Welcome to the Meratas Memo’s Weekly Roundup! This is your weekly fix of higher education and alternative financing news. Here are this week's stories:
After announcing plans over the summer to re-open classes in-person this fall, many schools are now reversing or altering their reopening arrangements. These decisions came about due to concerns of pandemic surges as well as taking stock of COVID testing availability.
Many schools have decided to forgo an in-person fall semester all together in favor of all virtual learning. However, some schools have decided to simply delay in-person classes by several weeks. Many schools are taking stock of their specific pandemic situation in their area in making these decisions resulting in mixed plans for the fall.
After recently selling off its Bootcamp businesses, and in an effort to fill its co-working spaces, WeWork is turning to colleges and universities for new customers.
New York University recently announced its leasing of 7,000 square meters of WeWork space near its Shanghai campus. This decision was made in an effort to accommodate thousands of extra Chinese students who would normally attend either their U.S. or Abu Dhabi campuses. However, due to travel restrictions, these students must remain in Shanghai resulting in the need for extra campus space.
This deal was the result of an uptick in interest in the company from colleges and universities seeking new and safer ways of reopening their in-person classes this fall. WeWork has now dedicated a portion of their sales team to working exclusively with universities. While this may pose more challenges in the U.S. than in China, students in smaller universities should not be surprised if their fall classes are held in a WeWork co-working space.
Amid COVID-19 concerns, Big Ten and Pac-12 college sports conferences have called off their 2020 seasons. The other “Power Five” conferences have remained mostly disinclined to follow suit, planning on playing a modified fall season. This decision has been met with mixed responses from other conference leaders, student athletes, and even the President. Many student athletes argue that canceling the fall season would take away a socially distanced program that would actually be safer for student athletes than potentially returning to their hometowns where COVID safety guidelines were less strict.
Topics: The Weekly Roundup