Students and teachers have been some of the hardest-hit by the pandemic, especially if what currently are temporary measures become permanent

The good news is that many universities are holding classes again. I’ve been part of that with recent and forcoming talks at Rutgers, Hong Kong Baptist, Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Chicago (for a list, including summaries or videos of some of the talks, please click here.)

The bad news is that these video courses and lectures might become permanent. Personally I enjoy meeting students and watching them when I talk to gauge their reaction (or lack of it!). The experience for everyone is infinitely better in person. Now we’re teaching online but I only hope that this is just temporary.

My fear, however, is that these measures will become semi-permanent. Will be have two-tiered classes, where some students (who pay more?) get in-person classes while many more attend via video? Given the financial pressures that universities have put themselves under (note my formulation: they created this hyper-commercialized form of educadtion; no one forced it on them), I can imagine that this will be the case, perhaps as a way to offest the loss of revenues by foreign students. They used to be the cash cows who were endlessly milked; perhaps in the future it will be Zoom Students? 

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