The Economic Perspective: “A Shake-up in Universities”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at a shake-up in universities.  Mike, many universities are beginning the academic year totally on-line, while others are using a combination of on-line and in-person classes.  Either way, with Covid-19 still present, the university experience is much different today than in the past.   Will this difference remain long after the virus is gone?


Mike: Summary Answer

  • Universities and colleges are now having changes forced on them, changes that many said they didn’t to consider anyway
  • College costs have been some of the fastest rising among all costs
  • Colleges have been encouraged to look for ways to reduce costs, and on-line teaching is one way
  • Big savings in in classrooms and buildings
  • Also the potential for on-line classes to be done by the best teachers, with one-on-one experiences being done by assistants
  • Obviously not all classes lend themselves to on-line – sciences, design and engineering
  • There is a worry that students who want the total college experience may not go to college if most is on-line
  • Still, colleges will now have experience seeing if works
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.