Recent Study: Students Perceive Higher Education as Less Valuable

Available for Interviews: Mat Jacobson

Mat Jacobson is the Founder & CEO of the Ducere Global Business School, and as a thought leader on innovation within education, is creating some of the industry’s most innovative educational platforms and projects. He is a regular media contributor on topics of business, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and has appeared in articles including Wealth Creator, Marketing Magazine, Business First, Smart Magazine, Start-Up Smart, and Business Builders.

What Mat Jacobson can say in an interview on the New Study:

    • The pandemic has caused major upheavals across the country, as most institutions had to switch their educational operations to virtual ones.
    • Though the health crisis is being managed and controlled more with the increase in distribution and vaccination, a full economic recovery is slow and its negative effects are still being seen in the higher education arena.

Key Takeaways From New Study

    • Students believe the worst of the pandemic is over, but feel less optimistic about the economy.
    • Despite the positivity, students worry that online education degrades the value of their degree. Over half (56%) are concerned that their degree is less valuable because it was online.
    • As the pandemic progressed, more than 1,000 participants, nearly two-thirds of college students say higher education is not worth the cost.
    • While 85% of college students are likely to re-enroll in their current college for the coming fall semester, nearly one in five (18 percent) say that due to the pandemic they will definitely need more time to complete their degree.
    • While 60% of HS students said the pandemic had made no difference to their intention to enroll in college, a sizable 18% said the pandemic made them less likely to enroll.
    • On government policy: nearly half (47 %) of students chose to prioritize policies that can make higher education more affordable, a third (32%) wanted to prioritize policies that alleviate the student loan repayment. burden for borrowers, and one in ten (13%) would like to see policies that strengthen accountability measures at colleges and universities
    • Students biggest concerns now are centered on practical needs, cost, and the future of the economy.

The basis for an Alternative Approach toward higher Education

1. Online learning has been readily growing for the past two decades, but the pandemic has forced the entire system to rapidly adopt a seismic shift towards digital learning.

 2. Reconsidering college costs is a huge consequence of the times. As students and parents see more transparently, the disconnect between the theory taught and the skills needed in practice is more evident. This will likely force significant downward pressure on costs, as questions about the value of what is being taught increase.

 3. Flexibility for students has been forced upon the higher education sector through COVID. Students who never before considered remote learning, now realize firsthand, that they can learn anything they could have done on campus. In fact, online education provides greater opportunities for a variety of learning needs and styles—audible, visual, written, etc.

 4. Internationalization is another outcome. When considering a physical campus, location is typically a critical consideration, given a student will be living, socializing, and working there for years. But once the decision has been made to go digital, the whole world opens up, and opportunities for more degree options, new specializations, and a greater variety of pricing abound.

 5. Time to graduate is drastically cut shorter. A traditional college campus bachelor’s degree takes 5-6 years—way too long for most students, and far longer than international benchmarks. The extremely long timeframe is one of the key reasons some 37 million students started college and never completed it. Online degrees offer greater opportunities to accelerate studies to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in as little as half the time.

US colleges, in comparison to world-class international universities,  are 1000% more expensive, take twice as long to graduate, and require years of classes that have no relevance to a student’s career. Though some students worry that online learning can degrade the value of their degree, the global pandemic will open more and more students’ eyes to a world of smarter online alternatives—especially ones where hands-on and “real world” experiences are fostered.

Third Way Article / study:

One Year Later: COVID-19’s Impact on Current and Future College Students


Interview: Mat Jacobson

Mat Jacobson is the Founder of the Ducere Global Business School, which has been recognized by the State of California, the US Congress as well as numerous global awards for transforming access to higher education. He is a global leader in disrupting the education sector and has founded three education startups (The prior two were ultimately sold to publicly listed companies.).

As the founder of Ducere, Jacobson, together with hundreds of world leaders ranging from Presidents to heads of the UN and CIA and global companies, are transforming education to overcome systemic barriers to be relevant, applied, affordable, and accessible.

Jacobson is also a keynote speaker and has given talks on education innovation from Harvard University to European governments.

Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success in Media, Inc.

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