If a student population of more than 40,000 in a city of only 120,000 sounds excessive, try asking Berkeley’s residents how it feels. If you can find them among the flood of students, chances are they will express exasperation with the effect of U.C. Berkeley on its surrounding neighborhoods in recent years.
There is a growing concern in Berkeley the that the university’s local student growth is unsustainable and out of control, and its consequences are having a wide range of negative effects. So why is all this happening?
Following years of financial mismanagement, U.C. Berkeley is now in dire need of the lucrative fees that can be charged to out-of-state students. Yet one very sound solution exists, an alternative to wrecking the neighborhoods of Berkeley.
The answer is Distance Learning. This highly effective approach to higher education has been adopted by successful universities around the world. Yet U.C. Berkeley is resisting it, because reportedly Chancellor Carol Christ believes that students should be on campus.
Many students find distance learning a superior approach to attending lectures, especially those on hot days in over-crowded theaters. One U.C. Berkeley law student, Candace, said she finds the video’d lectures more effective than those in-person. “For me it’s better because I can pause it whenever I want to make notes, or read around a particular point to help me understand it better, but also I then can come back to that lecture whenever I need to as my studies progress.”
With a workable solution easily accessible, yet soundly rejected, it’s little wonder that Berkeley’s neighborhoods are forming groups to influence a re-think of U.C. Berkeley’s expansion plans.