Thursday, October 22, 2020 | Category: Eduvation Insider
The trajectory of the pandemic is pretty much how it has looked all week: the second wave is already worse than the first. A Harvard researcher calculates that COVID19 has erased 2.5M years of potential life for Americans (so far). Ten US higher ed associations are appealing to congress for $120B in emergency support to avert an “existential crisis.”
Strangely, new calculations from StatsCan have made national and international headlines with what looks like some outdated math. Canadian universities could lose between $344M and $3.4B in 2020-21, they say, due to declines in international enrolment. The range is so wide as to be laughable, and the calculation is based purely on the drop in IRCC study permits – without apparently considering students studying online from abroad. It cites March surveys of student enrolment intent, which did seem to describe a worst-case scenario – which has not come to pass equally for CdnPSEs.
Quebec, Alberta, and BC reported record high new cases of COVID19 yesterday, and both Manitoba and Saskatchewan came close. New Brunswick reported 6 new cases, and the Northwest Territories 2. I’m sure the Calgary wedding was simply charming, until it became a super-spreader event infecting 49 people and counting. Many regions in Canada report testing and tracing functions are overwhelmed, leaving us to assume that all of these numbers are vastly understated. Things are going badly enough here that the European Union has now removed Canadians from its list of permitted non-essential travellers.
Simultaneously, federal and provincial governments are approving institutional COVID19 readiness plans, permitting them to welcome international students across the Canadian border. (It seems a little ironic that, just as IRCC decides that students from other countries pose a manageable risk, other countries are deciding that Canada does not.)
Just 3 new cases in CdnPSE reported since yesterday…
Mohawk College has reported its second COVID19 case at its Stoney Creek campus this fall, a student who was last on campus Oct 13. Global
Niagara College has reported 2 cases of COVID19 at its Welland Campus. (NC previously reported a case at its Niagara-on-the-Lake campus in early October.) Global
Brock U has announced it will be relocating its 20-year-old satellite Hamilton campus to Burlington, closer to the population centre of the GTA. CHCH
Canada Christian College, a religious institution in Whitby ON that lost its right to confer BA and MA degrees in 1983 after a series of scandals and a provincial crackdown on diploma mills, is run by a close friend of Ontario premier Doug Ford – who has buried a measure to grant it “university” designation in a lengthy omnibus bill. NDP
Dalhousie U grad Stacie Smith launched the COVID19 Student Support Network yesterday, as a space for students to express their feelings, network and access mental health resources. Global
College of the North Atlantic has just published its Winter-Spring 2021 Academic Plan, with program delivery ranging from “fully online” to “fully on campus,” and just a few “partially online.” CNA
Laurentian U senate has voted to maintain remote delivery through the Winter 2021 semester. About 1% of classes will continue to be delivered in person. Laurentian
McMaster U reports its highest-ever first-year enrolment this fall, although official numbers will not be available until November. Hamilton Spectator
Redeemer U reports its highest-ever first-year enrolment this fall, with overall enrolment up +13.5% from last year. Last year, Redeemer reduced its tuition 42%. Hamilton Spectator
The End of College as We Knew It
In the midst of a pandemic, we need doctors and research scientists, but also writers, philosophers and historians, “to chart the social, cultural and political challenges of this pandemic — and of all the other dynamics that have pushed the United States so harrowingly close to the edge.” But while airlines get bailouts, colleges face economic disaster, and students will be ruthlessly pragmatic in their choices, eschewing Homer and Shakespeare for career preparation. “A society without a grounding in ethics, self-reflection, empathy and beauty is one that has lost its way,” as exemplified in the “empathy deficit” of anti-maskers. We face not only a public health crisis and economic crisis, but “a values crisis” as well. Sadly, we will likely see online instruction replace hundreds of small colleges over the next 5 years. A “shrinking minority of students” will get a “boutique college” experience. “A vaccine for the coronavirus won’t inoculate anyone against the ideological arrogance, conspiracy theories and other internet-abetted passions and prejudices that drive Americans apart. But the perspective, discernment and skepticism that a liberal arts education can nurture just might.” “If one were to invent a crisis uniquely and diabolically designed to undermine the foundations of traditional colleges and universities, it might look very much like the current global pandemic.” New York Times
“If one were to invent a crisis uniquely and diabolically designed to undermine the foundations of traditional colleges and universities, it might look very much like the current global pandemic.” – Brian Rosenberg, Former President, Macalester College
“A vaccine for the coronavirus won’t inoculate anyone against the ideological arrogance, conspiracy theories and other internet-abetted passions and prejudices that drive Americans apart. But the perspective, discernment and skepticism that a liberal arts education can nurture just might.” – Frank Bruni, columnist, New York Times
It’s been a fairly quiet week for new higher ed spots on YouTube – plenty of long town halls and convocations, but of the shorter stuff, two from (the) Ohio State U stand out…
Game Days at Home
Ohio State U released two 15-sec spots this week, to encourage Buckeyes fans to celebrate game days from home, “enjoying the traditions we all know and love – even if it’s in new ways.” In “Game Days at Home mean Shorter Lines,” mascot Brutus needs to make a rest stop. In “Driveways Make the Perfect Tailgate Spots,” a Buckeyes fan gets a bit too into a game of bean bag cornhole.
As always, thanks for reading! Stay safe and be well,
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