Posted by: crudbasher | January 7, 2014

My 2013 Predictions Revisited

I suppose before making predictions for 2014 I have to settle my account for 2013 right?

Here’s the full post for my 2013 predictions but I’ll summarize each below.

1. The fall class of college freshmen will be smaller than it was this year.

Result: Yep nailed that one.

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released today, college enrollment in fall 2012 plunged by half a million (467,000) from one year earlier. This decline, which includes both graduate and undergraduate enrollment, follows a period of substantial growth — 3.2 million — between 2006 and 2011. – source

2. Tuition prices will hit a ceiling.

Result: Yes but not everywhere. Ivy league is still commanding pretty much whatever price they want but others are feeling no more room to raise prices.

“Enough is enough,” says Anne Mariucci, a member of the Arizona Board of Regents, which for the first time in 20 years has frozen in-state tuition at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University after increases over the last five years of 84 and 96 percent, respectively.

Some private universities, too, have agreed to stop raising their tuition, or even cut it, after being alarmed to discover their enrollments starting to slip.source

3. There will be big labor problems between college professors and administrators.

Result: No

This one is hard to see I think because it’s in the best interests of all parties to keep such things quiet. Even so adjunct professors have been getting squeezed and are starting to make noises about forming unions. I think universities would react harshly to such a move. Even so, don’t misunderstand their not being big public problems this year. The conditions are getting worse and the pressure is still building up. Here’s an article about ending tenure, which I think is inevitable.

4. Outsourcing will come to colleges.

Result: Yes

It’s not huge yet but universities have been outsources to instructors and also pooling classes (you take a class at an affiliated university).

Virtually unheard of a decade ago, instructional outsourcing is sprouting on university campuses around the country.

“Given the significant reduction in state support for public education, compounded by the fact institutions need to maintain quality programs, we are going to see additional innovative attempts at partnerships that will address both issues of being able to provide cost-efficient programs that are high quality,” says Daniel Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.source

Add realtime voice translation to the mix and you can oursource to (cheap) instructors in other countries. Once you are learning online, it doesn’t matter how far away the teacher and students are.

5. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will really explode in popularity this year.

Result: No not really

Oh sure they are certainly getting popular but they are not really an alternative to universities yet. There have also been some failures.

One of the architects of the MOOC revolution has decided that the movement should go in a different direction. In a lengthy interview with Fast Company, Sebastian Thrun, the inventor of the MOOC platform Udacity, announced that he’s shelving his original goal to displace traditional higher education by delivering free online courses to millions of students worldwide. Instead, Udacity is moving towards offering credit-bearing, priced courses (likely smaller in size) that focus on technical, vocational skills.source

So does this means MOOCs are a failure? Not at all. They are still evolving rapidly. Give them a few more years and they will start to eat away at traditional university markets. Disruptive innovation happens on the edges first. Now MOOCs are moving to the edges.

Bonus prediction:

Apple will be perceived as being out of ideas this year causing its stock to drop a whole lot.

Just search for this on Google. There is certainly a lot of buzz about them being out of ideas and it’s a fact they haven’t launched a new product line since Steve Jobs passed away.

Still, I don’t count them out at all. They have a crapton (that’s a lot) of good people working there. We’ll just have to see if they are willing to take risks anymore.

Oh and their stock price?

It started the year at about $700, dropped to $400 and gradually rebounded to about $700 again. Was I right? Technically yes, it did drop a whole lot. 🙂 Right now I don’t believe the stock market because of the 3 trillion dollars of money the Federal Reserve has pumped into it.

So that’s the wrap up of last year’s predictions. I’ll do some predictions for this coming year soon.


  1. Crudbasher says :
    ” MOOCs, in a few years , they will start to eat away at traditional universities market ”

    That is my prediction as well. Not for all MOOCs but certainly edx will replace many traditional universities .

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