2023 HigherEd Trends (and a Look Back at 2022)

2023 is almost here! Are you ready to tackle a new year and new HigherEd trends?Woman employee working at laptop taking notes on 2023 HigherEd Trends

2022 was a year of embracing change, settling into new workflows and routines, and dialing into strategic planning. But somehow, the year is already wrapping up and colleges and universities should be thinking about what’s on deck for the spring semester. Read on for a reflection on the biggest trends and challenges for HigherEd in 2022 and a look at the incoming 2023 HigherEd trends!


Looking back at 2022

Colleges and universities began 2022 in the midst of a three-year decline in enrollment, prompting creative conversations about the future of student success and the broader impact of HigherEd. Here at PeopleAdmin, we’re keeping an eye on the innovations coming out of community colleges, who faced some of the deepest declines in student enrollment.

Throughout the year, departments across campuses faced staffing issues due to the great resignation. Hiring and retention have not historically been a concern for higher education, but factors like salaries, hybrid and remote work, and public sentiment around HigherEd as a workplace means that attracting and retaining employees has become a top concern for many institutions. Our PeopleAdmin experts recommended digitization and our customers are embracing recruitment marketing to take their hiring practices to the next level.

At the start of 2022, many colleges and universities were still navigating their policies for remote and hybrid work. Many organizations waited until this past year to make final announcements about their return-to-office decisions. Some have taken the opportunity to expand their workforces across the country and the world, while some now offer in-office and remote jobs, and others have stuck with the traditional office model. HigherEd institutions, centered around campuses, have made varying decisions as well, with some determining that certain student- or faculty-facing roles require employee presence, and some offering flexibility in a variety of roles. Most institutions, whatever their hybrid policies, recognized that they needed to embrace technology and cross-campus digitization to enable better data analytics and reporting, better access to information and workflows, and more collaboration between departments.


Quote: The future of higher education is in flux, and strategic planning has never been more important.

What’s next? 2023 HigherEd trends to look out for

In 2023, HigherEd institutions should continue to watch trends in data and digitization. The future of higher education is in flux, and strategic planning has never been more important. Every department, administrator, and faculty member should have access to and an understanding of data, analytics, and insights in order to both make and defend data-driven decisions. A solid data analytics strategy is critical for any institution’s future—it can impact financial stability, student success, and every member of your institution, including faculty, staff, and institutional leadership. If your team hasn’t already examined your internal data flow and analytics tools, or is working to refine your analytics strategy, check out our recent e-book on Data Analytics and Insights or our recent webinar, Data Analytics and Insights: Fueling a Better Future for HigherEd.

Technology will also play a role in other challenges for HigherEd in 2023, including an increased focus on the student journey, include outcomes and well-being. To ensure that students are realizing the full benefits of their higher education experience—especially in a time when the cost of a degree is rising and public perceptions are low—it’s vital that your institution embraces modern teaching tools, integrated systems, and a culture of innovation.

As much as we’d like to say the hiring crisis and waves of resignations are a thing of the past, it’s clear that those challenges are not over. There is still high turnover in HigherEd, including in leadership positions. Some of that is thanks to burnout, some to salary challenges, and some due to the shift in how younger generations approach jobs and careers. Lack of career development is one of the top reasons employees leave an organization, second only to salary, and HigherEd roles often don’t have clear career growth paths.

Luckily, there are many ways to change up your recruitment and hiring approach, and there are also tactics (like better onboarding and professional development) that can help you keep the employees you have. Check out our guide, Using Recruitment Marketing to Hire Better and Faster, and our recent webinar, Navigating HigherEd Hiring and Retention, for tips and best practices to tackle this crucial challenge.


The future of HigherEdQuote: In 2023, we’ll see more institutions than ever leveling up their technology and breaking down data silos.

The future of higher education is data-driven, strategic, adaptable, and innovative. In 2023, we’ll see more institutions than ever leveling up their technology and breaking down data silos, making new connections, and deriving new insights about the student journey and faculty activity. We’re looking to community colleges for inspiration and expecting creative tactics from HR teams looking to hire top talent.

Looking for some tools for your institution? Schedule a demo with our experts and see what’s possible with PeopleAdmin!