The Corona virus crisis provided a valuable opportunity to rethink the prevailing educational paradigm, and imposed a new reality that could accelerate the adoption of options that exploit technological advances to open beneficial paths for universities and science students.
The spread of the Corona virus has led to a forced shift towards distance education and the organization of university classrooms over the Internet. But this new trend may continue even after the end of the pandemic, and lead to radical changes in the university education system.
The writer, Hans Tabaria, said in a report published by the New York Times, that university study in the United States forty years ago was a way to move from a social level to a higher level, but in the current century it became the preserve of the wealthy, where tuition rates increased by 260%, not This model is on the verge of disappearing after the Corona pandemic.
And before the recent crisis, the author explained that the fees reached record levels, where the average costs of joining a private university for a period of four years in 2019 amounted to more than $ 200,000, and has reached $ 100,000 in a public university. And universities have opened their doors to the wealthy from other countries so that they can attract the largest possible number of students who are able to pay such high fees.
From an alternative plan to a long-term strategy
The writer pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic is about to destroy this business model. In light of the high numbers of injuries in the United States, many students have decided to postpone the registration, and foreign students are still hesitant in light of the uncertainty about visas and work prospects.
The toughest universities are preparing for the worst. Recently, Harvard announced new measures to manage the crisis, including salary cuts and job freezes. Most other universities have also been forced to make similar decisions, and are concerned that their affiliates may demand a partial waiver of tuition fees if they continue to teach online until the fall of this year, according to the author.
The writer said that the shift of distance education from a backup plan, due to the Corona epidemic, to a long-term strategy, would lead to a significant drop in fees, and university education would become available to a large number of students.
Some universities previously allowed some of their professors to offer lessons and courses online, but most - as the author says - were not adopting such an option strategically.
The writer explained that the universities were organizing such courses in order not to be accused of obstructing distance education, but they did not want to adopt the matter completely because it would force them to give up a number of their professors and perhaps their facilities and buildings that have been allocated massive resources over the centuries.
Creating parallel certificates
The writer indicated that universities will be obliged to create certificates parallel to their basic certificates by providing distance courses, which will allow thousands of new students to join.
In his view, such parallel certificates will not affect the income of universities from students who are able to pay the fees, and in return will provide distinguished degrees for large numbers of people who want to develop their skills.
The writer concluded that universities that seem eager to open their doors again next fall, should realize the seriousness of the situation and not take quick decisions in order to remedy their financial losses.