Hanover Research is closely monitoring developments surrounding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and how it has and may continue to impact the higher education community. This resource center provides you with key facts, resources, and potential responses to this rapidly evolving situation.
We have set up a dedicated COVID-19 support email (firstname.lastname@example.org) where you may ask any questions related to COVID-19.
In addition to the information included in this resource center, Hanover is committed to providing you with up-to-date custom research to help you address COVID-19 related challenges as the situation continues to develop.
Our research team can craft a customized research project based on your institution’s individual needs:
Hanover’s Reopening Audit Surveys help members gather critical feedback on a recurring basis from current students, faculty and staff, and parents of current students. The surveys focus on the efficacy of an institution’s operations with respect to communication, personal safety, the instructional experience, and the overall academic environment. Equipped with this data, institutions will be empowered to respond effectively as stakeholder needs arise / change over the course of the academic year
Evaluates opportunities for clarification or expansion relative to COVID-19 related policies at peer and competitor institutions. Sample policy areas include remote work, online education, study abroad and international students, support for at-risk students and discrimination responses, and long-term planning.
Gather real-time feedback on the experiences of students and faculty as they navigate institutional responses to COVID-19.
Gather critical feedback on a recurring basis from key stakeholders, focusing on the efficacy of your institution’s operations with respect to communication, personal safety, the instructional experience, and the overall academic environment. Explore the surveys.
Audit social media communication and responses to the COVID-19 situation to reduce the spread of misinformation and optimize transparency.
Our syndicated Research Library contains numerous reports that can help inform your institution’s transition to online learning in response to COVID-19 – below are some of most relevant reports:
Webinar Recording – The State of Individual Giving & What’s Next
How has COVID-19 impacted institutions’ giving programs—and how will this affect long-term individual giving? Listen now to learn about the implications for fundraising in 2020 followed by an informative discussion about how institutional advancement professionals are strategically responding this year and beyond.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker
Understand the prevalence of COVID-19 when considering decisions about your reopening with our dashboard, presenting county- and state-level statistics on COVID-19 cases and testing.
According to Johns Hopkins (verbatim):
Hanover’s Grants team is curating COVID-related funding opportunities that are broadcast weekly through our Grant Alerts, combining them in an easily searchable dashboard. The team will continue to update over the coming months, as the landscape develops.
COVID-19 Funding Opportunities
Passed by the House on March 27, the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) includes more than $14 billion in aid to assist higher education institutions in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic . The act includes:
Webinar Recording: Proposal Writing in the Time of COVID-19
As grant-seekers navigate a post-COVID funding environment, many are finding that they must adapt their approach to ensure competitiveness and feasibility of their proposals. This complimentary webinar covers special considerations for grant proposals during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
Click here to view the webinar recording.
COVID-19 has created considerable uncertainty around higher education’s traditional revenue streams, including tuition, room and board fees, and government funding. These temporary disruptions, combined with longer-term shifts in the postsecondary landscape, argue for alternatives to traditional revenue streams.
Academic leadership should select alternative revenue strategies based on financial return, resource and operational needs, and alignment with the institution’s mission. Sample strategies include:
Final selections should reflect a ‘portfolio’ approach, with a mix of larger and smaller, conservative and risker initiatives. See our report on Alternative Revenue Generation Strategies for additional insights and best practices.
As a service to the higher ed research community, we’ve opened up our subscription Grant Alerts to the public, consolidating funding opportunities and news from grantmaking organizations (public and private) in response to COVID-19, as they develop. Find the latest edition here.
College Plans for Reopening Dashboard
Our dynamic dashboard tracks how institutions are planning to resume courses in the upcoming academic year using data compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Though some countries and U.S. states are easing social distancing restrictions, re-opening isn’t necessarily a return to normalcy. Indeed, Johns Hopkins University (2) urges governors to open schools and businesses in a phased approach once they are “able to safely diagnose, treat, and isolate COVID-19 cases and their contacts.” However, some contact limitations may need to continue to prevent transmission from accelerating again. If another outbreak occurs, large-scale physical distancing may need to be reinitiated.
Institutions need to begin finalizing long-term changes and communicating potential continued disruptions to their students, faculty, and staff. Preliminary responses for the upcoming Fall include:
Maintaining a virtual campus, either in part or in full; OR
Resuming in-person programs and services with social distancing parameters in place.
For additional campus housing plans, see the Association of College and University Housing Officers International (ACUHO-i)’s Campus Housing Plan Tracker.
Institutions must also consider the legal and political implications of offering online or in-person instruction.
See the Oxford University COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT), which “systematically collects information on several different common policy responses that governments have taken to respond to the pandemic on 17 indicators such as school closures and travel restrictions. It now has data from more than 160 countries.”
While offering classes online may be the best for individuals’ personal health, this decision has presented multiple pedagogical challenges, including:
The need for faculty members to restructure their classes to accommodate a distance format. Institutions must consider how to support faculty who still have limited experience with hosting online classes.
Universities also need to understand how successfully they supported students who do not have the resources to effectively participate in distance education. Specifically, in the shift to online education, universities should consider how well they addressed the challenges of low-income, part-time, or other students who are already at the greatest risk of dropping out from classes.
Engage in non-academic student services virtually to more wholly support students during the pandemic and beyond. An optimal approach will include a span of technological platforms, such as videoconferencing, blogs, video libraries, mobile applications, virtual events, and social media.
Adapted from University Business’ “5 Steps to Building Virtual Services for Online Students” by Theresa Sullivan Barger, August 13, 2019. See our Global Benchmarking and Best Practices in Online Student Supports report for additional guidance.
Global higher education titans Philip G Altbach and Hans de Wit state in University World News that “It is impossible to predict the full extent of the short-, medium- or long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education, but the implications are becoming increasingly serious and mostly negative, and are likely to amplify gaps and inequalities between learners, institutions and countries.” Admissions arrangements, in particular, have been disrupted due to cancelled entry examinations and other factors.
Though less so than previously thought, international students are reconsidering global study plans, necessitating targeted marketing and outreach efforts.
Cancellation of key international examinations will shift admissions requirements and intakes.
High school students rethinking fall enrollment due to virus-related financial constraints need additional support and encouragement.
Students seeking a holistic/traditional university experience may choose a gap year to travel or work rather than taking classes online.
According to the American Council and Education’s (ACE) June 2020 Survey of 300 university presidents in the U.S., the most popular modes of communication regarding policies, procedures, and expectations for the Fall include email (97 percent of respondents), institutional websites (96 percent), social media (87 percent), virtual town halls (75 percent), new student/staff orientations (70 percent), and local press/media (55 percent).
Exemplars using a variety of modes of communication include:
Sample Institutional Webpages
Sample Modes of Communication
The Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI)
Australian National University
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
University of Oxford
University of Buffalo
Exemplars of COVID-19 specific websites include:
Sample Institutional Webpages
Sample Institutional Webpage Features
New York University
University of Virginia
University of Maryland
University of California San Francisco
University of Louisville
See “Higher education institution responses to COVID-19 to-date” below for additional institutional responses and dissemination methods.
With many states moving to re-open their economies, the National Governors Association (NGA), individual state governors, and health experts like Johns Hopkins University (see their recent COVID-19 Planning Guide and Self-Assessment for Higher Education) are releasing guidelines for re-opening colleges and universities. Institutions should follow these as well as live databases of higher education institutional responses to COVID-19 to monitor trends and assess best practices. Note that as the situation is rapidly evolving, some links may break.
Adapted from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Checklist for Administrators”.
Use reputable resources to stay abreast of recent developments in the COVID-19 situation. To prevent the spread of misinformation, point faculty, staff, students, and community members to reliable sources such as the following:
Working with local health professionals and other relevant partners, review and update emergency contingency and operations plans, particularly those that address infectious disease outbreaks.
According to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American College Health Association (ACHA), and other authoritative sources, institutions should identify a core planning team to develop emergency operations plans. In response to COVID-19, many institutions have developed working groups of community stakeholders and local public health authorities to develop tailored policies and procedures. According to the American Council and Education’s (ACE) June 2020 Survey of 300 university presidents in the U.S., 84 percent of all respondents are developing or have developed campus-based advisory structures to support institutional COVID-19 planning efforts. For instance:
COVID-19 Field Guide
Get the resources you need to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 and craft your higher education response strategy with our complete field guide.
Specifically, the CDC suggests the following (verbatim):
Institutions vary in their plans for promoting preventative health behaviors and health screening upon resuming in-person classes and on-campus operations. According to a survey of 310 presidents of U.S. universities conducted by the American Council on Education (ACE), just over half of respondents (53 percent) said it was “very likely” and 31 percent said it was “somewhat likely” their institutions would resume in-person classes in the fall. Common actions leaders plan to take to promote preventative health behaviors include (verbatim, as of May 2020):
The CDC has also published “interim considerations” for higher education administrators about COVID-19 testing, exploring types of tests and testing strategies that institutions can use to “slow and stop the spread” of the disease on campuses. Multiple universities are also offering free courses on contact tracing.
Should an outbreak occur, institutions should plan for absenteeism and student support while they are being quarantined.
Should an institution need to quarantine on-campus students, for example, ACE’s June iteration of the Pulse Survey shows that most U.S. university and college presidents plan to support students through (verbatim):
Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis: A Survey of College and University Presidents
We conducted a survey of 172 campus leaders with Inside Higher Ed to understand how institutions nationwide are addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Administrators should communicate about COVID-19 cases while maintaining individual confidentiality. Faculty and staff should also encourage the use of mental health services and share trusted information to counter potential discrimination and stigma. Create a broad-based taskforce of campus stakeholders and local health professionals when deciding how to proceed with campus operations.
While coping with the virus, universities must make sure that they work to reduce potential stereotyping and discrimination.
Universities must also make sure to provide adequate support for students who have experienced discrimination or otherwise feel displaced or worried about COVID-19.
Frequently Asked COVID-19 Questions for Higher Education
Get answers to the top questions higher education leaders are asking about COVID-19.