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Leveraging tech for learning and college administration

University Business, January 2018
  • Significant technology investment areas anticipated for 2018
  • Statements campus tech leaders say will apply in 2018
Technology spending in 2018, compared to 2017

An increase in technology spending is the gift that about 4 in 10 campus technology administrators are unwrapping to start the new year. Sixteen percent of the 96 respondents to a UB survey, however, must deal with a decrease in spending.

The top area getting significant investment in 2018 is academic technology.

One respondent (from an institution with 10,000 to 15,000 students) noted that leveraging technology is certainly not just a tech leader’s domain but rather a must for all higher ed executives.

Survey Insight: Data driving campus leaders

Presidents, chancellors and provosts may need some guidance in 2018 on using technology to leverage data for identifying and solving problems—with 7 in 10 of these campus leaders (in a separate UB survey) saying the demands of their role would mean a greater emphasis on this area.

Source: UB survey; all numbers have been rounded

“We must surround academic teaching and learning with the utmost, smartest buildings and campuses,” he said. “Such can be accomplished only by the infusion of appropriate technologies to enhance academic content delivery activities.”

Ranking next as the most significant investment is network and data security. Although only 1 in 5 had been victim to a cyberattack in 2017, 95 percent say the possibility for one in 2018 is at least a modest concern.

More than 4 in 10 say it’s a huge concern.

A respondent from one institution pointed out that campus networks are “constantly probed and attacked,” but that “successful intrusion is a different story.” At his institution, which has more than 15,000 students, no denial of service or takeovers were experienced in 2017.

Survey Insight: Online learning explosion continues

In a separate UB survey of admissions, enrollment and retention administrators, 47 percent report that the population of students who learn primarily or exclusively online will increase in 2018.

Additional popular investment areas are institutional/enterprise software and cloud computing/storage.

In terms of online education programs, two-thirds of respondents’ colleges have plans to expand offerings in 2018. More than 4 in 10 are investing more in technology to enable flipped classrooms and distance learning. Forty-five percent of survey respondents are from institutions with less than 5,000 students, and 55 percent are at schools with more.

The greatest concentration of respondents was from colleges with more than 15,000 students.