The First 1-Million Student University

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Brandon Busteed, President of University Partners and Global Head of Learn-Work Innovation at Kaplan, joined the podcast to postulate how higher ed gets to its first 1-million student university, and the perceived brand roadblocks in the way.

The elite universities are actually atmore risk than anybody thinks there at risk, one for ultimately beingconsidered country clubs more than institutions of higher education andthat's because they disproportionately serve students and families from thehighest income levels. In the United States. They do a very poor job inrolling from the bottom quintyle you're. Listening to enrollment growth,university from helics education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Romant at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh endromant growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show. Welcome back to Enroman growtsuniversity, the proud number of the connect Edu podcast network, I'm EricWolson with helics education and we're here today with Brandon Bustide,president of university partners and global head of learnd work. Innovationat Caplin Brandon Welcome. This show please to be with you 'm. Lookingforward to our conversation. Thank you ar looking forward as well talking otoday about how higher it gets to its first one million student university.But before we dig in, can you get the listeners a little bit of background onboth Caplin and your rule? There sure most people, of course know the Capelname and in many situations that's because they went through some sort ofa test. PRAP OR INDUSTRY RECOGNIZE CREDENTIAL EXAM Press program thatwe've done, but we are global and highly diversified educationorganization that does substantial work with universitieshere in the US and around the globe and large employers and, in fact, abouthalf of all of our operations are dedicated to supporting universitypartners that we work with and itcrosses things that diverseesinternational student recruitment and other revenue and mission drivenstrateg such a online degree and nondegree programs and various work.Readiness Initiatives that were...

...supporting the universities with aswell awesome brandon to kick us off. I'm following up on a wonderfuleditorial. You Rote for forbs recently that I really really wanted to have youon the show to talk more about, maybe start off this conversation with thisfoundation. Why don't? We already have a one million student university inhigh red yet well. I would argue that we're on our way to that- or at leastsome institutions are and those with the right ambition and drive a and youknow kind of go toward that could get there right. We also know that,although we're not exactly talking about universities, there are examplesout there of massively scaled educational entities. Moovs are one ofthose examples. The massive open online courses Corsara, for example, which isgetting ready to go public, has announced they have some seventy sixmillion learners registered on their platform. So I understand course thereis not university, but there's you know an entity. That's got to the scale ofsomdseventy six million learners. We've had universities that have gotten youknow substantially towards this kind of size at its peak in two thousand andten University of Phoenix, for example, boasted about four hunred and sixtythousand students and then, of course, there's public colleges, N Universitysystems that are out there, some of which have well over a million studentsif you aggregate that across the system. So there's certainly examples that, are,you know, barking up the tree of a quote: Unquote: University of a millionstudents, but in the context of the article I wrote about, if you tate oneof our elite brand institutions, which are some of the most recognized andvaluable brands in the world, even more valuable than brand like coca cola orGoogle, Fay or institution that have an opportunity to enroll in various forms,a million students for sure yeah. So you help paing a picture for us of whatthis looks like Brandon is someone who...

...got there undergrad degree in Graddegree from different subtenzand student institutions. What does that?One million tuent university look like I mean how big of a campus we'retalking about here. Brandon yeah, so one of the obvious points we'renotwe're not talking about just the physical campus, so take my Omamater TuUniversity in Durham North Carolina, there's about six housand andundergraduate students who actually live in Durham. I'm not talking about aDuke University of a million students where all million of them are living insome physical capacity and terhum. Some percentage may continue to obviously anIT might be a small number like the six thousand o there now, but, as you know,University of a million students in the future, especially coming out of covidin this pandemic disruption, is going to be a virtual university. So theremay certainly be satellite and ground facilities in different locationseither in the country or around the world, but primarily a million studeuniversity is going to look like one that has a substantial virtual campus,meaning fully online programs, a Syncrenas, synchroniss, hibrid options,so it'll be substantially filled out by students who are either entirely onlinelearners or hybrid online learners and some form. That's that's how we get toa university of a million students in this day and age. Ah, a D: Let's talkbeyond modality, so with non tritional students in particular, wishing thisgrowing growing trand for you know not degree centric programs in this onemillion student theorital university. How many of these students do youbelieve would be earning traditional degrees at this university versus otherkinds of credentials? Yeah. We take a step back and look at e. The trends thelast ten consecutive years, degrees seeking enrollment in US colleges anduniversities, has been on the DECLIN. We've now lost more than two point:five million students enrolled in degree seeking program since it's peaks.That's so that's the raw number right, but it's ten consecutive years ofdecline, and there are forecasts...

...because of population ag demographicsand other factors that suggestit could be another ten years of decline. Sofrom a degreaseing perspective, US higher education is in decline could bein decline for an other decade. What is growing in US higher education areenrolments in nondegree, shorter term educational opportunities, many ofwhich are aligned to reskilling and upskilling initiatives for people whowant to improve their economic outcomes on life, get a better job right. Socertainly, as we think about it university of a million students, thereare a lot of ways to break that down sure a certain percentage of thatmillion. Let's just make it up, a third might be degrees seeking students ateither an associate bachelor masters level or even more and and certainlythere's going to be, a substantial percentage who are coming in and out ofshorter form, educational opportunities, some of which could be for just thegeneral purpose of lifelong learning. They just want the intellectualfulfilment and stimulation, but most of them are going to be about realaccountability. Outcomes are looking for. I want to make more money. I wantto get this promotion. I want to change careers right, so those are all thingsthat could come in many different forms: Certificate program. Sure industryrecognize predentials. Definitely what I call new collar apprenticeship, typeprograms where universities Coul play a significant role there. So there's alot of different ways to kind of pizzas together and include some of the othertrends that we're saeing right now, large growth in bootcamp type offeringso all of that right still qualifies in my book as a student now som ar degreespeaking some are you know, students that you wuld qualify in different ways,but the fundamental point here is how many learners are we serving rightthrough our brand and and what is the value of that learning that we'reproviding? We could easily see...

...institutions get to a million studentenrolment if you take that broad view of it for sure. Let's talk about thebrand fear of going open access enough to be able to get to a million students,let's take your Almamata, for example. Brandon. So would your degree from Dukemean the same thing if some of Duke's students are getting their degree orother credential online through the course thera platform for five thousanddollars? Well, so ' Tok a couple examples and I'll answer your questionabout you know my view of a duke or you know my own view of the value. I degreetar with an Arizona State University Right, Arizona, State University hasbecome. I would artue one of the elite institutions of higher education, notbecause of their selectivity, but many people have heard present MichaelProdas. He Talke about this- that they define themselves not by how manystudents they turn away, but by how many students they serve and thatstrategy, along with all of the various ways that they've driven inovasionwithin the a issue system, has made them in a leag univers, live by way ofhow recognized their Brandar is. You know, they've been named the mostinnovatede university in the country, for I don't know how many years runningso that strategy of growing the institution has made it a moreprominent institution. There's no doubt in my mind that it's also made thedegree of somebody who holds an Arizona State University degree, more valuable,not just the ones who are getting them now, but those whove got it. Thirtyyears ago, before a issue became such a prominent brand, not just in thenational landscape but internationally as well. You look at institutions likeWestern governors in southern New Hampshire, universites ere institutionseither didn't exist, orwere unheard of twenty years ago and now they're amongthe most prominantly known institutions in the country, again, they're notthought of as elite from kind of a selectivity perspective, but they areamong the most recognized brands and highered because they have grownbecause they have tried to enroll in...

...serve or students and do so indifferent ways. So, let's go back to a Duke University right. You know I'vemade this distinction that I don't think the duke is ever going to becomea million students in Duram right. There is still going to be a DukeUniversity of a residential experience for traditionally aeeighteen to twentytwo year old to value deeply beyond campus residential experience and allthe things that come with it rightbaty think about it. Already. There's twocourses on Corsara just like there are harper courses and MIT coursis on boththe Corsaran EDX platforms and some of those courses have been taken by tensof thousands and in some cases, even billions of students. So we're alreadyat a place er. At least at a course level, there are millions of studentstaking courses from these elitedstitutions. Ask a simple question:Does anybody think that the brand of a duke or a Harvard has been hurt becausethey put some of their courses on an EDX or a Corsara? Definitely not ifanything, it's improved in grown the brand visibility non when it comes togetting a degree think about it in a simple way, there's two ways I couldget a bachelor's degree from Duke University. One is the traditional waythat exists now on campus and there's only six thousand feet for thosestudents. Okay, that's very selective, it's very elite, but I could alsochoose because of various reasons I don't want to leave my country travelto go abroad to study. I don't have the money to live physically on Tampus ItuUniversity, but if I could do a Bachlor's degree in certain programsfrom to conversity entirely online if to for to make those degrees much moreaffordable in terms of the price point now, you've got entirely differentmarket of students right. These are not going to be the same students thatoverlap with the ones who desperately want beyond campus residentialexperience. Oh, but by the way, you could still have the same exactcriteria for admissions. You know...

...people think Oh Jeez, you know you knowhow could you serve a million students? The only way you do, that is bylowering the academic standards of these institutions. Let me take a stepback and just give everybody. The global number here, there's about sevenbillion people on the planet give her take, and I lookd this up the averageIQ of a Harvard student, for example. People have actually done studies onthat is about honred, an forty five right hundred and forty five about theaverage IC of a Harvau which is considered genius level right in theseratings. Now, there's only about one out of seven hundred ND fifty peoplewho have an Iq of a hundred and forty five, but if you multiply that acrossthe seven billion global planet population, it means that about tenmillion people have an Iq to qualify at a Harvard Level Iq te million peoplearound the globe. That is a huge number right, so so do I think we'd actuallyhave to lower academic standards to reach a Harvard or Duke of a million. Ido not beautiful Defense Brend, and I really really like it, but because ofthis brand fear that you can so beautifully rebebble against and otherreasons. Do you think this is why, or were one of the reasons why GoogleAmazon may likely be quicker to get to a million students faster than Harbardoes paster than Du Cor? Others do yeah, no there's a real potential that you'restarting to see it already. You know the Google certifiec certificate thatare being offerd and it's interesting. One of the other articles I wrote onfours, maybe a year and a half ago now was from some research that I did thatwas was fascinating and that parents Wen asked what they would prefer as apath to a good job for their child either you know a Harvard degree or aninternship, AF Google. The majority would take an internship at Google overthe Harvar degree. Now that tells you a couple fascinating things. googlesbrand is as strong or maybe slightly...

...stronger than Harvards, because you askyourself inquestion back this up. Why do I want my kid to go to Harvor? Whydo I want them to go to Ineledu University proceuniversity? Well,there's a few reasons, but one is to get a job at an lite employer right. SoI wanted to go to Harbard so that they can get a great job at Google or kindyor whatever inse. Your name of you know a top brand payer, so ha the fascatingpoint about that data was that yes, if poogle started to offer internshipswhere parents had to pay to get their kid in internship, I bet it would be anincredible business for Google, because there would be a lot of people whowould pay for that. So to to your point, Google, brand and Amazon brands. Ifthey really become a pathway to get people educated or prepared for reallywell paying jobs, they are going to become the equivalent of prestigiousuniversities. They may circumnavigate the procedus universities or start todo partnerships with them and I'm pretty sure, Scott Gallaway. That thenY, you, professor who's, very provocative on these points, has talkedabout this, that you know that you're going to see a Google University and itmade partner with Google Harvard or google mit or Google Duke Right. Wecould see those kinds of things. But to answer your question, I think it's avery good one. You know the elite. Universities are actually at more riskthan anybody thinks there at risk, one for ultimately being considered countryclubs more than institutions of higher education and that's because theydisproportionately serve students and families from the highest income levels.In the United States. They do a very poor job in rolling from the bottomquintile, for example, which across the Ivy League only three point. Eightpercent of the students in the entire Ivy League come from the bottomquintyle sociaconomically right. So that's a real challenge. They run therisk of being considered more of a country club than an elite institutionof Higher Ed, and then you know you...

...have the the idea here that topemployer brands right may start to create very effective pathways whereyou know eager bever, students who aren't interested in racking updebtjust want to get in the workplace, faster, etc. They literally may take adifferent rout than the the traditional college route. So there's someinteresting things out there for sure some interesting things out there forsure, and you are one of them. Brandan love your thoughts and this any finalnext teps advice for institutions who are trying to figure out. How do Iscale? Who Do I partner with? How do I you know, embrace technologies of scale,but I'm scared about losing my brand. How do I navigate that next step? Well,there's a couple things obviously brand matters and you want to protect a brand.You want to defend a brand. I mean those things. I appreciate very much,but I think there's a big difference between thinking about. Okay is ourbrand simply about selectivity and if it's activity, why can't we scale withthat buactivity? Go to my global data right, there's ten million people whohave an it to get into a Harvard right now they might not all be academicallyprepared, but so why should that be an issue? Why wouldn't I an leadinstitution start to offer preparatory programs for those people who have theintellectual capability and horse power to do it? That's not a down brand move,that is a fissiont expansion opportunity that the world would bethrilled to see right. So I think it's more about thinking about missionimpact and worrying about brand erosion and I'll go back to an interestingpersonal story. You know we used to live in the Boston area and we had anopeir one year who was from Ukrain. We lived in Sherban Massachusetts, whichwas quite a hall from Cambridge Right. Ye had to take a couple different. Youknow a train to the metro, switch Metros, etc. The T is what it's calledin Boston, but anyway, she instead of going to Framingham state which hadEnglish language courses right down. The street from US she chose to go toHarvord extension school to take...

English language courses and sheliterally took an hour and twenty minutes to get to Harvard to do thisand Harvard extension. School has been around for ages, but, like that's anexample, Harvard extension school hasn't denegrated the harvor brand inany way. But this you know this young person from you prayne would take anhour and fifteen minutes to get two in another hour. Fifty minutes to get backjust to take English language courses at a place called Harvard right, eventhough she could have done it right down the street at Framingham State.That's, ultimately what we're talking about here, Brandon thanks! So much ofyour time today, what's the best place for listeners to connect with you ifthey have any followup questions, yeah I mean happy to you, know: Connect withfolks spend a lot of time. You know having dialogic live dialogue on linkein. I certainly you know, connect with me on Linkin and those who want toreach me directly. It's brandon dot, bus deed bufteed at Caplincom, and I'mhappy to have folks reach out to me directly awesome thanks. So much forjoining us today, Brandon. Thank there good placeo talk with a great questionattracting today's new post. Traditional learners means adopting newenrolmant strategies. Heliks educations data driven enterprise, wide approachto enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universitiesthrive in this new education, landscape and Helix has just published the secondedition of their enrollment growth playbook, with fifty percent brand newcontent on how institutions cansolve today's most pressing enrolmant growthchallenges download it today for free at Helocks, Educationcom playbook you've been listening to enromentgrowth university from helics education to ensure that you never miss anepisode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thankyou so much for listening until next time.

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