Mon | Oct 18, 2021

Creating opportunities in the time of crisis for universities

Published:Monday | March 1, 2021 | 12:08 AM


University students are overlooked, especially in times of sustained economic decline. Sadly, we haven’t been doing a great job of helping them in recent years, but I see a golden opportunity here for the powers that be. Both public- and private-sector interests could partner to help fund the continued education of some of these students. These students could then be employed for a period of time after graduation for the entities to recover their investment. The fresh graduates will also have valuable work experience.

There are many iterations of this concept, and the implementation is not as easy as writing this letter. However, it is certainly within reach if we care to take on the troubles of these students as our own.

Sustainable rewards generally require mutual solutions. Universities can also operate along these lines more intentionally by reviewing their fee structure and service-delivery platforms. They should offer services that are profitable to them and yet flexible and affordable to the students. This can also be marketed and partnered with other initiatives that can generate revenue and attract sponsorship. The viability and relevance of local and regional universities may very well depend on this, especially in the face of increasingly cost-effective, accessible and competitive offerings from both within and outside of our region. No institution is immune from this reality!

If this pandemic has shown us anything, it is that our individual good is no higher than our collective welfare. Is there any hope for a poor nation without it’s leaders finding transformational solutions that go beyond merely servicing poverty? The same applies to any business or institution in times of ongoing economic contraction. The history of crisis is that burden can conceive the very innovations that lift us to the next level, when love has its way.