I went back into the classroom in the third week of September to greet a very enthusiastic group of MA students from across the globe. Many of them were in the classroom. We are one of the very few parts of Johns Hopkins universe that is teaching in person. Many of the students were also on Zoom. We started class in the evening in Italy; my American students were straddling lunch time; my students in China were burning the late-night oil. The experience of being with them was a breath of fresh air after a long time at home. If you ignored the masks, the social distancing, and the ban on any kind of organized celebration, it almost felt like things might possibly be returning to normal – almost, but not quite. And I doubt they ever will.Continue reading →
Application season always makes me wonder about the future of higher education. The business model is hard to understand. The costs are hideous. The sources of funds not obvious. And there is no way to imagine that tuition alone can prepare us — by which I mean higher education in general — for the future. This year I had the chance to speak about these issues in China with university administrators from across the Asia-Pacific region. It was fascinating to see how much our concerns are similar. The implication is that we all have a lot of work to do to ensure that higher education has a sustainable future. I gave two contributions — both of which are below.