Education and innovation consortium NMC’s 2015 Higher Education report points to this trend. From the inside, it can feel like massive effort is being exerted to shift these systems in order to remain competitive, but because most of the effort is not altering the fundamental structure and function, it often adds up to a deck chair exercise. That is a shocking amount of money, but when you learn that Coursera has over 35 million people registered as learners and launched 800 new courses last year alone, it becomes a bit easier to imagine where this value comes from. These online, mega-universities are growing at double digit annual rates and are already some of the largest institutions in the United States. The consensus is that getting a degree is still worth it. Dr. Clayton Christensen, professor at Harvard Business School, addresses the Future of State Universities in Dallas, Texas. Disruptive Innovation Needed in Higher Education 02/09/2013 12:47 pm ET Updated Apr 11, 2013 “Disruptive Innovation” is a buzz phrase that is running wild through the world of entrepreneurship these days. Universities have at least … In contrast, Idaho students enrolled in Western Governors has increased from a handful five years ago to over 2,000 students today. Just one example: Coursera is worth over a billion dollars. Online learning will become the norm; it will soon be cheaper and more effective than the traditional lecture hall experience. Increasing the synergistic relationship with the surrounding community infuses the design aspirations that underlie Arizona State University’s rise to distinction. Course Description. Disruptive Innovations in Higher Education New business models and technologies, transformative policy changes and other developments could lead to radical change in U.S. higher education. The first is a technology enabler. There are many interesting examples of this kind of disruption, but one we are all familiar with is the way that Netflix rapidly and radically altered the movie industry. Figure 2 illustrates how customers are distributed along different performance trajectories in terms of what they can absorb. Those connections will create a favorable feedback loop that builds career on-ramps for our students. According to Christensen’s disruptive innovation theory markets are disrupted when new entrants figure out an innovative way to provide a “simpler” product to a wider set of buyers at a more affordable price. Many are capitalized at hundreds of millions of dollars. This is the kind of tough decision universities will have to make moving forward. The reality is that no one really knows the formula needed to create the next generation thriving university, but a community and culture of experimentation can help us build that new and exciting future. Christensen argued that higher education is currently at the stage where outsiders are steadily making the incremental improvements, mostly in niche markets. There are Disruptive Innovators … “Mimicry” and “Distinction.”. Indeed, a core conclusion of Clayton Christenson’s disruption theory is that institutions that address the needs of “niche” student populations (rural, first generation, non-traditional) are developing nimbleness to better meet external challenges. When the established companies/organizations finally realize what is happening, their existing cultures and infrastructure hinder the needed pivot, and they are pushed to extinction. This report has not sought to study higher education to reach conclusions about higher education. Disruptive innovation. We should shed the idea that one size fits all, and should instead imagine how our institutions can provide a suite of educational pathways that bring value. 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