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Shaping the Future of Higher Education

Here are more highlights from a conversation between Andy Rosen, Chairman and CEO of Kaplan Inc., taken from an interview with Dr. Rod Berger, a partner at education and healthcare strategy firm Strategos Group. The full audio interview can be found here on the On Balance podcast. 


On the need for disruptive thinking

Any time you try to do something different, there are a lot of people who will say, “You’re trying to ruin education.” You need some people who are willing to say, “Well, I’m going to do it anyway. And I’m going to keep pushing, even against some of the tides, to do it, to prove that there’s a market demand, and that the outcomes are high quality.” Education tends to resist change, but if you keep on pounding away and prove the outcomes, you’ll get there eventually. But you have to have a long-term orientation to do that.

On early adoption of online learning

Back in the 90s, we were grinding it out building online programming for professional programs, for test prep programs – building technologies, processes and pedagogies even against withering criticism from essentially all of academia who said, “That’s a terrible idea, that doesn’t even count as education.” Eventually, we demonstrated enough market demand that more traditional universities started to get into online education and started to build some of their own capabilities. So when the pandemic hit, there was some expertise.

On the increasingly global nature of education

Education feels inherently local but when you have a digital education, it doesn’t matter where it comes from, as long as it’s high quality. American institutions assume that their competitors are the ones that they can see. And their competitors over the course of the next decade or two are going to be the ones they don’t necessarily see: Indian universities, Singaporean universities, Australian universities, or companies or providers who aren’t linked to universities at all.

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