What if they don’t turn up?
Every year, millions of students migrate around the world. How will university towns survive if they stay at home because of COVID-19?
Monday 25 May 2020
Years after the graduation ceremony, what really endures about the university experience is the memory of a communal life, away from home for the first time.
But life on campus, like so much else, cannot return as it was. And universities – grand, strange, ancient, modern – are facing challenges that will pit them against one another and could kill some of them off.
First, universities must do enough to reassure students that campus will be safe for them at the start of a new term; convince them that they will be able to learn; and that if they return, they will be paying for something that is worth having.
The impact of the pandemic disruption on UK universities will have profound impacts: on the fortunes of the country after Brexit; on the economies of towns and cities; and the life and career chances of millions of young people. We asked Chris Cook to look at what might happen next. David Taylor, editor