THE IMPACT AND THE OPPORTUNITIES OF COVID-19 ON HIGHER EDUCATION

Marguerite DennisINFORMATION FOR PRESIDENTS, VICE-CHANCELLORS, PROVOSTS, ACADEMIC
DEANS, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICERS, DIRECTORS OF HEALTH AND DISASTER
PREPAREDNESS, ENROLLMENT MANAGERS, INTERNATIONAL DEANS AND
RECRUITERS, FINANCIAL AID OFFICERS, CAREER COUNSELORS, LIFELONG
LEARNING COUNSELORS, ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROVIDERS,
EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANTS, AND AGENTS

BULLETIN #34 NOVEMBER 23-27, 2020
MARGUERITE J. DENNIS

Be open to mystery. Not everything needs sharp lines.
Last sentence in Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

For the past 34 weeks I have communicated, through weekly bulletins, with
friends and colleagues worldwide. The bulletins grew out of the chaos and
confusion of the early days of COVID-19 and morphed into a communication
vehicle for presentations, webinars, and numerous articles on the subject of the
reimagined university.
Many of you receiving the bulletins have been there from the beginning; others
have recently been added to the list. There are many people I would like to thank
for sharing this journey with me:
Thierry and Barbara, for their encouragement and for gently pointing out my
many typos, Gigi Lamens, Vice President for Enrollment Management at St.
Joseph’s College in New York, Dr. Sebastian Royo, Vice President of International
Affairs and Professor of Political Science at Suffolk University in Boston,
Joan Hope, editor of Enrollment Mangement Report, Mandy Gardner, editor of
University World News, Louise Hargraves, editor of Bond University Higher
Education Report, Dr. Uttam Gaulee, Director, Society of Transnational Academic

Researchers, Donna Hooker and the team of MSquareMedia, who first asked me
to present a webinar on the reimagined university, Basheer Alhaimiu, for
encouraging me to write an article about the importance of higher education in a
post-pandemic world, Gretchen Dobson, who collaborated with me on an article
stressing the importance of alumni, Josh Rubin of Study Group, Clayton Smith of
the American Association of University Registrars and Admissions Officers, and
Mark Shay, who cited my article on LinkedIn on the reimagined international
students office and more than 350 people read the article.
I trust I have not forgotten anyone; my apologues if I have.
But now it is time to take a pause. I will shortly leave my home on Cape Cod in
Massachusetts and travel to another home in Naples, Florida. So for the next few
weeks, until January 8, 2021, there will be no weekly bulletins. I will use the time
to further develop my observations on the future of higher education, and fuel
my research with imagination, believing that information is the commodity of the
now and of the future. Future research will focus less on speculation and more on
information.
Creativity require time for ideas to marinate. I hope to create future articles, and
develop seminars, presentations and webinars that may be considered
iconoclastic. But I am frequently reminded of the quote of Isaac Newton: Tact is
the art of making a point without making an enemy.
Please communicate if you wish either by email: margueritedennis@gmail.com,
or through my website: mjdennisconsulting.com or through LinkedIn.
On November 22, my article on the reimagined international student office was
published in University World News. (https:// http://www.universityworldnews.com.

THIS WEEK’S BULLETIN
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ENROLLMENT IN THE UNITED STATES
Since the pandemic began, SEVIS, the official U.S. government agency that
records the number of student visa holders, reported a 21% decline. The number
of students from China issued visas declined 25%. There was a 18% decline in the
number of visas issued to Indian students. Enrollments in English -language

programs declined 43%. (Since 2015, English language programs have dropped by
70%.)
There were 905,000 international students enrolled in the U.S. this fall, compared
with 1.1 million at the beginning of the year.
CHINA UPDATE
Chia announced its new five-year plan (There have been 14 previous plans.) that
stresses economic self-sufficiency, technological independence, and overtaking
the U.S. as the world’s number 1 economy within the next 15 years. A stated goal
is to double the size of the economy by 2035.
China’s plans also include becoming the number 1 importer of international
students. Currently, it ranks 3 rd .
China has been applying “soft power” through its marketing and outreach to
African students. In 2003, there were 1,793 African students enrolled in Chinese
universities. By 2018, the number was *1,562, a 4,549% increase. Today there are
54 Confucius Institutes embedded in colleges and universities across Africa.
China is second only to France in terms of the enrollment of African students.
Watch this space. More to come on this subject.
REINVENTION OF RETAIL (AND HIGHER EDUCATION?)
A recent report by McKinsey examined consumer behavior in the U.S., UK, China,
France, and Germany as a result of the pandemic.
Survey results 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 stay with the same retailers as they
did before the pandemic.
Personalization and social media engagement may hold the keys to winning new
and existing customers. Along with safety, better prices, better value, and better
quality are guiding choices.
Bottom line: Consumers embraced change amid great uncertainty.

Could all of the above be relevant to how students will select colleges and
universities in the future. Just saying.
WORD OF THE WEEK
Multivocal – OPEN TO MANY DIFFERENT MEANINGS, INTERPRETATIONS, AND
APPLICATIONS.
So this November day and this 2020 year is closing in and will soon slip away. Let’s
hope 2021 will be filled with safe vaccines and a reimagined world.

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