“No forecast is better than a random guess, because so much can change.”
Ruchir Sharma, Foreign Affairs magazine
JUST THE FACTS
According to the Carnegie Dartlet survey of 2,800 U.S. high school seniors, one-third said they would defer or cancel their college enrollment in the fall if classes are held only online. 42% said they would not delay enrolling under any circumstances. 95% of the seniors surveyed indicated that they would expect a reduction in tuition if classes were held online.
Joshua Kim of Dartmouth College and Edward J. Maloney of Georgetown University surveyed 10,000 U.S. students about their preferences for the fall semester. 78% of the students surveyed prefer in-person classes; 53% prefer a combination of in-person and online instruction; 51% prefer a flexible block schedule; 35% prefer a structured gap year; 23% prefer first-year students to study on campus and upperclassmen study online; 34% prefer core classes taught on campus and other classes online; 28% prefer to live on campus but take classes online and 12% prefer a delayed start to the semester.
79% said there should be some reduction in tuition for online courses.
Two potential class-action lawsuits against the University of Florida Board of Trustees have been filed by students seeking refunds for the spring semester because students
were forced to take classes online.
Cambridge University announced this week that all classes will be taught online until the fall 2021 semester.
Three out of four universities in South Korea expect to continue with remote learning in the fall semester.
McGill University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Montreal will hold classes online for the fall semester.
The University of Manchester will keep all of its lectures online for the fall semester.
The University of Aberdeen is postponing the start of the academic year.
FINANCIAL IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON HIGHER EDUCATION
The Asian Development Bank announced this week that COVID-19 could cost the global economy between $5.8 trillion to $8.8 trillion.
Several colleges and universities in the U.S. will no longer contribute to employees’ retirement accounts, either for one year or indefinitely. Johns Hopkins, Duke, Georgetown and Northwestern are among the school that have, or will, no longer make contributions to pension funds.
Global Workplace Analytics, a consulting company, estimates that when the pandemic is over, 30% of the entire workforce will work from home at least a couple of days a week.
95% of Facebook’s 45,000+ employees are working remotely and Mark Zuckerberg expects only 25% to be back in the office by the end of the year.
The number of e-meetings increases each week.
Microsoft Teams announced this week its daily active users increased 70% to 75 million participants in just one month.
Google Meet topped 100 million users.
Zoom announced 300 million daily meeting participants at the end of April, up from 200 million at the beginning of the month.
The CEO of Boeing estimates that it could take 3 to 5 years before travel resumes to some degree of normalcy.
NAFSA: Association of International Educators, estimates a loss of at least $3 billion due to anticipated international student enrollment declines.
The organization also estimated $1 billion loss due to shortened or cancelled study abroad programs in the spring and summer.
U.S. colleges and universities spent an estimated $639 million in financial support for international students, scholars, faculty, and staff who remained on campus when courses were moved online for the spring semester.
The University of California Board of Regents approved a five-year plan to phase out college entrance exams and replace the SAT and ACT with a new test to be developed by University of California faculty.
California is the largest single state market for undergraduate admissions examinations.
More than 1,200 U.S. schools have informed applicants that entrance exams will not be needed for the next academic year.
There are many smiling applicants today because of the decisions made by colleges and universities throughout the U.S.
A surprising report from the Institute for International Education revealed that less than 10% of the international students who were enrolled for the spring semester went home. The rest remained on-campus or somewhere else in the U.S.
There are many international admissions deans reading that report and smiling.
Professor Steve Smith, vice-chancellor and chief executive of the University of Exeter and chair of the International Policy Network at Universities UK, wrote: “This crisis feels like no other. I honestly think it will change us, and how we operate, teach and do research forever.”
I would agree with the vice-chancellor but I also believe that change can be beneficial and the pandemic has presented higher education with the opportunity to reimagine how we recruit, admit, enroll, teach, retain, and graduate students.