The COVID-19 pandemic created what appears to be a perfect storm for the post-secondary education sector: closed campuses, decreased enrolment, challenges for international applicants, and an economic recession. So, what comes next and how does this affect students?
On the latest episode of George Brown's Work Shift podcast, hosts Shawne McKeown and Ray Harripaul discuss the issues with higher education industry consultant Ken Steele and George Brown’s VP of Strategy and Innovation Rick Huijbregts.
“It’s a very anxious year. No one knows quite what’s going to happen,” Steele says. “Pandemics aren't unprecedented but this year, from an enrolment management perspective, unprecedented unpredictability in terms of what yield is actually going to be. Who’s actually going to enrol, how many courses are they actually going to take? Nobody really knows and I think the answer is different at every institution.”
Huijbregts addresses the challenges George Brown is facing and how the college is adapting to meet both the health and safety and educational needs of students. He also stressed why he believes college is the right choice in the current environment.
“Every time we need to rebuild the nation, we need people that do, people in the essential roles. Look at, frankly, all the roles that were tagged as essential in the past three months, many of them for which you go to college,” Huijbregts says. “This is the heart and engine of our economy. So, I think college is the best choice.”