Clearly, the whole world is facing plenty of challenges in 2021. They are variable and constantly changing, with new ones emerging almost every day. The humanity needs to address those in a proper manner, but to do that, we need to understand what those challenges are. We can see that there are many such in the field of education and the higher education is facing multiple problems. But what are they after all?

The Demand for Online Learning

With the whole pandemic placing various obstacles in front of the world, universities had to switch to digital learning. That is done via different platforms and software. But many professors and students are facing problems using those. The teaching is now adapted to the new age of digital learning and digital strategies are required to develop in merely couple of months so that students won’t be left behind.

This was basically an overnight change from in-person to online classes. This demanded a radical transformation in the type of teaching. Now professors need to use software, create multiple presentations, deliver lessons via online platforms. This all needs different strategies in order for universities to ensure that each student is receiving top education.

Now there are various questions that higher education needs to answer. One of them is what will have to be taught online and what should be delivered in-person. A second one is what systems need to be digitalized. Also, how should universities address the necessity for teacher training? Those are all things that should be answered in 2021.

Social Inequality

As we all understand, there is a deep-rooted social inequality in the society. This is a major problem that we are facing constantly. But online learning only lifted the curtain to show how huge is the inequality. Some students are having troubles finding the necessary equipment that should be used for the online classes. This is evident both in schools, and in universities.

Higher education is expensive, that is something we should admit. Plenty of students are having enormous debts that cover the taxes. But now they also need to provide themselves with the hardware that is needed so that they can participate in the online classes.

Enrollment Troubles

For many universities enrollment is a major trouble in 2020 and 2021. There is a decline in the applications to higher education institutions. The debate of what value college and university education holds is continuing even harder for the last years. The institutions will need to find new recruitment strategies in order to promote the benefits that higher education gives to graduates. That will require marketing strategies, as well as a new approach to recruitment of students.

The decline in enrollment can be seen in international students, as well. Fewer international candidates are applying to US colleges and universities.

Burnout Among College and University Professionals

With the introduction of online learning the demand towards professionals that work in colleges and universities is growing.

Now they need to learn how to transfer to a digital type of teaching. They also need to prepare for longer hours and the rate of burnout may grow bigger. That is an issue that should be addressed before it arises for otherwise there would be no professionals left to do their job in the field of higher education.

Online Resources

There are various online resources, such as the ones listed here. But they are not enough for the demand that is rising with the transition to digital learning methods. Now students need plenty of sources to browse information from. Also, they require new technologies and techniques that can provide them with all the necessities that are needed for the digital education.

Sure, a lot of information can be found online. Also, there are many software products – programs, platforms, etc. But they cannot satisfy each and every need that students find themselves facing.


Funding is also a growing problem in the college and university world. There will be troubles with funding for research that may distort the distribution of money among universities, thus, lowering down the options of institutions that are not on the top of the research programs. This may lead to a disparity among the various colleges and universities, making it harder for researchers to develop new discoveries.

This is a growing problem, especially with the prices going up every year. The governmental funding may come short for many institutions and this may lower down the chances for promoting innovations.


Those are, of course, not the only troubles that may lead to problems for higher education institutions. Sure, there are also plenty of new trends that will probably boost innovations in education all over the world. The global situation is not the perfect one for education in general, but the professionals come up with creative and innovative ways to improve their teaching methods and offer every student the chance to gain the most useful and complete information in their respective fields.

We should admit that there are major difficulties in today’s education, with the pandemic and the social inequalities being just a couple of examples. Still, there are amazing prospects for the higher education and we are certain that the professionals will make the most out of them.

Laura Fields is an expert writer who is passionate on the topic of education. She strives to present students and teachers with the most useful information there is. Laura aims to promote education, technologies, and instruments for all involved in the field of education.