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The Economics of Education
24-06-2020

The Economics of Education

The human cost of the coronavirus crisis has been devastating, with
almost 400,000 deaths reported worldwide to date. The economic impact is also
substantial and with each passing day, it becomes clearer that the fallout of
this pandemic will continue to affect the global financial landscape long after
the virus subsides

The UAE has gained a reputation for its ability to turn challenges such
as unemployment and recession into opportunities, thanks to the vision,
foresight, and preparations of our senior leadership. Following the directives
of our government, we have begun preparing for a post-COVID-19 educational
environment, with the economic aspect being one of the main pillars of this
plan. We must all contribute to supporting our economy while maintaining what
we have learned from the transition to remote working and learning, and our
experience tightening our budgets

Public and private education institutions have a professional and social
responsibility to reassess their views of the economics of education,
researching the ideal way to invest their financial, human, and technological
resources. Our success in transitioning to remote learning has made clear an
economic advantage; that, with the right technologies, remote learning can be
provided in a highly efficient manner at a lower cost

The economic challenges imposed by the crisis mean that we cannot afford
to wait. We must start reengineering education budgets and restructuring our
education systems to create a hybrid model that combines remote learning with
traditional classroom education. This will offer more diverse options for
education and achieve an ideal investment for budgets 

Firstly, this model will allow us to attract a higher number of students
due to the increased capacities we will enjoy through remote learning.
Secondly, it will allow us to attract academic faculty from anywhere in the
world, with greater skills and experience, which will be particularly useful
for specialized subjects and majors. We will also be able to work with them
without having to bring them into the country. Third, it will allow us to
restructure administrative tasks with options for remote working for certain
types of jobs. For example, remote work is ideal for student services, which
are being successfully offered remotely. Finally, we can redesign school and
university buildings with a greater focus on practical skills, while creating
an environment that fosters innovation, entrepreneurship, and extracurricular
activities

Relying on these methods, we can lower the cost of education and
operational expenses, which is particularly useful to public educational
institutions and will support their current expenditure control goals.
Meanwhile, private intuitions will be able to offer lower fees, easing the
financial burden on students and their families during trying economic times

We have many opportunities to re-engineer the economics of education and
achieve a balance between expenditure

control and quality. By planning in
advance, we can successfully overcome the challenges of the post-COVID-19 era

Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi

President and CEO