Apr 2020

Defining Higher Education’s New Normal

As institutions deal with the current COVID-19 crisis, they must simultaneously prepare for a recession on the horizon, defined by severe job losses and fundamental economic change. In this interview, Michael Horn discusses how institutions can prepare for the short-term job vacancies, reflects on how remote learning will impact delivering the 60-Year Curriculum vision, and he shares his insights into how physical distancing will shape the way schools will have to redesign their infrastructure to support their learners’ needs in this new normal. 

The EvoLLLution (Evo): In the wake of the pandemic, it looks as though we’re heading for a recession. Do you expect this recession to be different from the one we had in 2008?

Michael Horn (MH): It’ll be different in a few key respects. One, the layoffs are going to be much worse given what we’ve seen so far. It’s hard to believe, but it seems to be where we are at the moment. The second thing is, even amidst mass layoffs, there are some large employers who need to ramp up production and are hiring right now. It certainly doesn’t make up for the losses and layoffs, but there are some opportunities for people to work. As a result, people need to upscale to be able to fill those roles.


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