28 September 2020

Future looks bleak for Universities

The Wuhan Virus will not only accelerate the trend to (at least partial) home-working, it will also shake up the sleepy world of our Universities. If more and more lectures are delivered digitally there will ultimately be a need for fewer professors and other teaching staff. One can take the example of Economics. Depending on the size of the country there may be a few dozen or hundred professors essentially teaching an identical curriculum. Now we all know from experience that not all - or maybe only a few - of them are equally gifted speakers. But will they now all deliver their lectures digitally? Would students not gravitate to the most exciting, most interesting, most highly rated handful of professors teaching the subject IN THE WHOLD WORLD?
Even the basic acquisition in subjects that require hands-on training (Medicine, Engineering etc) can be done remotely which means probably nearly half the curriculum. This implies a DRASTIC  shrinkage in the number of teaching (and supporting) staff required in all universities, and result in vast amount of surplus Real Estate as well.

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