A new study suggests that 20 percent of university students may not return to college for the fall semester. Some analysts believe that the ongoing Chinese virus pandemic has drastically shifted American attitudes towards higher education.
According to a report by Axios, the coronavirus pandemic may reduce fall enrollment at American universities and colleges by as much as 20 percent. Universities and colleges around the nation have been forced to lay off employees to make up for budgetary shortfalls caused by the pandemic.
Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, told Axios this week that colleges typically lose 10 percent of their enrollment each year. Mitchell claims that universities and colleges should view the additional 10 percent loss as a positive sign for future recovery.
“Let’s look at it the other way around: About 80% of students say they plan on enrolling in the fall. They’re planning on enrolling in the same institution and continuing with their education. I think that students get it. Families get it,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell argues that universities and colleges need to rapidly adapt their offerings to meet the evolving needs of students. Mitchell suggested that higher education needs to focus on giving students the skills necessary to succeed in the labor market.
It’s going to be an important moment for a range of institutions, some of whom will need to find good partners to be able to provide the robust online learning that, Kim, you and I are talking about now. Other institutions are going to be more creative about expanding who they think of as their students. A majority of college students today are not 18-22-year-olds. Colleges need to cater more to the lifelong learner, the adult learner. And certainly in this economy, individuals who need to train and resell for the next generation of jobs.
Breitbart News reported this week that Michigan’s public universities face $1 billion in combined losses due to the Chinese virus pandemic.
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