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Highlights from Higher Ed: The Future of GME, “Misguided” Higher Ed and Online Learning

What will graduate management education look like after the pandemic?

“Given the tumult of the past several years, it should come as no surprise that some of the most respected schools in the U.S. are discontinuing their full-time MBA (FTMBA) programs,” said Stephen Taylor, Research Director for Liaison’s BusinessCAS community, in a recent op-ed published by AACSB International. “Others will certainly shutter their programs because schools across the board have faced many of the same challenges with their FTMBAs: the inherently destructive nature of the rankings game, the cost dynamics of offering a residential two-year program, the shift in the U.S. market demand toward specialization and the struggle to make the value proposition to students or employers that the MBA still matters. All of these issues are core challenges faced by any U.S. business school, and all are accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to work through these challenges, schools will have to be increasingly agile.” According to Taylor, “The need for savvy, effective generalists in positions of leadership across the full spectrum of global challenges, however, has never been clearer as these crises continue to unfold.”

Source: BizEd

Americans think higher ed is “heading in the wrong direction”

Slightly more than half (52%) of 2,000 recently surveyed students, graduates and parents said they think higher education is “misguided” and only 33% said they believe a college degree is a prerequisite for joining the middle class. Even fewer (27%) “said a degree was needed to achieve the American dream.” Two-thirds said colleges and universities “put their own interests ahead of students’ needs,” compared with just 9% who believe “schools prioritize students’ interests.” Whereas half of the graduates said they went to college to improve their job prospects, only 15% did so to learn more about an academic subject. And while “62% of respondents said their opinions of colleges and universities had not been changed by higher ed’s response to the Coronavirus… 42% believe the quality of the college experience will decline when campuses reopen for the fall semester.”

Source: University Business

Survey reveals mixed feelings about online learning vary along race and gender lines

Faced with the options of learning online, in-person or in a hybrid format, a plurality of recent survey respondents (35%) said online offers the best financial value, yet “online was viewed as the least effective approach for learning, and the least likely to prepare students for success in their job and career.” Overall, only 10% said they were likely to enroll in online classes within the next six months. Black respondents were more likely to say they’re confident in the quality of online learning (60%) than Latino (46%), white (43%) or Asian (35%) respondents. More women (48%) than men (33%) would choose a fully online option if they were to enroll in a program within the next six months. However, if COVID-19 weren’t a concern, in-person classes would be the top choice among both women (41%) and men (42%). Fully online classes would be the least popular option: 29% of women and 27% of men said they would opt for it if not for the pandemic.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Will colleges survive, thrive or perish in the wake of the pandemic?

An educator from New York University (NYU) has asserted that the post-pandemic success or failure of U.S. colleges and universities “may hinge on whether administrators decide to stick with online learning or attempt to hold in-person classes while COVID continues to spread unchecked in many parts of the country.” In-person classes, he said, “should be minimal, ideally none.” According to NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway, U.S. college campuses can be compared to “2,800-plus cruise ships setting sail in the midst of a ‘raging pandemic.’” He believes the institutions that will weather the storm “include those with the highest endowments and high demand from students, and which offer strong value and are likely to embrace new technology to decrease costs per student… Schools that risk perishing do so because of high admission rates and high tuition, smaller endowments, a dependence on international students and ‘weak brand equity.’”

Source: University Business