SXSW EDU 2024: Serving college students better

Bridget Burns, Ed.D., CEO of the University Innovation Alliance, joined WorkingNation to share her thoughts on universities’ efforts tackling their challenges

Universities are doing a better job figuring out actions to deal with their greatest challenges, says Bridget Burns, Ed.D., CEO of the University Innovation Alliance. “By working together, we’ve figured out ways to move beyond tinkering in silos to scaling innovation and moving quickly,” notes Burns.

She joined WorkingNation’s editor-in-chief Ramona Schindelheim for WorkingNation Overheard at SXSW EDU 2024 in Austin.

“There needs to be certain voices that speak up and call balls and strikes between institutions who are doing good work and that there actually have been some bad actors,” adds Burns. “We need to stop acting like we’re a monolith because we’re not.”

She continues, “There needs to be a lot more nuance and recognizing that you have different types of institutions that need to step up in different ways. I think the public feedback about higher ed is completely understandable.

“If we would just do what good entrepreneurs do and become obsessed with the consumer, obsessed with listening, that’s how you create great products and services. You actually listen with empathy and try and figure out what people need.”

Learn more about the University Innovation Alliance.