The higher education sector had multiple trends arise in 2014. TCPA regulations, compliance, transparency, online education and technology were hot topics throughout the year that made significant impressions on the marketplace.
In 2012, the Federal Communications Commission ruled to issue new rules and regulations within the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The new changes, effective October 2013, required companies to obtain prior express written consent before making autodialed telemarketing calls or sending text messages for marketing purposes. This new ruling presented some obstacles for companies within the higher education industry, as the lead generation process had to be revised from top to bottom. Some corporations saw fallout over the past year from an inability to comply with the new regulations, but many companies saw the changes as an opportunity to improve current business practices and increase transparency in the industry.
In periods of new legislation, such as the TCPA revisions, transparency becomes a central part of daily conversations. While many viewed transparency as another buzzword, we know that it can be improved upon by providing accurate information to consumers, clients and partners. When everyone is transparent, problems are solved faster, campaigns are easier to manage and higher performance levels emerge. In the higher education industry specifically, schools and inquiry generation partners need to work together to ensure that potential students are fully aware of the process of finding and enrolling in a school.
Regulations have increased over the past year, and the higher education industry has seen multiple companies face legal consequences as a result of non-compliance. Organizations are learning to adapt and apply new procedures quickly in order to avoid legal action and maintain trusting business relationships. Compliance also goes beyond cooperating with the law – it includes being proactive and staying aware of the constantly changing regulations. Compliance will continue to be a concern and priority for the industry.
Online Education & Technology
Although online education is not a new industry topic, it has remained a topic trend throughout 2014. Online education, along with its technical advances, has been recognized for its continued growth and improvement over the past years. It has completely transformed how students learn and interact, and the emergence of MOOCs (massive open online courses) has altered how students think about higher education. More and more schools are rebuilding their websites and creating apps in order to make technology student friendly. As education and technology continue to merge together, there will continue to be advances in the academic sphere.