BULLETIN # 3: THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON HIGHER EDUCATION

Marguerite DennisTHE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON HIGHER EDUCATION: INFORMATION FOR PRESIDENTS, VICE-CHANCELLORS, PROVOSTS, BUSINESS OFFICERS, FACULTY, ENROLLMENT MANAGERS, ADMISSION DEANS, AND DOCTORAL STUDENTS

BULLETIN # 3  APRIL 6-10, 2020

“I learned that anything I thought couldn’t happen seemed to be eventually happening.”

John A. Fry, President of Drexel University, on managing the campus through the pandemic.

A survey conducted by the research firm, Simpson Scarborough, revealed that one in 10 high school seniors in the United States who had planned to enroll in a four-year college in the fall before COVID-19, are likely to change their plans. Fifty percent of the 513 surveyed students said their parents’ financial situation was the main reason for re-considering fall enrollment.

Senior officials at the University of California announced this week that they will make the admission process easier for the 200,000 prospective applicants for the next academic year. SAT scores and letter grades will no longer be required.

Oberlin College is offering students who have been admitted to the 2020-21 academic year, a free, special two-credit course called Uncovering COVIS-19 – Critical Liberal Arts Perspectives.

Students around the world, except in China and Iran, can take the Educational Testing Service’s Test of English as Foreign Language and the Graduate Record Examination online.

International Baccalaureate examinations, scheduled for May, will not take place.

MacMurray College, in Jacksonville, Illinois, has closed with no severance for faculty and administrative staff.

Major research universities, including Harvard, Johns Hopkins and the University of Michigan, have halted all but essential research.

Sunny Shin, as associate professor of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, is holding virtual lab meetings with her graduate and post-doctoral students.

China’s Ministry of Education spokesman, Liu Jin, has asked universities to provide online courses for Chinese students who are currently living outside China. In the United States, the Department of Education plans to loosen regulations for online learning, making it easier for colleges and universities to offer new models for online programs.

Several senior executives in the U K and Australia, have agreed to take a 20% pay cut for specific period of time.

Many Canadian universities are offering their undergraduate students the choice between a final grade for this semester’s courses or a standard pass on their transcripts.

Final Thoughts

If you want to know who is likely to enroll for the fall semester and who will apply for the following academic year, follow the economic trends and the consumer spending patterns for all of the countries where your school recruits. For example, this week the South China Morning Post reported that nearly half a million Chinese companies have closed as a result of the pandemic. Will employees of those companies have the financial means to send their children abroad? Will Chinese students feel safe on a campus far away from home?

Research the psychographic behavior of future applicants and parents. Study their overt behavior, opinions, values, and attitudes. This information is critical to understanding future higher education consumer behavior.

If your school is grappling with the use of online learning for the summer or fall semester you will want to read the PEW Research Center report on internet use around the world.

If you want to consider the geopolitical implications of the pandemic, you will want to read the President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haas’ article, “The Pandemic Will Accelerate History Rather Than Reshape It.” in Foreign Affairs.

When will this be over? No one knows for certain but someone has a few ideas. Bill Gates was asked that question in today’s (4-1-20) South China Morning Post. Mr. Gates believes that life will not return to “normal” until a vaccine is found for COVID-19 and he predicts that a vaccine will not be available until September, 2021.

He also cautioned against easing up on social distancing measures before the end of May.

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