Coronavirus Update: Impact on higher education

The education sector remains a badly affected domain due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. As lockdowns are still been observed in many countries, the education sector is suffering. Mostly, higher education niche is sorely affected by the virus as students are leaving back to their home country and the universities have no other option but to opt for distance education. Such an astonishing number of analyses and forecasts have already been published on the possible Covid19 impact on the education sector that the numbers are quite scary. It is easy to lose the track of reports, hence a comprehensive overview of the current state of the education sector is given below.

By the end of June, a report was published about the finding in which 200 university leaders from a total of 53 countries were asked to share their opinions and assessments of the post Covid19 period. Topics of the survey included the experience with digital teaching, the political support of the governments in the countries, the effects on university funding due to lockdown, marketing strategies, university staff, and research. The findings leaned on maximizing online learning in keeping student’s retention and maintaining access to learning. Universities across the world are adjusting their programs in response to the spread of the Coronavirus.

One of the biggest concerns for the sector is the percentage of international students. For example, in the US alone, Chinese students make up to 33.7 percent of the foreign student while the Indians are over 18.4 percent. While travel restrictions are helping in limiting the spread of the virus, it is also leaving the students stranded in foreign countries. This will surely impact the enrollment programs for the next academic years and hence, the higher education sector is on the verge to bear the burns of an economic downturn.

While the majority of universities are integrating their programs and offering them in the form of online education, however, moving all the programs may prove challenging and some might be infeasible. Here, large universities may have an advantage while the smaller universities may struggle under the weight of the demand. The IT department will play an important role in ensuring universities’ programs are accessible and are supported 24X7.

When the pandemic will subside, the universities will need to protect its staff and students on campus. As the virus is fatal to those above 60, the universities will have to take care of the senior staff.