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How Will the Pandemic Change Higher Education

How Will the Pandemic Change Higher Education – It is a fact that the pandemic has affected every sector of many countries and many countries are still trying to get things in order. One of the sectors greatly affected by the pandemic is the educational sector.

Many institutions had to make drastic changes to accommodate the effect of the pandemic and as the pandemic is nearing its end many higher education institutions might not come out of it unscathed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused and will cause more permanent and temporary changes in the educational sector, especially in higher education. In this article, we will look at the topic titled “how will the pandemic change higher education”.

What is a Pandemic?

A pandemic is the global spread of a new disease. This disease is dangerous, spreads fast, and CA lead to the loss of human life. Examples of pandemics are viral respiratory diseases caused by the Coronavirus COVID-19 or the newly discovered influenza virus.

A pandemic should not be confused with an epidemic. The epidemic doesn’t spread worldwide but that doesn’t make it less dangerous to humans.

How is a Pandemic Declared?

A pandemic is usually declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This organization does this by observing outbreaks of the disease and taking counsel from international health specialists.

Once the World Health Organisation has made its observations and taken counsel, it can then declare a pandemic.

How Will the Pandemic Change Higher Education?

Below are some of the ways that the pandemic will change higher education.

  • Fewer roommates
  • Increment in digital textbooks
  • An increase in full-time online studying
  • Less number of international students
  • More staff layoffs
  • Closure of colleges
  • Increment in academic inequality
  • More virtual jobs and internships
  • Proficiency in educational technology
  • The end of the traditional school calendar
  • Increase in online schools

  • Fewer roommates

One of the ways that the pandemic will change higher education is the decrease in the number of roommates. Having roommates is a core part of attending a university or college. Many look forward to having roommates who can turn into lifelong friends and some don’t want roommates.In some schools, two people can share a room and in some 3 to 4 people will a room. However, this is about to be changed because of the pandemic.

To protect everyone the number of roommates will decrease. They might no longer be a need to use the word roommate in a higher education setting.Many universities and colleges are working hard to reduce the number of students in rooms and dormitories to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

  • Increment in digital textbooks

There will be an increase in the use of digital textbooks due to the pandemic. Many are used to the hard or soft texture of a paperback. It is most common in higher education institutions to see students with physical textbooks than digital textbooks.

The pandemic cut off students from going to the library to access textbooks which has led to the increment of digital textbooks. Now, the pandemic has caused students to have more access to books and materials online and this has made research a lot easier for students.

Due to the ease in learning digital textbooks have presented, it is unlikely that students will gravitate back to physical textbooks in school libraries post-pandemic.

One of the major benefits of the increment in digital textbooks is that important materials and books are safeguarded in such a way that they might not be destroyed. Plus more students can get educational materials from the comfort of their homes. The increment in the purchase of digital textbooks has also increased the income of publishers, sellers, editors, and writers.

  • An increase in full-time online studying

Before the pandemic one or two schools offered online schooling but it wasn’t a trend. Now, due to the pandemic schools have to jump on the bandwagon to avoid being left behind.

They are more online classes and students get to learn and study online. It’s a whole new world but the higher education community is getting the hang of it. Although this change might be temporary, it has increased the ways students can learn.

The pandemic has proved that students don’t need to be in a physical building to learn and study. Universities and colleges are finding alternative ways to learn and grade.

  • Less number of international students

One of the most common things in a higher education setting is the presence of international students. International students are students who are studying in countries other than theirs. They are a feature in most prestigious universities and colleges in the world.Due to the pandemic, there has been a decrease in the number of international students.

Many cannot travel or obtain visas easily because of the COVID-19-related international travel restrictions. This has crushed the dreams of students who want to travel and study abroad. They have to wait patiently for the restrictions to be lifted to continue seeking international education.

  • More staff layoffs

The pandemic has caused many to lose their jobs including academic staff. Due to the closure of higher education institutions to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, many colleges are broke and can no longer afford to pay all their staff. This has led to many layoffs.

Some higher education institutions are struggling financially and with no students to pay tuition due to the pandemic, they have no choice but to lay off staff. This can be heartbreaking to many academics who have devoted their lives to learning and teaching the next generation.This is one of the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many institutions are still struggling to stand on their feet.

  • Closure of colleges

Before the pandemic schools only closed during the holidays. However many schools were forced to close because of the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately not many higher education institutions will remain the same after the pandemic stops.

Many universities and colleges will have to merge with others to survive the aftermath of the pandemic.

  • Increment in academic inequality

Increment in academic inequality is another thing that the pandemic will cause in higher education institutions. There is already a noticeable inequality in higher education institutions and many universities and colleges are working hard to bridge the gap but the pandemic will rubbish their efforts.The diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) metrics in higher education institutions will decrease.

Higher education institutions will be increasingly and lastingly held accountable to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) metrics. The student population will be less diverse as the impact of the pandemic unfolds.

Students from wealthy homes will have more advantages over other students. After the pandemic, many will not be able to pay their tuition on time.

  • More virtual jobs and internships

Another thing that the pandemic will change is the need for only physical jobs and internships. Now, there are more virtual jobs and internships offered to students and others alike. Many students who were doing their internships when the pandemic started had to complete it virtually.

This has helped to make life easier for some students and helped firms, organizations, and businesses to recruit a more diverse staff.Some schools also have higher staff and hold meetings virtually. Technology is a real gift to humanity.

  • Proficiency in educational technology

Another positive impact of the pandemic on higher education is the mastery of educational technology. Before the pandemic, not many people took the time to learn or use educational Technologies. However, many are forced to use today to gain a semblance of normalcy during the pandemic.

Many students and tutors have mastered learning management systems like Blackboard, Brightspace, and Google Education as well as distance learning software like Zoom, Adobe Connect, and Teams, among others. The mastery of this software and systems has helped to make learning easier and worthwhile in a non-physical class.

  • The end of the traditional school calendar

The pandemic ended the traditional school calendar as we know it. It messed with the academic calendar and schools have to find innovative ways to handle the school calendar to avoid unnecessary confusion for both staff and students.

The academic school calendar is now becoming flexible and more accommodating due to the pandemic.

  • Increase in online schools

As earlier stated, before the pandemic they were few online schools but now almost every higher education institution has an online school.The pandemic has caused higher education institutions to quickly create online schools to avoid losing their students to competitors who are offering low-cost online degrees.

Conclusion

The pandemic had a great effect on every sector including the educational sector. Many schools had to close down and make swift changes to not only curtail the spread of COVID-19 but to retain their students.Most of these changes are temporary while some will be permanent.

Students and institutions had to adapt to the effects of the pandemic and make the most out of it. Although many higher education institutions are finding ways to cope with the pandemic, it is sure that things will never remain the same even after the pandemic.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article on “How Will the Pandemic Change Higher Education”

Reference

  • https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/amp/article/what-is-a-pandemic
  • https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/21/02/will-pandemic-change-higher-education-good#:~:text=With%20an%20increase%20in%20remote,higher%20education%20from%20their%20homes
  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/brandonbusteed/2021/05/02/pandemic-to-permanent-11-lasting-changes-to-higher-education/?sh=bd84efe452fb
  • https://universitybusiness.com/5-ways-higher-education-will-forever-change-due-to-the-pandemic/
  • https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/19/7-ways-coronavirus-pandemic-may-change-college-this-fall-and-forever.html

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