Five-Year Outlook for AV and UC Technology in Higher Education

Higher education officials intend to invest in both audiovisual (AV) and unified communications (UC) technologies in the classroom to better meet student needs, but their plans don’t end there, according to a survey commissioned by AVI-SPL and conducted by the Center for Digital Education (CDE).

For the survey, “Audio Visual and Unified Communication Technologies in Higher Education,” researchers asked higher education decision-makers and influencers in IT and facility procurement about the current state of their technology needs, as well as about the short- and long-term plans for AV and UC solutions in higher education.

Officials disclosed the kinds of technologies that are most in demand, and where they are needed.

Key Survey Findings

  • Nearly half of respondents don’t feel current AV/UC technologies meet student and
    instructor needs
  • AV and UC technologies are needed the most in classrooms, followed by online
  • AV technologies are more likely to be procured over UC in the short-term
  • There is a strong demand for collaborative technologies in research institutions
  • AV/UC technology investments will be primarily funded through operating budgets
  • Cost will continue to be a top consideration for AV and UC procurement

What the Study Revealed about Spending Priorities

Video conferencing is the most used AV/UC tech in higher education.

Almost half of respondents believe existing AV and UC technologies are not meeting needs.

AV and UC needs are identified through multiple methods.


Short-term forecast: Planned investments in the next 1-2 years.


Long-term forecast: In the next five years, collaboration technologies will be a priority for the institution’s research communities.


Most higher education institutions are planning on making improvements.
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