The potential lasting effects of the pandemic ‘loomed large’ in the trend selection this year emphasizing that although it remains to be seen whether the transformations of the past year will persist into the future, ‘it isn't hard to imagine that higher education may never be the same in some important ways (good or bad).’

In the realm of technology in particular, it's clear that the pandemic-induced shift to remote learning has dominated the trend landscape. The top three technological trends identified are:

Widespread adoption of hybrid learning models
It was noted that adoption of blended or hybrid models has accelerated over the last year. Not only have faculty and students discovered and become attached to new ways of engaging with one another, the flexibility of being able to move between remote and in-person experiences "will help institutions minimalize disruption and ensure continuity of course delivery through future crises."

Increased use of learning technologies
The pandemic has brought new and existing learning tools into the mainstream. "Institutions and instructors previously resistant or indifferent to tools such as videoconferencing, team-based platforms, and virtual classrooms have come to rely on those tools as essential ingredients in their work," reports pointed out. Even wider adoption can be expected in the road ahead.

Online faculty development
The adoption of new technologies brings with it the need for faculty buy-in, training and support. "Ongoing investments in faculty development, including remote capabilities for instructional design and technology support, will be needed to ensure faculty skills and literacy keep pace with ongoing technology advancements."

The top trends that were identified in the space of education are:


Remote work/learning;

Widening of the digital divide; and

Mental health issues.


Decreasing higher education funding;

Demand for new/different workforce skills; and

Uncertainty in economic models.


Climate change;

Reduction in work travel; and

Sustainable development.


Increase in online globalization;

Rise of nationalism; and

Public funding for higher education.

(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published in The original article can be found at