Higher Education in the COVID Era

Will it remain an economic growth engine?


As the nation has shifted from a manufacturing to a knowledge-based economy, cities and states increasingly view colleges and universities as engines of local and regional economic growth. Institutions of higher education provide jobs, purchase local goods and services, and supply skilled graduates who may settle in the region and contribute to its productivity. Major research universities license their inventions to local startups, creating high-tech jobs. And many colleges and universities work with community groups and local governments to improve surrounding neighborhoods. But the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is causing an unprecedented financial crisis among colleges and universities, emptying some towns of students, professors and staff and disrupting the institutions' ability to act as economic engines. Experts question whether that role will be permanently ...

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