Today I participated in my Alma Mater’s virtual graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020.
I was not planning to attend, but I had nostalgic feelings from my own graduation ceremony more than 20 years ago and concluded that it was important to express support to the students and faculty at this critical time.
As I heard the graduation speakers, a stream of unforgettable memories came to mind: the strong bonds created with my classmates; the superior knowledge of our faculty; the continuous support from the admin staff; meeting the person who became my husband… In sum, I miss the overall experience of life at campus!
Much has been said of the disruption of the education; now significantly accelerated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because the coronavirus crisis 1) amplified the inequality gap of our education systems; and 2) demonstrated that the digital methods were a viable and effective alternative in this field.
Many universities are now figuring out how to reshape their offering to make it more affordable and accessible to the public, by increasing the use of digital delivery methods. It is likely that no one-solution will prevail, with many experts calling for a blended or hybrid model.
But there are others who believe that this is the end of the brick-and-mortar universities and consequently, of the campus life…
Honestly, this possibility brings me mixed feelings, when I think of my kids. I certainly know that no matter what model(s) prevail, their years in the university will mark them for life; however, I will not want for them to miss the campus life!