This comes under their larger plan to bring about transformation. These universities will close by the end of the year and they will go online completely.
This is another example of how the for-profit education industry is struggling with decreasing enrollment and revenue.
At the moment more than 36,000 undergraduate students are enrolled at DeVry Universities, though the enrolment has been declining steadily. In March it was down by 15% and the revenue for the quarter decreased by 15.7%. According to Daniel Hamburger, CEO and President of DeVry Education Group, 14 locations, which is about 20% of the campuses will become online- only models. He further stated that the 14 locations were selected carefully since their internal search revealed that students in these markets now prefer studying online.
All the 14 campuses are in talks with respective State Education Departments to seek approval for complete closure and to ensure that the currently enrolled students do not waste their year. According to DeVry spokesperson, the focus is to meet students and help them determine what their best options are. Students are the top priority for DeVry and thus they will help them to finish their degree programs in any case. This assurity on their part clearly shows that the University is concerned about the future of their students.
This transformation is the direct effect of the lower enrollments along with increased regulatory scrutiny. The entire industry is under pressure to make schools and colleges affordable. Furthermore many companies including the DeVry Education Group, which manages all the campuses and colleges of DeVry is facing federal lawsuits regarding improper recruiting practices.
Daniel Hamburger the president and CEO of DeVry Education Group commented during the call that “Fourteen locations – or about 20 percent of our campuses – will move to an online-only model,” . “These locations were carefully selected because our research showed that many students in these markets are now studying online.”
“We’ll focus on the most competitive markets,” he said. “This is a narrowing of our campus footprint.”
DeVry also will focus on more targeting advertising in those areas, pulling back somewhat on national ads. The for-profit chain is seeking to reduce its tuition, to strengthen teaching and learning models, and to develop its ties with employers, Hamburger said.
“We’re managing for the long term,” he said.
Approximately 50 percent of students at both locations currently take classes exclusively online, said Susie White, senior account supervisor for the MSLGroup public relations firm.
Ferrell said that “We’re sorry to see their physical presence go.” He further stated that “There’s a great degree of competition. You’ve got Highline College, the University of Washington, Tacoma … It’s a highly competitive market. I think it’s expected these transitions will occur over time and are market-driven.”