Announcing the Reimagining the Higher Education Ecosystem Challenge Grantees

The Reimagining the Higher Education Ecosystem Challenge called upon educators to develop bold ideas to reimagine what the higher education ecosystem will look like in 2030. These ideas would ensure all learners acquire the skills they need to find meaningful work and live fulfilling, economically stable lives. The concrete actions are pilots or partnerships that could be implemented immediately and would make transformative impact on the way we work and learn.

The Department of Education focused on three opportunity areas: curating lifelong learning pathways that support learners in obtaining rewarding work; creating a marketplace for learning that enables students to effectively track and share the skills they acquire; and leveraging emerging technology to improve individual learning.

Eighteen judges reviewed over 160 proposals to identify 25 finalists.  The 160 proposals demonstrated the different ways that a vibrant society and thriving economy honor the diversity of our country and empower individuals to be active participants in our shared society. Across the 160 proposals, several common themes emerged:

  • New models for learning that extend the university experience and provide engaging opportunities for diverse learners across a spectrum of ever changing needs
  • Partnerships as the foundation of an active learning ecosystem, with companies, institutions, new providers, and local employers each making diverse but critical contributions to support learners
  • Artificial intelligence to direct learners through their journeys, curating pathways to allow them to achieve diverse career and learning goals
  • Blockchain infrastructure as the backbone for innovations in learner passports that hold skills data across personalized and lifelong learning pathways and tools that allow better alignment of competencies and learning resources

ED is pleased to announce 10 winning teams of the Reimagining the Higher Education Ecosystem Challenge. These 10 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.  ED 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.

ED is looking forward to engaging with a broader set of stakeholders in the months to come. If you are interested in supporting one of the teams, or have ideas for additional steps, please email ED at