This weeks digest features several stories that cover the financial uncertainty in Higher Education due to the pandemic. I hope you find them as useful as I did in structuring thoughts and predictions about the future.

How the pandemic is sending universities back to school

Financial Times, MAY 14 2020

The FT’s Simon Kuper lays out a radical vision for higher education after the pandemic. He argues that university teaching will have to blend traditional and online approaches in the near future, in light of the recent financial pressures on both institutions and students. This overhaul of the outdated campus model will encourage tens of millions of new students to enrol at universities in a far more dynamic, flexible and 21st century way. Kuper proposes that a blend of face-to-face and online education is an exciting opportunity and 'could expand the university market to all ages, classes and countries’.

State Cuts Grow Deep

Inside Higher Ed, MAY 15 2020

Inside Higher Ed assess the dramatic cuts that are projected to hit universities and colleges. The article follows the daunting announcement by California governor Gavin Newsom that the state would have to cut higher education by $1.7 billion to close a mammoth $54.3 billion budget hole caused by the pandemic. It explores the emerging concerns in Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Louisiana, Ohio, Georgia, Virginia and many other states across the country.

How the Pandemic Could Transform Higher Ed

Wall Street Journal, MAY 19 2020

In this informative eight minute clip WSJ’s Alexander Hotz speaks with numerous administrators, students, and a higher education futurist to look at the expected long-term transformation of higher education. Bryan Alexander, a higher education futurist, forecasts that of the 4400 universities and colleges across the U.S. ‘I could see 10% staring into the abyss by this time next year’. Alexander predicts that next Fall term will be greatly impacted. He is optimistic, however, that the industry will get creative and adapt to students' needs. He says, ‘faculty staff have to prepare for a full semester online, but now we have months not weeks to plan, prepare, shape and hone the [online] experience.’

Higher Education: Don't Just Survive - Help Students Thrive

Forbes, MAY 13 2020

Here, Troy Markowitz of Forbes, weighs up how universities and colleges should spend the money apportioned to them from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). He argues that these dollars should not just be spent to ‘keep the lights on’ with stopgap measures. Rather, the funding should be used more effectively and invested in long-term infrastructure and practices for online education. He predicts a radically different future where andragogy, or adult education, increases in prominence.

Did Students Learn As Much During Remote Online Instruction?

EdSurge, MAY 19 2020

With students at many colleges calling for tuition refunds, EdSurge’s weekly podcast explores the effectiveness of online instruction with Professor Brian Balogh and Dr Rachel Davenport. They discuss coming up with tuition solutions to new problems such as students without good access to the internet, or students who suddenly find themselves without childcare.