Challenges Facing Higher Education in 2022

Apr 30, 2022 by

University administrators are having to adjust in more ways than just simply educating in a post-pandemic world. There are several challenges and trends that academia will have to navigate in 2022 and beyond. From new modes of instruction to legal and regulatory changes and the spotlight on diversity and inclusion, higher education will have to adapt.

First, schools will have to work to reverse the decline in enrollment, lobby for increased state and federal funding and then combat partisan meddling in administrative appointments. Denisova-Schmidt (2021) explains that massification, internationalization, privatization, digitalization, and commercialization have made ethics in higher education a critical top priority. In this same vein, the most significant legal challenges for universities in 2022 will include more intrusive regulation and enforcement of compliance-related and quality standards, political culture wars among both faculty and students, and incorporating more diversity and inclusion. According to Gao (2021), some of the continued nationalist ideology and political division can be attributed to the nation’s COVID-19 public health policy, which damaged the store of American community social capital.

Higher education’s approach to instruction will evolve to encompass in-person and hybrid options referred to as “liquid learning.” According to Elayyan (2021), the fourth industrial revolution will provoke a transformation in instructional programs, curricula, learning environment, liquid instructional skills, and teachers/students’ roles to deal with new technologies and products.

What is being taught will also change as the curriculum will blend the humanities, STEM, and data sciences. There will also be an emphasis on applied forms of learning, and lifelong and adult education will become a priority. Neuwirth, Jović, and Mukherji (2021) contend that dialogue between faculty engaged in efforts to cope and adapt to the pandemic may be helpful in re-envisioning and re-designing future curricula.


What challenges and trends do administrators see impacting higher education now and in the future?


Higher education, 2022, post-COVID, challenges, trends


Denisova-Schmidt, E. (2021). Mitigating Corruption in Higher Education. In The Promise of Higher Education (pp. 153-159). Springer, Cham.

Elayyan, S. (2021). The future of education according to the fourth industrial revolution. Journal of Educational Technology and Online Learning, 4(1), 23-30. Retrieved from

Gao, X. (2021). ‘Staying in the nationalist bubble’: Social capital, culture wars, and the COVID-19 pandemic. M/C Journal, 24(1).

Neuwirth, L. S., Jović, S., & Mukherji, B. R. (2021). Reimagining higher education during and post-COVID-19: Challenges and opportunities. Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 27(2), 141-156. Retrieved from

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