis reaction. The "after" cannot wait in a protracted crisis, especially given the higher education strategic threats we face.

The current challenges in the economy and public health are primarily just amplifying pre-existing patterns. Colleges and universities were dealing with the increased local competition before we even heard of COVID-19. They were also concerned about student and family financial ability, needed to do more to improve career outcomes, working to close access and achievement gaps, and sought to develop more adaptable, workforce-oriented programs to meet the needs of non-traditional students and adult students. Thus, strategic higher education strategies are still pointing in the right direction.

Crisis mistake (Source: Internet)
Crisis mistake (Source: Internet)

2. Supposing that there is a fall scenario where student achievement can be ensured without significantly improving digital skills

The phrase "remote instruction" has been used in education to describe how swiftly relocated classes as part of emergency management are not the same as online courses intentionally established with more significant time and forethought.

The strict planning process of more intentionally designing a virtual student experience is being put off for many institutions while they wait for public health information to become more specific. We must move toward a higher caliber online experience regarding learning and student services. How can we foster a sense of belonging and community for first-year students who won't have benefited from a pre-COVID-19 campus experience? How are we helping students enter a competitive job market with virtual career services?

Higher education and institutions find that creating an effective online learning environment calls for much more than simply turning a switch. The variety of problems associated with large-scale online migration, from evaluating student learning to offering virtual jobs and experiential learning possibilities, caught a lot of people off guard. Nonetheless, few institutions have developed an extensive plan for summer course migration, including how to build the wraparound services necessary for success and results, despite the inevitable use of online learning throughout the rest of the academic year.

Institutions are now working to assure accessibility and accommodations for compliance and equitable grounds, even though the Department of Education loosened its rules during the emergency transition. All of this will require more support for instructional design.

Distance learning can have unique advantages for institutional equity and outcomes goals when appropriately used, but this won't happen automatically. Contrarily, many institutions are concerned that distance learning is widening achievement discrepancies.

Mistake 2 (Source: Internet)
Mistake 2 (Source: Internet)

3. Too nearly resembling the Great Recession's strategy

The opportunity cost of pursuing a four-year degree outweighs lifetime earning potential for many of these students' economic realities, which has caused concern among higher education institutions that enroll large numbers of low-income and first-generation students, putting the rate of these students enrolling in college in jeopardy. Low-income households are disproportionately affected by the current crisis, and these kids are likelier to lose it before the autumn.

Even those with finances are not guaranteed, as it is uncertain if students will choose to put off starting college or enroll in a nearby, less expensive university. Schools that rely heavily on students from outside the area must prepare for parents who may be less willing to send their children "go to college" or pay full freight for an online simulation of the anticipated residential experience. Concerns about pupils being far from home if they or their parents become ill are raised by the high chance of an autumn virus returning. Urban centers could frighten students and their parents.

After the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) decided last fall to permit institutions to more aggressively recruit students who have committed to or are enrolled at another college or university, higher education was already struggling to comprehend how quickly the competitive landscape might shift as a result. Before COVID-19, most teams concentrated on defensive tactics meant to fight off competition.

The change to more aggressive methods is underway more quickly than first anticipated. Universities are already debating how to recruit nearby students who change their minds about attending an out-of-state university as initially intended. Meanwhile, we expect that discounting conflicts will escalate, endangering net tuition revenue even more.

Mistake 3
Mistake 3 (Source: Internet)

4. Ignoring the fact that most higher education is already falling behind in terms of developing plans to attract non-traditional enrollments

Colleges and universities already relied on adult and professional programs before the crisis to make up for the drop in undergraduate enrollments. Still, they had trouble expanding their market share in a crowded sector.

With COVID-19, adult, and professional programs will become even more hyper-local, similar to undergraduate programs. Many boards and stakeholders will unavoidably hope that introducing new online programs can assist schools in eluding local destiny given the current focus on distant instruction. Institutions must be realistic about their ability to go beyond their area. Five of the seven institutions - Southern New Hampshire University, Western Governors University, Liberty University, and various for-profit colleges - are already home to one in five online graduate students. 

Large marketing budgets and the capacity to reinvest in recruiting and online student experience in ways smaller schools cannot are advantages for these universities. Furthermore, traditionally online and adult-serving schools have more capacity to increase future efforts of higher education while the shift to remote education overburdens other institutions.

Mistake 4
Mistake 4

5. Separating judgments about investments and cost containment

Colleges and universities must determine how to cover the crisis's unexpected costs while planning for future strains on their budget models. As a result, most higher education have started the cost-cutting challenge, focusing initially on non-personnel costs before moving on to personnel considerations.

Cost reduction efforts alone cannot make up for lost tuition revenue in the higher education industry because of its high fixed costs. Nonetheless, the common belief is that cutting costs as a first line of defense will buy time for a more intense, albeit typically separate, focus on revenues.

Even in normal times, according to EAB research, labor cost reductions frequently fail to produce the desired savings. Two-thirds of institutions that reduce headcount see labor costs rise more quickly in the three years after the decrease than in the three years before the drop. While many institutions won't be able to avoid it, they must consider staff costs in light of the requirement for strategic investments.

Mistake 5
Mistake 5 (Source: Internet)

The tunnel's lights

Despite the inconveniences and additional emotional strains the COVID-19 pandemic inflicted on students and higher education, there have been some positive effects. We focus on the emotional benefits we felt during this time rather than the educational advantages of technology, asynchronous learning, or other pedagogical modifications.

Students and faculty members bonded like teammates in the spring of 2020. We struggled with the technology needed for remote instruction, our students struggled with the technology, and we all learned it together. When pets, children, and spouses visited our home offices, our students loved seeing us get rattled, because it reminded them of our humanity. They started sharing their pets on screen, and everyone enjoyed learning more about one another. Students also shared the stresses of their family situations. We made as many adjustments as possible to help them get through each semester, including changing deadlines, amending or canceling assignments, and simply listening to them.

Developing deeper connections with students and coworkers takes time and effort, but it matters. It has the potential to significantly alter postsecondary teaching and learning by assisting STEM instructors and their students in overcoming the pandemic's numerous setbacks.

The tunnel's lights (Source: Internet)
The tunnel's lights (Source: Internet)

Getting ready for what will stick on the other side!

Even when higher education switches back to being largely residential, some of the best aspects of the "virtual" student experience should continue to encourage advancements in education and the student experience. The status of higher education has historically been at its highest during periods of significant societal change, and as a sector, we have shifted when society has needed us. Any college or university has experienced evolution throughout its history, just as the community it serves. It won't be simple to manage crisis response and guide critical strategic pivots simultaneously, but doing so will help institutions gain strength and focus on the other side.

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Written by

Thu Pham

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Though my main major is Economic law, I have an interest in writing. Doing this job not only helps me to fulfill my writing hobby in my free time but also provides useful knowledge for my field of study. Besides, I usually spend my free time hanging out with friends to cheer myself up and make good memories in life.

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