How COVID-19 is Upending the College Experience

Leaders from 2U, Global Citizen Year, Minerva, and Pearson reveal which elements of the higher-ed ecosystem are getting stronger and which are poised to collapse.

Abby Falik
We’re living in this liminal space between one era and the next. So many of the disruptions that people have been writing about and speaking about for so long, the curve on that acceleration has just so dramatically shifted. I have pretty radical views on this. My sense on it is that outside of the top 20 very well-endowed selective colleges, everyone will struggle to survive. [Meanwhile,] I’m watching all these edtech players flood the market. We can’t let the market solve the educational crisis. If we do, education will become job training, period. There is so much that doesn’t have an immediate ROI, and this is where we need mission-driven efforts. You can develop hard skills, but where are the opportunities that help students develop self-awareness? Empathy?

Chip Paucek
The reality is, most of the people getting an undergraduate education are in their 30s with kids. The huge market is actually adult learners, who have typically been served by the for-profit [universities]. As more non-profit universities shift online, it will expand access to quality education for these learners.

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