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The breakdowns in COVID-19 testing have left colleges and universities with only one lever to pull: more de-densification. Learn why the first weeks of term—even for the best-prepared institutions—suggest that it’s time to limit the number of students on campus as much as possible.
At many institutions, living on campus is a crucial dimension of the student experience, as well as a key source of auxiliary revenue. But current public health evidence indicates that communal living could strongly facilitate virus transmission, and many campuses lack the ability to give each student the safest option of a private room and bathroom. Ultimately, all universities are facing the same question: what is the housing solution that provides students with an on-campus experience that’s as fulfilling as possible, while also protecting the community from outbreaks?
As critical as it is to prioritize an isolation and quarantine strategy as part of your repopulation strategy, it is just as important to determine what approach works best for the needs of your campus community. Inherent in every decision is a balance between cost and risk to public health. EAB has spent the past few months speaking to higher education leaders about their IQ strategies and have catalogued the spectrum of approaches into the following tiers.
Why campus de-densification is a complicated set of decisions at the core of college re-opening plans
College and university leaders continue to grapple with difficult questions around bringing their students, faculty, and staff back to campus safely. Read our latest insight for more information on the complicated set of decisions at the core of re-opening plans.
Facing an economic downturn and fierce competition for undergraduate enrollments, colleges and universities are looking for a silver lining: countercyclical enrollments. This tendency for enrollments to increase as the economy declines is well documented. But leadership at four-year institutions shouldn’t get their hopes up. Not every institution benefits equally from these additional students. The Great Recession had a far smaller impact on baccalaureate and graduate enrollments than it did on community colleges and vocational programs.
Chances are, it took a mere matter of weeks for the COVID-19 pandemic to throw a major wrench in strategic plans. However, we can’t afford to wait another year before finalizing and implementing bold strategic moves. In fact, revisiting and revising institutional strategy now is perhaps the most important step in ensuring long-term sustainability for our institutions.
To learn more about how higher education leaders are similarly seizing new strategic opportunities to thrive in a post-pandemic world, I sat down with EAB’s Senior Vice President of Research, Melanie Ho.
With dire predictions for fall freshmen enrollments making headlines, colleges and universities are bracing for the financial shock to come. While many are hopeful that even a partial reopening of campuses in the fall will avert worst-case revenue scenarios, they still face a fiercely competitive domestic enrollment market.
Although most institutions acknowledge a need for testing in their reopening plans, few have provided concrete details about whom, how, and how often they plan to test. As leaders develop a plan for unprecedented COVID-19 testing in their communities, they must answer five key questions.
As institutions prepare for potential reopenings, senior leaders must consider what protective measures to introduce to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Discover four critical areas leaders must focus on and see early case studies from within and outside the higher education industry.