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Colleges are losing students. Is this an opportunity for growth for Coursera?

 Colleges are losing students.  Is this an opportunity for growth for Coursera?

Nowadays, colleges find it difficult to keep students passing through their doors. In what was described as the biggest decline in half a century, colleges in two years recorded losses of 5.1 percent or about 938,000 students, by significant estimateswhich researchers describe as “Terrible.”

For university leaders, this means fighting for the preservation of students. And part of that, some university leaders say, is to figure out how they can prove to students that investing in a diploma will lead to actual employment, especially for universities that may find it difficult to distinguish themselves by prestige.

For Coursera, an online learning platform and edtech “Unicorn”. went public last year, this may provide an opportunity to serve as an institutional bridge for some of these universities in the fight to stop bleeding. The company’s latest attempt today is its Career Academy for Institutes, a program that combines the company’s existing career certificates with some new offerings.

The academy is designed to build on Coursera’s business offerings by adding entry-level certificates from Meta – a company formerly known as Facebook – and IBM, as well as changing the user experience for its certificates to better show how they lead to work. It is sold in universities, businesses and governments as a way to help people join in-demand digital jobs and skills.

Critics see the change primarily as a repackaging, but Coursera executives argue that the Academy’s career offer could be a lifeline for universities trying to sell themselves to students in an increasingly competitive market. It is designed to link universities to industry requirements and make the certification experience “less scary” to help universities maintain student numbers, Coursera executives say.

Universities recognize the need for retraining and retraining, says Scott Shireman, world head of Coursera for Campus. But he argues that they often have no connection to the industry to really understand what employers are looking for when making hiring decisions. And students are less and less interested in bright sports facilities or gyms and more interested in finding a job, he adds.

Universities in Pilot

This is part of a pilot program that will run for six months, but which some university leaders have already adopted.

Certificates are a good “attachment” to some degree, an app that can help students stand out after they graduate, says Adam Fein, vice president of digital strategy and innovation at the University of North Texas, a state university that was part of the pilot Coursera program. The university, Fein notes, is already accepting certificates for enrollment in the undergraduate program at Coursera.

“I’m really interested in giving students options, and it’s a pretty inexpensive way for them to get some credentials in an industry that is recognized along with tried and true university credentials,” Fein says.

Others go a little further, enthusiastically saying that the model will change university education.

“In the future, I see the Career Academy replacing the textbook, allowing staff and faculty to use the Career Academy and its certifications in the same way they once used textbooks,” said Mark Rosenbaum, dean of the College of Business in Hawaii. University of the Pacific, a private university in Honolulu and Kaneoe.

The big picture, Rosenbaum says, is that certificates will help provide significant employment for university students after graduation, which is one of his main concerns.

This will be especially useful for international students, he adds, who may be returning to countries where his university’s brand is not very recognizable, but where a company like Google definitely has.

Responding to “So what?”

Entry level certificates are paying a lot of attention these days.

According to him, last year for the first time most of the new courses launched by Coursera were not from universities. analysis Dhaval Shah, founder of the MOOC Class Central discovery platform.

Shah, however, finds this week’s announcement more marketing than substantial. And edX, a competitor to Coursera acquired 2U last year, for many years offered microcredit programs. In fact, both companies have long been interested in training and retraining, analysts say.

But some observers say small changes may occur.

What’s new is the attempt to strengthen institutions – including universities – as a market for systematic training in materials, says Richard Garrett, chief researcher at the research and consulting firm Eduventures. This could represent untapped growth opportunities for Coursera, he adds.

The company recent quarterly results showed much faster business growth than consumer growth. There may be a story here that the real feature of these platforms is more related to companies, universities and governments than to individual students.

“But that obviously contradicts the way universities tend to do things,” he says.

He believes that this step has some force. But Gareth predicts that universities that aspire to be higher will not want to join the program, while schools that accept to be a regional player will feel less anxious about it.

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