With the Coronavirus, Higher Education Suffers Enormous Losses

On university and college campuses, it’s been a back-to-school season like none other. COVID-19 outbreaks have forced entire residence halls and sports teams to quarantine, and, for some institutions, could prompt a premature end to the semester. Other campuses are ghost towns, as instruction has moved completely online. The pandemic has transformed teaching and learning, how research is conducted⎯the very rhythms of campus life.

The contagion’s impact on international education has been especially acute. With closed borders, shuttered consulates and airline restrictions, study abroad and foreign exchange programs have been canceled, while the United States is all but off-limits for new international students. Some have chosen to take classes online, but many have put off their studies. No other demographic group has experienced such deep enrollment declines this fall, according to preliminary data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, an education policy think tank. Estimates suggest as many as

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Australian university trade union concedes up to 90,000 job losses

By its own admission, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is presiding over a disaster—the greatest ever destruction of jobs in the Australian university sector.

The October edition of the union’s aptly-titled Sentry online magazine states: “The NTEU can confirm that there have been at least 12,185 positions lost in Australian universities since March. This comprises at least 5,300 continuing positions, 6,486 casual positions and 399 fixed term positions that we are aware of. Sadly, the full figure is likely much higher.”

Based on the NTEU’s estimate that about 100,000 people are engaged on casual contracts in the sector, the magazine concludes: “[I]t is not out of the question to assume that up to 50,000 of our casual colleagues have lost work since the COVID-19 disaster began.”

An NTEU rally at Macquarie University late last year (Credit: WSWS)

That loss would take the total to around 90,000 permanent, fixed-term and

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Job losses mount for public school employees as pandemic squeezes education sector

The jobs report released Friday indicated employment losses in public education. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) Published Credit: John Moore/Getty Images Published Credit: John Moore/Getty Images


John Moore/Getty Images

The pandemic-induced economic downturn is taking a toll on America’s educators. 

Job gains during the month of September, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday, were weaker than expected. One of the main drivers: job losses in public education. 

Employment in local government education, or jobs largely in the K-12 public school system, dropped by 231,000 last month, the BLS reported. Employment in that sector is down by 570,300 from this time last year, according to an analysis of BLS data by Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank.  

Employment in state government education, which typically includes jobs at public colleges and universities, fell by 49,000. Jobs in private education fell by

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