With the entire world being forced to adjust to the COVID-19 situation, one of the biggest challenges educational institutions had to face was how to organize online learning in a way that maintains a certain quality of education. In order to do so, many universities, colleges and different professional schools turned to OPM or online program management for help. Although trusting a third-party provider with their online sphere of education was perceived as stepping into new and uncharted territory for many of these higher-education institutions, OPM proved to be exceptionally beneficial to these institutions in general, as well as their staff and students. Here are some of the positive impacts that online program management has had on higher education.
Financial Benefit for the Institution
Although this may not seem logical at first, once you do some research and a deeper analysis of what an OPM can provide a higher-education institution with, you soon realize that this is a huge opportunity for the institution to actually make money. For example, if a college or a university recognizes the need for a new online study program, but they don’t already have that program developed or their staff trained for it, it will take them time and resources to actually launch the program in question. This can easily be bypassed by reaching out to an OPM, which can supply the institution with the exact expertise necessary for the required program, without wasting any time or burdening the institution’s staff with additional training to gain the necessary skill sets and experience for the work before them. In addition, it’s not uncommon for an OPM to accept the financial risk of starting a new online program, but for a share of the profit down the road.
When it comes to the types of programs they offer, the most reputable online program management providers invest a lot of time and effort into developing precisely the type of online programs that can meet the requirements of the developing job market. This entices OPMs to focus their programs on passing applicable knowledge down to students and that their courses are created for those careers that are in demand and hence profitable. Not only does this make these programs more attractive to students who want to be more certain they’ll find a job more easily once they finish a course, but it also contributes to the global economy. Programs that deliver particular skills that students need in order to perform well and be successful in what they choose as their vocation are something that benefits not only the higher-education institutions and potential students, but also their future employees and entire communities they’ll work in.
Recruitment and Market Research
Aside from program development, an online program management partner can also tackle the business aspects of a higher-education institution that the institution itself has had issues with, such as market research and recruitment. Namely, in order for an OPM to retain its reputation and keep its clients, they will be ready to do a thorough and continual market research, to follow the trends and make sure their programs are as appealing as they are relevant. Through this research, they’ll seek innovative and creative ways to adjust to students’ expectations and engagement in the programs of their choice. They will make smart and data-driven plans to maintain a certain standard and keep enrolling as many students as possible. OPMs are normally also willing and prepared to handle recruitment and student support, which is extremely important in the age when competition is fierce and students can choose an online program anywhere. It’s simple. An OPM wants a university or a college to enroll a higher number of students, as they sometimes get funded from the tuition those students pay. That’s why they’ll go out of their way to generate proper and effective recruitment, as well as student retention strategies for their partner institutions.
The positive impacts of OPMs aren’t only limited to the institutions they cooperate with. In fact, it’s crucial that students also have plenty of benefits from OPMs. One of these benefits is certainly the fact that remote learning allows people to study without having to move to another city or country. This means that adults of all ages can study, without being separated from their families or changing their lifestyle drastically. Aside from this being practical, it also saves students a lot of money that they would otherwise spend on accommodation or a daily commute. These advantages also apply to those people who are interested in getting a degree, whether they already have one or not, but who have a job, as they don’t have to give up their current working position in order to study. Plus, being able to study remotely opens a whole world of opportunities for those who can’t find the courses they’re interested in locally. Now, they don’t have to limit themselves to higher-education institutions around them, but can find those that cater to their talents and capacities, even if they’re located abroad. Finally, when taking an online course, it’s easy for students to get enough one-on-one time with their lecturers, so that they can discuss whatever it is they need help with or are interested in.
Various partnerships between higher-education institutions and online program management providers have already proven to be useful. However, as time goes by and these collaborations progress further, it’s safe to say that we can expect even more advantages and higher quality online programs in the future.
Suman(Kul Prasad) Pandit is a graduate from Tribhuvan University with four-year experience in corporate and start-up sectors in UK and USA. Being a responsible & sustainable business enthusiast he is dedicated to business education to solve problems in entrepreneurship and business growth.