How Coronavirus Will Disrupt Future Colleges & Universities
[Scott] Galloway, a #Silicon_Valley runaway who teaches marketing at NYU Stern School of Business, believes the pandemic has greased the wheels for big tech’s entrée into higher education. The post-pandemic future, he says, will entail partnerships between the largest tech companies in the world and elite universities. MIT@Google. iStanford. HarvardxFacebook. According to Galloway, these partnerships will allow universities to expand enrollment dramatically by offering hybrid online-offline degrees, the affordability and value of which will seismically alter the landscape of higher education. Galloway, who also founded his own virtual classroom start-up, predicts hundreds, if not thousands, of brick-and-mortar universities will go out of business and those that remain will have student bodies composed primarily of the children of the one percent.
At the same time, more people than ever will have access to a solid education, albeit one that is delivered mostly over the internet. The partnerships he envisions will make life easier for hundreds of millions of people while sapping humanity of a face-to face system of learning that has evolved over centuries. Of course, it will also make a handful of people very, very rich. It may not be long before Galloway’s predictions are put to the test.
What’s going to happen to campuses?
I worry they’ll still exist, but they’ll be just filled with rich people. A four-year liberal-arts-campus experience is going to become something that’s largely relegated and positioned to the children of rich people.
I want to be clear: There is some social good to this. You’re going to have a lot of good education, dispersed to millions and tens of millions of people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to computer science or Yale’s class on happiness. When I got into UCLA, about one in three, or 40 percent of students, got in. Now it’s something like one in seven. More kids are going to get into great schools. But just like any other space big tech enters, there’s going to be a reduction in humanity. Just as we’re on Instagram and we’re more socially connected, we’re definitely more isolated and more lonely.