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How might we empower people to design their own learning journeys so they can lead purposeful and economically stable lives?

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Transforming the Postsecondary Ecosystem

Technology is rapidly transforming the way we live, learn, and work. New jobs are emerging as others are lost to automation. People are living longer, yet switching jobs more often. These dramatic shifts call for a reimagining of the way we prepare for work and life—specifically, how we learn new skills and adapt to a changing economic landscape.

The changes ahead are likely to hurt most those who can least afford to manage them: low-income and first generation learners already ill-served by our existing postsecondary education system. We must work together now to ensure that we have an educational ecosystem flexible enough to help all people live purposeful and economically stable lives. And if we are to design solutions proportionate to this problem, new technologies must be called on to scale approaches that reach the millions of vulnerable people across the country rather than further exacerbate inequities.

The Challenge sought bold ideas for how our postsecondary education system could be reimagined to foster equity and encourage learner agency and resilience. We were overwhelmed by the response we received. Over the two months that the challenge was open for submissions, 164 teams submitted imaginative and thoughtful visions of the future. These examined aspects of the landscape ranging from the ever-growing and ever-changing role of institutions and the emergence of technology-supported learning experiences, to the economic mechanisms that will enable us to fill the increasing demand for a skilled workforce and ultimately to provide individual learners the tools and support they need for a lifetime of learning.

We are pleased to announce the 10 winning teams of the Reimagining the Higher Education Ecosystem Challenge. These winners will each receive a customized set of support from the Department and its partners in the public and private sectors that we hope will enable them to launch these pilot programs and further develop their visions.

The U.S. Department of Education is excited to continue the conversation about the future of the higher education ecosystem and to support the work of the winners and finalists as they begin implementation of their pilots. We look forward to engaging with a broader set of stakeholders in the months to come. Anyone interested in supporting one of the teams or with ideas for additional steps, please email us at

Finally, we would like to thank all of the thousands of people who visited the challenge platform, commented on ideas, and submitted challenges of their own. We look forward to ongoing dialogue with you all.

Read more on the proposals and view a full list of winners here.


Congratulations to the 25 #edu2030 Ecosystem Challenge finalists!

Read more about the projects here.

We are excited to announce the top 25 project finalists from which eight winning proposals will be selected. These 25 projects represent varied and exciting ideas that will enable transformative change in our postsecondary ecosystem. They include projects that integrate technology with in-person supports, design universally accepted and individually portable documentation of skills, and develop wayfinding tools can allow lifelong learners to access resources and information to succeed.

Which of these top 25 projects has the boldest vision? Which of their pilots will be the most transformative? We are inviting you to read through the top 25 projects and vote on which of these have the boldest visions and the pilots that will lead to the most transformative change.

Vote by “investing” in your favorite project. To invest, register for an account on the challenge platform and receive 1,000 “edu2030-coins” that can be “invested” in your favorite ideas. (Please note that edu2030-coin is a made-up currency with no real or virtual value and that finalists will not be receiving cash prizes based on this public voting.) You may invest up to 50% of your edu2030-coins in a single project.

Voting is open now through September 27, 2018. Winners will be announced in October 2018.

Join the conversation about the #edu2030 challenge:

From Our Blog

Reimagining Higher Education in the Changing World

What were you doing in 2005? There was no iPhone or iPad, so you weren’t scrolling through this blog because your feed caught it. Facebook was not open to the public, so you weren’t simultaneously reading this and looking at pictures of your cousin’s college roommate’s kids. Uber was a German word for “over;” and “Don’t let a stranger drive you home” seemed like good advice. Now let’s think 12 years in the future: what will you be doing in 2030?