At the start of each semester, it was always delightful to see eager students. Ready to take the first steps in their academic careers. Heading to their classes in impressive university buildings. Today, those are all but deserted campuses. The coronavirus has had a massive impact on the use of our spaces. And effective space management is more essential than before. Online classes from bedrooms and kitchen tables replaced the face-to-face sessions. And collaboration often goes through emails and text. We all have to learn, collaborate, concentrate, and relax differently now. Because of the lack of face-to-face interaction, the quality of higher education has suffered tremendously. According to the management chair of the University of Amsterdam. Not only has the quality of the classes worsened. Also, the student life experience, self-study, and collaboration work have taken a downturn.
Many students live with a limited budget in a single-room flat. They lack facilities like a proper desk, proper chair, Wi-Fi connection, and/or computer. Many students are dying to get out of their house and study at the university. But the university buildings have a limited capacity to accommodate that need. Sometimes as low as 30% of their normal capacity. Many universities now fear drop-outs. Because a lack of academic- and social integration is a major predictor of students’ performance. So, how could universities use effective space management of their spaces to sustain the quality of higher education?
Many, if not all, classes are now given online. Students and teachers attend and provide classes from somewhere in their homes. The first effect of this is that it leads to relatively empty university buildings. Empty yet open buildings lead to a lot of unnecessary costs when it comes to heating, cleaning, maintenance etcetera.