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The lockdowns that followed the outbreak of COVID-19 last year had temporary and lasting effects on the development of risk management education programs.
While student recruitment was disrupted it is recovering, and technology used to meet the challenges of remote learning will likely have a long-term effect on risk management education, experts say.
“Our increased use of digital and remote technologies during the pandemic have opened our eyes to new applications as we returned this year to more traditional face-to-face instruction,” said Robert E. Hoyt, chair and professor of risk management and insurance, and department head, insurance, legal studies and real estate at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia in Athens.
The changes improved the school’s ability to engage with more industry professionals. “We have always had a robust program of incorporating industry speakers into our classes. However, enhanced use of virtual meeting technology has allowed us to bring in CEOs and other professionals from across the U.S. and globally more conveniently and frequently,” he said.
Virtual classes held online during the lockdown “allowed us to bring in out-of-state speakers. The process became easier,” said Stephen H. Shore, department chair and professor in the department of risk management and insurance at the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Mr. Shore said that although undergraduate recruiting was hampered with fewer events and outreach programs during the pandemic, enrollment levels are rebounding toward pre-pandemic levels.
Other programs were largely unaffected by the pandemic.
“Our program was launched in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, but it was always intended as an online asynchronous program, so it worked out well,” said Teresa Chan, director, insurance management program, School of Professional Studies at Columbia University in New York.
Education at some of the nation’s leading risk management and insurance schools is changing to keep pace with trends driving the industry as educators add courses and content to remain relevant.