Tag: COVID-19

Higher education needs to play the long game with tech after Covid-19

“Leaders in higher education are still working to refine the solutions they implemented during the pandemic, despite a disruptive year and overwhelmed IT teams, there’s reason for optimism”

Tech leaders in higher education spent the better part of 2020 learning lessons of their own. Shifting abruptly to remote learning, keeping students healthy and consistently circulating accurate information were just a few of the efforts IT leaders were tasked to help facilitate.

Like peers in most other industries, leaders in higher education are still working to refine the solutions they implemented during the pandemic. But despite a disruptive year and overwhelmed IT teams, there’s reason for optimism: the pandemic accelerated digital transformation in higher education.

The improvements that were made to campus content services platforms and legacy systems during the pandemic laid the groundwork for a better student experience for years to come.

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Vocational institutions are innovating and changing as a result of Covid-19

“Education and skills systems are increasingly looking towards international experiences to inspire and inform national reforms”

While remote learning has offered some educational continuity when it comes to academic learning, vocational education and training has been particularly affected by the pandemic.

Compared to general programmes, technical and vocational programmes suffer a double disadvantage, as social distancing and the closure of enterprises have made practical and work-based learning, that are so crucial for the success of vocational education, difficult or impossible.

Yet, the Technical and Vocation Education and Training sector plays a central role in ensuring the alignment between education and work and the successful transition of learners into the labour market, that are so important for the economic recovery of any country and prosperity more generally, writes Dr Rossi Vogler, Senior Consultant at the British Council.

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Effective ways to support students learning remotely from abroad

“Inevitably, there are times when it’s simply not possible for a student abroad to log on to a class”

While global efforts to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic continue, it is likely that many universities will retain some elements of remote teaching into and beyond the start of the new academic year.

With uncertainty continuing, Parama Chaudhury of the Centre for Teaching and Learning Economics at University College London shares four tips to help ensure students stranded in their home countries and unable to travel to their place of study get the best possible experience of learning online, wherever they happen to be.

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Addressing needs through personalised learning pathways

“Successful online programs will be the ones that allow students to take charge of their own learning”

Just over a year on from the first UK lockdown, we have collectively learned quite a lot about the resilience of our education system. Like many industries, higher education faced a unique set of challenges throughout the pandemic, particularly as institutions navigated new methods of learning and assessment.

This accelerated digital transformation initiatives across our universities, with lecturers embracing online learning to ensure educational continuity for students. Stewart Watts, vice president EMEA at D2L, explains.

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How international schools can soothe back-to-school panic

“It is important that schools show a willingness to hear the worries and fears of parents.”

Many teachers might soon be asked to put away their computers and webcams and return to reality at the front of the classroom, writes Katie Harwood of Haut-Lac International Bilingual School in Switzerland. Naturally, this restoration of normality might not be so simple as it seems on the surface, and students and staff alike will likely feel a little daunted by it. Many might even have to return from their home countries, having sought comfort from familiarity during the pandemic. However, there are a few simple things schools can do to make their teachers and students feel more comfortable about the situation.

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Lessons learnt from lockdown – how international business is evolving

“My worry was that being forced to work from home could be very demotivating and this would be absolutely disastrous.”

At the end of February I went to Abu Dhabi for the BSME conference, remembers the director of m2r Education Munir Mamujee,  a great event which was supposed to be the highlight of our Q1 international business develop strategy. The conference never happened due to Covid-19 and I ended up in lockdown  at the hotel for five days. It was a rather surreal experience and one I hope never to repeat.

Fast forward and here we are. My team could have vanished, our international business could have ended and all of us could have been on our respective sofas watching daytime TV.

Yes we, like virtually every business out there, have had to make some dramatic changes and accept that for some time to come, it’s not business as usual.

As a business owner I initially went through the usual initial emotion of woe is me, head in hands, wondering what the hell we were going to do.

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International education in the era of Covid-19: walking the talk

“Ironically…I find myself in the position of one of the international students whose future I am now involved in planning”

 

“As countries around the world prepare to unwind nationwide lockdowns and move to a more sustainable way of containing the Covid-19 pandemic, universities are beginning to plan for a resumption of classes on campus,” writes professor Nigel Healey, associate vice-president (Global Engagement) at the University of Limerick.

Most institutions are considering some form of ‘flipped classroom’, with theoretical content delivered online and face-to-face teaching limited to tutorials and laboratory sessions to allow for social distancing.

High on the list of concerns is the impact of Covid-19 on international students.  Most obviously, it is unclear how quickly cross-border travel restrictions will be lifted and scheduled commercial flights restarted.  Some potential students may be reluctant to leave their home countries, for fear of another outbreak.

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Remote learning is here to stay: Here’s how to succeed

“There is little point in designing a groundbreaking learning environment if the institution is unable to keep track of records, process payments or manage data efficiently”

Teachers, administrators, course designers and students are grappling with the impact of lockdowns and social distancing on the education sector.

 Education – especially at a post-secondary level – is a highly international sector, with students and experts frequently crossing borders to study and teach. The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically accelerated changes in the way we live, work and, indeed, learn. Many of those changes are here to stay.

With countries outlining long-term recovery strategies that are both varied and uncertain, business continuity for the education sector is contingent on digital engagement and remote delivery.

While the challenge we are facing is both unexpected and unprecedented, the changes can be seen as a rapid, if highly disruptive, the advancement of the steady trend towards digitisation that was already underway in the education sector before COVID-19.

As it becomes increasingly clear that education delivery practices won’t be “snapping back” to their pre-COVID state, there are a number of issues that the sector must navigate.

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Young Learner operators ready to go with summer programmes when safe to do so

“More than ever now, we can all appreciate just how small the world truly is and the importance of coming together”

A letter on behalf of Young Learner operators to our friends around the world:

At this time of international crisis, we have all seen the huge impact COVID-19 has had on our lives and our industry. More than ever now, we can all appreciate just how small the world truly is and the importance of coming together to protect our global community in times of great need.
As the global situation changes, our plans may too. For now, we all continue to watch the unfolding measures that governments around the world are taking to stem the tide of the virus and get us back to normal soon.

As a sector of Young Learner English Language course providers a number of us have come together to work out how best to serve you, our valued clients.  It’s hard for us to navigate the unknown, but as we continue to better understand how to slow the spread of COVID-19 we want to do all we can to keep our partners, students, employees and our local communities safe. The wellbeing of our people and our students is always our number one priority.
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Reasons for optimism about student housing demand despite a fall in bookings during the lockdown

“Unilodgers is seeing some interesting student research patterns and booking behaviours during the COVID-19 lockdown”

“University leaders and housing operators and managers, both on- and off-campus, are now rightly focussed on today and making sure their students and staff are safe, but what does the future post-pandemic hold?” asks Vincenzo Raimo & JoAnn Orrell of Unilodgers.

There is already very significant speculation about falls in university enrolments in the UK, USA and elsewhere in 2020/21, not only from international students unable to complete prerequisite admission requirements in time for the start of the new academic year but also from potential domestic students delaying their studies rather than compromise their student experience.

Falls in university enrolments would obviously impact housing providers both short as well as potentially longer-term with smaller cohorts working their way through the system.

The evidence, however, suggests a more nuanced picture and reason to be more optimistic for student housing demand than some are perhaps suggesting.  First, the longer-term projections for growing worldwide demand for higher education and international mobility are unchanged.

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