FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA (May 11, 2020) Administrators in higher education like Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman College, are considering how to adapt to a post-COVID-19 learning environment.
Dr. Campbell recently joined educational leaders from three continents to explore the findings of a new research report commissioned by the Qatar foundation titled “New schools of thought: Innovative models for delivering higher education.”
According to the report, the aftermath of COVID-19 will have a lasting effect on students, who will have the power to bankrupt universities that do not meet their expectations. For Spelman, the complications will be compounded by the fact that the coronavirus has had a dramatic impact on the African American community.
“Our community has been the hardest hit and when you add to that the technology divide, you have a perfect storm of inequality that will become a real challenge to bridge,” said Dr. Campbell.
The full report, which was produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit, outlines how higher education institutions must adapt to survive as they face dwindling public funding, questions over their value and the challenges that technology and automation pose. Spelman and the Atlanta University Center Consortium are included in the report as a case study.
The local communities that institutions like Spelman help support through educational exchange opportunities will also be affected by changes in higher education.
“Academic partnerships are extremely important in days like this,” said Dr. Campbell. “As we are rethinking our priorities, those of us who are in urban areas and locally based, as opposed to globally based, have a real responsibility to become part of the solution that corrects an inequity that begins in early childhood education.”
In the last year, Spelman students have made a marked improvement in the literacy levels of Atlanta middle school students by volunteering as tutors in SpelReads, the College’s literacy program with local schools. During the conversation, Dr. Campbell recommended institutions of higher education share resources and collaborate, which, as detailed in the report, has resulted in shared costs and higher efficiencies for the Atlanta University Center Consortium.
A recording of the discussion and the report are available here.