While higher education has a long-held tradition of educating students in the liberal arts, some institutions now find themselves struggling for relevance and even survival in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Expanding the selection of majors they offer is a good move. Many colleges are also leveraging their location in or proximity to cities to engage more fully with the myriad experiences and resources that proximity can provide to students.
Global Offer Development - Universities
The drive for innovation is unifying. From small, private colleges to large companies that span the globe, innovation is a cultural imperative. As higher education becomes more competitive both at the local and international level, industry leaders must infuse their organizations with new ideas, approaches, and perspectives to succeed. As I read the latest chapter …
Young people like Greta Thunberg and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Young Leaders are inspiring more young people to engage in the groundswell of climate activism. Their passion is not surprising. They are, after all, the ones who will be most impacted by the social, economic, and physical effects of climate change in the …
Food insecurity on campus often goes unmentioned. Many assume that college students’ needs are entirely met through parental support and financial assistance programs. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. (more…)
The latest chapter in Sodexo’s President to President series, “From Academic Preparation, through Skills Development, to the Knowledge Continuum” by Vistasp M. Karbhari, Ph.D., President, The University of Texas at Arlington, presents a somewhat sobering picture. It outlines the dichotomy between the U.S. academic model and the needs of American businesses, a clear threat to our future economic well-being. (more…)
Higher education is the new healthcare—parents, students, politicians and the media question whether the cost justifies the results. As President J. Bradley Creed of Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC, notes in “Creating Pathways to Opportunity and Service,” the latest chapter in Sodexo’s President to President series, most people agree on the need for higher education following high school, but confidence that a college degree can advance one’s career and lead to a better life is eroding. (more…)
For many, a university or college education is simply a pathway to an exciting career. But in the case of first-generation students, it represents so much more: hope, progress and most of all, courage. (more…)
We should have seen it coming, we really should. Popular culture has long been full of robots, from movies like Alien and The Terminator to the Transformers our children played with. We accepted their presence as the industry emerged, but few foresaw the full societal ramifications. Now their presence is a daily reality and a growing influence on how we live, work, and learn. (more…)
In many communities, colleges and universities walk a fine line between “town and gown.” While cities are proud to be home to educational institutions, the difference in demographics between those on and off campus are often considerable. Conflicts can arise based on differences in socioeconomic status, educational opportunity, race and ethnicity, political viewpoints and immigration status, particularly in cities. (more…)
The earliest expression of the concept “think global, act local” has been attributed to Scots town planner and social activist Patrick Geddes, who first advocated environmental responsibility in the early 1900’s as an essential consideration in economic development. Geddes was prescient in that he believed in working with the environment versus working against it. (more…)
Since 1996, Sodexo has provided housing services to more than 1,000 students living on two campuses at University of Greenwich on the outskirts of London. The program has been so successful that it became the model for our global Student Living offer, shaping the way we look at the student journey around the world. (more…)
Quality of Life is foundational to human well-being, affecting every aspect of life at every stage of life.
Starting college is a milestone for students, beset with excitement, anticipation—and anxiety. (more…)
Disruption – disaster or opportunity? The 2008 global recession was a milestone, profoundly affecting every aspect of the economy, with repercussions extending to the present. The military term “VUCA” sums up the situation: “volatile, uncertain, complicated, and ambiguous.” (more…)
Making a significant difference requires courage, commitment and drive. It is those same principles that are inspiring the next generation of students at University of Detroit Mercy, a Catholic university founded in the Mercy and Jesuit traditions of community service and social justice. (more…)
Technology has had a dramatic and undeniable impact on almost every facet of modern life, and higher education is no exception. From how lectures and course materials are delivered to the immense wealth of learning resources that are available from anywhere at any time, technology has enabled greater access to education than ever before. (more…)
Shifting global trends have had a significant impact on the business, economic and political landscapes—and the academic world is not immune. (more…)
From the kitchen table to the political stage, the ever-increasing cost to attend college has become a hot topic of discussion. As costs have risen, students have taken on more and more student loan debt and other forms of financial liability to finance their education. Adding to the apprehension, many of these students face an uncertain job market after graduation, making it difficult to manage living expenses and student loan payments. (more…)
Quality of Life Research,
Data analytics has changed the way we view operations, performance, and student outcomes. As Southern New Hampshire University President Paul L. LeBlanc, mentions in the latest chapter of President to President, “Engineering a 21st Century Higher Educational Model: Guidelines for Leading the Work,” understanding data can be an important step in meeting the needs and expectations of today’s students. Through Sodexo’s interactions with students, educators, and campus administrators, we have seen firsthand how analytics can change the way an institution operates. Taking this idea a step further, data analytics can enable us to design experiences in a way that will have a meaningful impact on student outcomes. (more…)
Global Offer Development - Universities
The pace of change in higher education is accelerating faster than any time in history. Today, higher education is a global commodity with all the competition and product diversification of any Fortune 500 organization. Mostly steeped in learning constructs hundreds of years old, today’s colleges and universities are subject to stronger political, social, economic, and technology market forces than ever before and are driven by a generation of students that will not accept the status quo. (more…)
The 2016-2017 edition of President to President, titled “Integrated Approaches to Student Living and Campus Housing—Enhancing Quality of Life and Performance,” focused on issues, trends and opportunities related to campus life. University presidents from around the country shared their views and experiences on the relationship between life on campus and student success, comfort, and performance. Key takeaways included the importance of student living, diversity and inclusion on campus, safety & security, student retention and fostering resiliency. (more…)
As a provider of dining options for colleges and universities around the world, it’s our job to monitor what consumer trends are saying about college dining and, more importantly, what students want to eat. It’s evident that Generation Z, the generational cohort younger than millennials, is changing the workplace but many don’t realize that they are also taking the culinary industry by storm — challenging the food preferences of baby boomers and leaning toward a fresher, less-processed food movement. (more…)
Transfer students are an important contribution to the University ecosystem. They bring different experiences and perspectives to the campus environment and have a unique set of needs for life on campus. Ensuring that transfer students receive a convenient, safe, and personalized experience is vital to driving continued transfer student enrollment and retention. More importantly, it is every education institution’s responsibility to support this subset of students and prepare them for success. (more…)
The business realm can be frustrating. Trends fluctuate, consumer demands vary, and competition is fierce. Proven success is cultivated based on how well a business plans strategically, analyzes trends, and, most importantly, differentiates from their competitors. In an industry driven solely by consumer satisfaction, where negotiations and deals are made on the daily, being unique to your competitions isn’t practical — it’s necessary. (more…)
Often a stepping stone from childhood to young adulthood, college acts as a safe environment in which students can explore life beyond high school before entering the workforce. As these students anticipate a taste of independence, many of their parents face the confusion and discomfort associated with preparing their child for the next phase of their life. The college experience, albeit one of the most transformative experiences for young adults, can be a scary and intimidating journey for parents as they consider their students’ safety on campus. Our job is to build an environment which not only creates convenience for parents and students but also serves as a safe, comfortable place for students to learn and grow. (more…)
Senior Registered Dietitian,
In today’s media-saturated world, information about health and nutrition is everywhere. But while we have access to more reliable information about nutrition than ever, there are also many scientifically questionable or even false claims presented as fact. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to sort out truths from falsehoods.
One such questionable source is the website “Is It Bad for You?” This site publishes health and nutrition reviews of food products, restaurants and a variety of products and services.
For students, the college experience is a pivotal time of growth. Not only are these individuals learning new concepts and theories through their studies, many are also taking that first initial jump from childhood to adulthood as they navigate life with an increased sense of independence. Whether these students live on campus or commute from home, their experience at college shapes their first impression of life beyond the books. Because of this, providing the foundation for a robust campus community not only enhances the student experience but improves students’ quality of life. (more…)
Change is all around us, so when we think about college enrollment declining and federal funding decreasing, we know we have to think differently about how we can impact student recruitment and retention. An inspiring place to explore is how to impact recruitment and retention rates among first-generation students; it’s a group that, by nature, can help the academic sector expand its reach and further its mission – to teach and support the next generation of informed, educated and civically-responsible citizens. (more…)
International students bring to American college campuses a sense of inclusiveness and diversity. In return, U.S. students expose their international counterparts to American customs including the ability to practice freedom of speech. In both cases, this mutually beneficial alliance formed among American students and those from abroad fortifies the campus community by and large. (more…)
Global Chief Diversity Officer
College students’ social encounters on campus shape their college experience. Therefore, it is imperative that campuses foster inclusive environments where all students feel valued, respected and celebrated. This in mind, the need for a sense of belonging is more pressing than ever. Our society’s tendency to display racial intolerance, cultural disengagement and lack of understanding across differences calls for more culturally aware campuses. (more…)
The purpose of academia is to nurture and strengthen the next generation of leaders through research and critical analysis. Additionally, higher education aims to encourage individuals to investigate their interests and pursue a greater understanding of the world surrounding them. Today’s college students, many of whom are members of Generation Z, are some of the most inquisitive and confident scholars who demand campus communities built on the theories of peaceful coexistence and safety for all. (more…)
The transition from high school to college, for many, is both a daunting and exciting journey. As parents, we view this opportunity as a means to a beginning – encouraging our children to discover self-sufficiency without expecting them to be fully independent. Surprisingly, 2016 statistics show a steady increase in mental illness among college students, a derivative of this newfound independence and the pressure that comes with it. Knowing the signs and following the advice outlined by professionals in the field sets the foundation for beating mental illness among college students. (more…)
Food insecurity on campus is often an unmentionable topic. Many assume that, while enrolled in college, students’ needs are entirely met through financial assistance programs such as financial aid. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. With the cost of public and private universities on the rise, some college students are left to suffer silently while the issue of food insecurity remains a subject of little discussion. (more…)
College can be a stressful time for many students. They often face greater demands, expectations and workloads than in high school. It is also the first time many have been on their own and away from familiar support networks such as friends, family and their local community. The stress of a new environment, lack of familiarity and heightened academic demands can take its toll on a student’s well-being and potentially have a significant impact on their performance and ability to succeed. The transition can be even more challenging for students who must deal with issues that go beyond academics – issues that can have a significant impact on their overall achievement. (more…)
For today’s students, college is about more than just academics. When students select a college, they are increasingly likely to consider factors beyond the institution’s academic reputation, research facilities and faculty credentials. Students understand that the campus they select will be their home for the next few years, and they are interested in the quality of life they can expect there. For this reason, students are placing greater emphasis on residence life programs when contemplating their options for higher education.
Establishing a strong sense of belonging and purpose, both on campus and in the larger community is essential to engaging and retaining students. For many students, college represents their first taste of true independence, away from parents, teachers and other authority figures. Their actions are their own, and the decision whether or not to get involved is up to them. For college and university administrators, it is imperative that they establish an environment, on campus and beyond, that fosters a sense of belonging so students have the best opportunity to succeed academically, socially and civically.
A new generation is getting ready to enter the hallowed halls of higher education and in addition to bringing their devices to campus, they will also arrive with a new set of expectations on how they want to live, learn and experience college. This is the first year Generation Z students will be graduating from high school and descending on college and university campuses across the country—in record numbers, in fact—bringing their unique learning styles along with them. If academia plans to recruit, retain and engage these students, they will be up against some new challenges that will ultimately yield exciting opportunities for the future of educational institutions.
Co-Executive Editor of “President to President”
We’ve heard a lot about what today a college student (and their parents) expects from their institutions.
Frequently at the top of the list is student housing. They want distinctive, comfortable, convenient, attractive student housing—not the traditional dormitory with a bathroom at the end of the hall. They want privacy and amenities, easy proximity to classes and co-curricular activities, up-to-date technology, and in-room dining options. Let’s not forget parking. Some students arrive with more than one vehicle these days.
Sodexo Future Leader Intern
I represent Generation Z, a generation that spent our childhood taking care of virtual pets on Neopets and playing Pokémon Yellow on a Gameboy. We made Facebook accounts in middle school, as Facebook Memories likes to continuously remind us. We watched our parents cry during the terror attacks on the World Trade Center. We experienced “The Great Recession” firsthand. We saw millions of gallons of oil pour into the Gulf of Mexico. We witnessed our siblings terrified to go to school the day after the Columbine Shooting.
We’re a product of information, communication, and innovation. We’ve seen hardships not only on a national scale, but also on a global scale. The fusion of all of these experiences has led to a new generational mentality- one of strong work ethic, global understanding, and technological reliance. (more…)
This is the third blog in an ongoing series examining how colleges and universities can understand and address the expectations of Generation Z college students. We’ll explore some of the most significant issues, including academic interests, housing expectations, ideological tendencies, dining preferences, and spending habits. The goal is to provide valuable insights that can help guide campus decision-makers in creating an environment that supports student success, well-being, satisfaction, and achievement.
This is the second blog in an ongoing series examining how colleges and universities can understand and address the expectations of Generation Z college students. We’ll explore some of the most significant issues, including academic interests, housing expectations, ideological tendencies, dining preferences, and spending habits. The goal is to provide valuable insights that can help guide campus decision-makers in creating an environment that supports student success, well-being, satisfaction, and achievement. (more…)
Sodexo North America
This is the first blog in an ongoing series examining how colleges and universities can understand and address the expectations of Generation Z college students. We’ll explore some of the most significant issues, including academic interests, housing expectations, ideological tendencies, dining preferences, and spending habits. The goal is to provide valuable insights that can help guide campus decision-makers in creating an environment that supports student success, well-being, satisfaction, and achievement. (more…)
“Food is national security. Food is economy. It is employment, energy, history. Food is everything.” — Chef José Andrés
Food is an integral part of our everyday lives. However, the sad reality for many families is that the ability to provide one of life’s basic necessities to their children is barely, if at all, feasible. While programs put into place during the school year take the strain off of parents and caretakers only about 18 percent of eligible students participate in summer feeding programs according to the United States Department of Agriculture. (more…)