Higher Education Is in Trouble, and Not Just Because of the Coronavirus

A woman sits overlooking Columbia University’s nearly empty campus, in New York, March 9, 2020 (AP photo by Mark Lennihan).
A woman sits overlooking Columbia University’s nearly empty campus, in New York, March 9, 2020 (AP photo by Mark Lennihan).

On university and college campuses, it’s been a back-to-school season like none other. COVID-19 outbreaks have forced entire residence halls and sports teams to quarantine, and, for some institutions, could prompt a premature end to the semester. Other campuses are ghost towns, as instruction has moved completely online. The pandemic has transformed teaching and learning, how research is conducted⎯the very rhythms of campus life. The contagion’s impact on international education has been especially acute. With closed borders, shuttered consulates and airline restrictions, study abroad and foreign exchange programs have been canceled, while the United States is all but off-limits for […]

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