THE IMPACT AND THE OPPORTUNITIES OF COVID- 19 ON HIGHER EDUCATION
INFORMATION FOR PRESIDENTS, VICE-CHANCELLORS, PROVOSTS, ACADEMIC
DEANS, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICERS, CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICERS, DIRECTORS
OF HEALTH AND DISASTER PREPAREDNESS, ENROLLMENT MANAGERS,
INTERNATIONAL DEANS AND RECRUITERS, REGISTRARS, FINANCIAL AID
OFFICERS, CAREER COUNSELORS, LIFELONG LEARNING COUNSELORS,
ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROVIDERS, EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANTS AND
BULLEIN # 32 NOVEMBER 9-13, 2020
MARGUERITE J. DENNIS
Presidential election in the United States
Welcome back America
Anne Hidalgo, Major of Paris
Draconian higher education measures, implemented over the past four years,
have left many higher education administrators and many higher education
students questioning the United States’ ability to rejoin the world’s higher
education community. The election of Joseph R. Biden to be the 46 th president of
the United States should replace these questions with some degree of certainty.
If international students wonder about the direction America’s visa policies will
take in the new administration, they have the assurances of president-elect
Biden’s own words: Talented international students help to make us who we are.
The new administration campaigned on student-debt relief for American college
students, assigning citizenship to the 450,000 “dreamers” who have been living
with the threat of being deported, and a roll back of the current administration’s
policy on Title IX sexual assault policies.
It will take time and patience to unpack the damage done to domestic and
international students over the past four years and restore the world’s trust in
American foreign, domestic and higher education policies. New ideas require time
The crucible, this severe test of American resiliency, will be on full display over the
next weeks and months. I am confident that not only the country but the higher
education community in the United States will respond with imagination,
measured enthusiasm, and tenacity.
And with the announcement that Joseph R. Biden will become the next president
of the United States, church bells rang throughout Paris.
To date, colleges and universities in the United States shed one-tenth of their
employees. There are now 152,000 fewer workers on American campuses. The
terminations are attributed to tuition shortfalls caused by the pandemic.
Adjunct faculty have been most severely impacted by the pandemic. Faculty in
the future may be asked to take on larger teaching loads and more student
service duties, like expanded advising.
In the reimagined university faculty will be asked to participate in recruitment
and admission activities.
My colleague, Josh Rubin, recommended the McKinsey report on reimagining
higher education. The report confirms the need for fast and fundamental change
in higher education. The authors pose the following questions to chief executives:
what makes your university distinctive, how can you diversify, what is your
business model, what are the services necessary for a good student experience
and what are the best delivery channels?
Title: Reimagining Higher Education in the United States
Authors: Andre Dua, Jonathan Lau, Ted Rounsaville, Nadia Viswanuth
This report is worth reading.
800 college and university presidents and vice-presidents, from 90 countries
predict a 73% decline in revenue for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The Institute of International Education reported that nearly 70,000 fewer
international students enrolled in US high schools in the Fall 2019, a 6% decline
from the prior year and a 15% decline from the nearly 82,000 students who
enrolled in 2016.
(Note: IIE figures are reported for the year prior to the current one.)
The Chinese Ministry of Higher Education reported this week that 65% of the 100
Chinese agencies who specialize in helping students enroll in foreign universities,
anticipate a decline in Chinese students studying abroad.
In the first quarter of 2020, China had more than 900 million internet users, more
than the internet users in the EU and US combined. Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent
are the preferred search engines and internet services.
(Google has less than 5% of the market in China but 90% worldwide.)
More about the implications of this in future bulletins.
Final thoughts and word of the week
This week I had an opportunity to shop for groceries in my local supermarket.
Since I was last in the store, most of the items on the shelves had been re-
arranged. At first I was confused and a bit irritated. Then I realized that the
changes made actually made it easier for me to find the things I was looking for.
A metaphor for the past four years and Covid-19? Confusion and chaos followed
by a better world and reimagined colleges and universities.
Sempiternal – unchanging, everlasting; a perfect word for this week’s bulletin.