Impact of COVID-19 on Universities: An Economist’s Opinion

For the past five months, the entire world is in lockdown to overcome the adverse effects of the pandemic. While undergoing self-quarantine, the government had also put restrain on the movement of individuals, running of universities as par its regular course, the markets, etc. Due to the shutting down of the school and universities, the online lectures have replaced the regular classroom studies. On the one hand, the situation is hard for the students who lack access to digital mediums to study, while it is an advantage to the ones with resources. As the Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff writes, “The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to transition to a better, universal higher education”, the makeshift in the entire educational framework is making education smarter! Based on the opinion of an Economist, read how this pandemic is bringing new advancements in the field of education. 

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Impacts of Coronavirus on Educational Institutes in the U.S..S.

Role of COVID-19 in Triggering Technological Disruption

Although the sudden pandemic forced the universities to switch to the digital mode of learning, there are many good points too that come off it. The rapid transition undergone by the universities has, in turn, triggered the technological disruption that the universities were undergoing for a long time. The question is, how long? Since the lockdown phase won’t last long, the universities will be back in order after the pandemic. The education that now the students have access to is more digital than the traditional notebook and pen method. As the world comes back in order, will the universities adopt ways to advance these digital methods, or will it cease to exist?

Challenges Faced by Higher Educational Institutes

However, as per the reports, many universities are yearning to reopen and adopt a range of strategies to bring advancement in the educational outlook. While the University of Cambridge, U.K., will continue to give online lectures till the summer of 2021, Stanford stands a chance of a mix of both online and offline lectures. But, not forgetting that the closure of schools for long is a massive economic hit to higher education. As seen from the range, the classrooms, the sports complexes, academies, and other coaching institutes stand closed, since students resist from paying full tuition fees. Another major reason for the drop in revenue from foreign students is forcing many smaller institutes in the brink of closure. 

As per the data, even the top-universities that received enough revenue to flourish are also on the verge of depletion. Under this, the University of Michigan and Harvard University will suffer a loss of $1 Billion and $750 Billion by the end of 2021. The question of whether or not COVID-19 will bring more advancements at a low cost for the students or will the standard fee rise and the facilities shall remain like before. 

Effects of Pandemic on Higher Education

Since the pandemic has set the universities in a virtual classroom mode, many differences have come up with the structure of higher education. To mention a few effects on pandemic on higher education, these include:-

Increased Access to Online Learning

Due to the shift of traditional classroom learning to virtual mode, the students have found access to online courses, study materials, and recorded lectures that make learning better. The change in the curriculum due to the pandemic is by far increasing the access of digital mediums to the students. Like in Stanford, the authorities have called off their in-class lectures and shifted it to online. Then, the University of Washington, Princeton University, and Seattle University too banned their on-campus classes and started the virtual classes. 

Development of Robust Systems 

Since the smaller institutions might have an underdeveloped university site, failing to reach out to a large mass of students, their I.T. departments will have to ensure that their program supports online classes on various platforms. The easier it’d get for the students to follow up with the virtual classes, the better it’ll get for them to stick around to the institutes. Else, due to lower economic rates, the institutes will have to call off.

Best Educational Practices

When the teacher and the students study in a compact and friendly environment, only then does the best educational practices come into the picture. In this category, the collaborative efforts of both. So, with the effects of the online medium, the students who earlier felt shy can communicate better. More so, the graphics and smart learning are enabling teachers to make their lectures interesting and keep the students hooked as well. So, the crux of the matter is that the impact of COVID-19 is posing a good impact on the overall educational forum.

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