Universities are places where people gathering happens. Lectures, meetings, researches and sports are all in the same place. This situation seems so dangerous in the context of virus. So how Universities, students and tutors must adapt to the new reality?
Since the start of the Pandemic, Universities, Schools and Kindergartens were closed all around the Europe. Some of them stopped teaching until institutions can re-open, while others switched classes to online learning. Student exchange has been stopped and events were canceled. All these actions created uncertainty in the academic world with the main question – Can we come back to normal and when? Will it will be a long-term disruption to the higher education system or we will be able to remain with the previous one?
Number of International Students
Corona Virus Pandemic prevented International Students from travelling to and from universities abroad. This can influence a low numbers of applications of International Students who wish to study in Europe. According to data released by Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESE), more than 120,000 Chinese students have been enrolled in the UK in the academic year of 2018-2019. Over 500,000 international students study in the UK every year. This 2020 and next one, 2021, can decrease this statistics, especially if a second wave of virus will come. Some of the students will choose their home universities as a safer option while others will make an academic adjournment.
Increase of Online Courses
Those Universities and higher Education Institutions, who had an online courses before the pandemic, became to the fore of others. They had a necessary infrastructure and knowledge to expand and develop the teachings. Others, which were fast to react to changes, implemented new online systems, which help to continue an education. While the third group, which followed old educational traditional, closed institution doors and left students with home schooling or extended holidays. If the virus will vanish as soon as it appeared, the last group could remain same, but technological influence will not be avoided. All in all, future will bring more and more education online, when Bachelor, Master and maybe even Phd degrees will be gain without leaving your home. University course creators will work closely with IT departmens to guarantee the programs are able to be supported online.
Universities will need to have all the measures to guarantee disinfected areas. High concentration of people is the main criteria of virus spread , so the measures implemented to universities must be strict. Distance, hand washing, overing sneezes and coughs with their elbows, self isolating if they are experiencing flu or cold-like symptoms will be a normal practise for now. Students and tutors, who have been abroad in heavily affected places will need to be mindful about returning to campus.
Corona Virus is a different reality, which need a quick action and preparation to keep everybody safe. But in a digital age, universities and colleges are better placed today more than ever to provide students with easy access to continue their studies online.