The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated changes already underway in higher education, including a reduced pool of "traditional" students, an increasing societal need for lifelong credentialing and skilling, the rise of alternative education providers (such as private education companies, bootcamp providers and employers) and changing student expectations.
For many colleges and universities, succeeding in this context means both improving service to existing students as well as pivoting to serve new student segments across the learner lifetime. Doing this well means understanding learners’ varied journeys and motivations.
To help, Accenture conducted research on how colleges and universities can differentiate their approach to serving learners across a lifetime, inside and outside the classroom, to improve student satisfaction, experience, outcomes and equity.
In Summer 2021, we surveyed 6,500+ post-secondary US learners aged 16 to 65+. Our research went beyond most student surveys to include the population of "all learners"—that is, both current and prospective students, those seeking either academic degrees or professional certificates, and those attending or considering any type of post-secondary education provider.