Universities that adopt quality online learning, forge significant partnerships, and demonstrate results in preparing students of all ages for work in a technology-driven economy, stand the best chance of thriving after the pandemic. Three years ago, Clayton Christensen, who developed the theory of "disruptive innovation," predicted that half of colleges and universities in the United States would be bankrupt in 10 to 15 years. His prediction may be hastened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has dealt a financial blow to universities across the US and globally. Seismic changes are on the way.

Beginning in March, enforced social distancing sent faculty scrambling to their computers to download Zoom. Millions of students, forced to decamp from shuttered campuses, spent much of the Spring term logging on to classes from their parents' homes. In recent weeks, universities have been grappling with the decision of whether to welcome students back to campus, or continue teaching remotely for the rest of 2020. -

A version of this article appears in the print on April 16, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.