This week I received an informational flyer from the Massachusetts General
Hospital inviting me to participate in a seminar on March 26 th on: The New
Normal: Moving Forward After the Pandemic.
This same week an article in The New Yorker raised the issue of The New Now.
So I thought this may be the week to pause and evaluate some of the known
residuals for higher education left in the wake of the chaos and confusion of the
pandemic. It is too soon to calculate the “forever impact” of the virus on higher
education, but I think it safe to write about the ones listed in this week’s bulletin.
According to a PEW Research Center report, released in September, 2020, 52% of
18-to-29-year-old Americans started living with at least one of their parents since
the pandemic began.
A November 2020 report released by McKinsey, revealed that 60% of global
consumers have changed their shopping habits; 37% plan to shop online and 40%
have tried new brands during the pandemic. Only 12% indicated they will stick
with the same retailers as they did prior to the pandemic.
Better prices, better perceived value, and better quality are the reasons listed in
the survey. The implications for future higher education preferences and
enrollment are obvious. Consumers, including higher education consumers, have
embraced change amid a time of great uncertainty.
Fewer enrolled undergraduate students in the United States
According to a report issued by the National Student Clearinghouse Research
Center, the number of undergraduates who earned credentials stagnated last
year for the first time in eight years. Approximately 17.5 million students were
enrolled in institutions of higher education in the U.S., in the fall 2020 semester, a
2.6% decline from the prior year.
Nearly 22% fewer American students from the high school graduating class of
2020 enrolled in colleges and universities in the fall 2020 semester compared to
the class of 2019.
International student enrollment in the U.S. declined 13% in the fall 2020
According to a consultant to the Association of Governing Boards of Universities
and Colleges, U.S. colleges and universities could lose up to $83 billion as a result
of the pandemic.
Increased unemployment in higher education
Since February 2020, 650,000 higher education jobs have been eliminated
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 337,000 fewer
workers were employed by America’s private and public colleges. In Australia,
17,300 higher education jobs have been eliminated.
Colleges and universities have partnered with non-degree providers
In August 2020, Moody’s Investors Service announced that hybrid, non-degree
programs were growing at a rapid rate and the pandemic had ushered in an
increase in expanding non-degree certificate programs.
In the past year the number of universities using Coursera courses increased from
30 schools to 3,700 colleges and universities. Since March 2020, over 21 million
learners have joined Coursera, an increase of 353%.
Coding boot camps have increasingly been joining forces with colleges and
universities to offer students short-term, technical training. Last year, universities
worldwide forged at least 73 partnerships with boot camp providers.
Increased university collaborations
The Philippines and Australia signed a memorandum of understanding for
research collaboration, particularly in science and innovation.
India recently announced the National Education Policy 2020 which would allow
the world’s top-rated universities to collaborate with campuses in India.
Twenty-five German universities have been added to the country’s European
University Networks national initiative, supporting the establishment of European
universities across the European Union.
Of course there are more higher education pandemic residuals than the ones
listed in this bulletin. And as the weeks go by, I will continue to monitor and share
them with you.