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How Will Higher Education Emerge From the Pandemic?

How Will Higher Education Emerge From the Pandemic?

Solutions, realistic and fanciful.


1. The Business Model Challenge

Both public and private nonprofits need a more stable and sustainable financial model, which will necessarily require a combination of cost savings, higher student retention rates and revenue enhancements.

Across-the-board cuts generally make little sense, no matter how politically expedient. Optimizing course offerings makes much more sense economically. So do investments with a high likelihood of paying off, including investments in high-demand programs and initiatives that target new audiences.

2. The Student Satisfaction Challenge

We need to increase student satisfaction. Some carefully targeted reductions in tuition and fees may be necessary, but our institutions really need to think about how to enhance the student experience.

Some solutions strike me as sensible. Place students in cohorts and learning communities and interest groups so that they can develop a sense of connection and belonging. Increase mentoring by faculty and staff. Ensure that students take at least one very small seminar every semester. Embed more high-impact practices into the student experience and expand experiential learning opportunities, including virtual internships and study abroad opportunities.

3. The Political Challenge

It’s long been said that Harvard’s budget model was simple: “Each tub on its own bottom.” This explained why some units teemed with resources while others struggled. But this approach is not confined to Harvard: it pervades higher education, with neighboring institutions competing with one another for resources and political support in ways that are destructive.”


Posted on: October 31, 2020, 7:28 am Category: Uncategorized

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