COVID-19 outbreak has caused a downward spiral in the world economy and caused a huge impact on the education system. The sudden closure of campuses as a social distancing measure to prevent community transmission has shifted face-to-face classes to online learning systems. This has thrown the focus on utilizing eLearning tools and platforms for effective student engagement which may have limitations of accessibility and affordability for many students. The pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of the current higher education system and the need for more training of educators in digital technology to adapt to the rapidly changing education climate of the world. In the post-pandemic situation, the use of eLearning and virtual education may become an integral part of the education system. The higher education institutions and universities need to plan the post-pandemic education and research strategies to ensure student learning outcomes and standards of educational quality.
The most important pandemic precaution called “social distancing” or “physical distancing” has attempted to reduce interpersonal contact and thereby minimize the kind of community transmission that could develop quickly in dense social networks like the university campus (Weeden& Cornwell, 2020).
There are no best practices for schools, universities and higher educational institutions to mimic and no known models to follow. Post-pandemic educational institutions may need to identify the issues that they may face and prepare to take tough decisions in the coming months. The university communities will need to reflect on their educational vision and mission to ensure student learning outcomes and standards of educational quality are not compromised. The schools will have to engage and consult all their stakeholders in the nuanced balancing of financial costs and public health that are intertwined with missions of education, knowledge creation, and service to society. The higher educational institutions must be ready for a tough road ahead post-pandemic where their decisions will shape and steer the future of their students.
In the period of just a few months, the COVID-19 pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus has radically transformed the lives of masses of people around the globe, including lives of students. In this respect, this comprehensive global study provides systematic meaningful insights into students’ satisfaction and perception of different aspects of their lives during the pandemic, including their opinions on the immediate and distant future. We found that teaching staff and schools’ public relations offered students the most important support at the schools during the pandemic. On the other hand, the lack of computer skills and the perception of a relatively higher workload prevented students from perceiving a higher performance while adapting to the ‘new normal’; namely, education from a distance. During the lockdown, students primarily raised concerns about their future professional career and study issues and were mainly bored, anxious, and frustrated. They also changed some of their hygienic behaviours such as regularly wearing masks and washing hands, and daily routine habits like leaving home and shaking hands. Socio-demographic (and geographic) factors also played an important role in the students’ perception of different aspects of academic work/life as the empirical results suggest that the transition from onsite to online lectures due to the Covid-19 crisis had a stronger effect on students with a lower living standard, and students from less developed regions (in Africa and Asia), while the pandemic generally had a greater effect on students who were female, full-time, undergraduate and had financial problems with respect to their emotional life and personal circumstances. Further, in order to illuminate the factors that influence students’ satisfaction with the role of their university during the pandemic, an ordinal logistic regression was applied. The results demonstrate that more hopeful and less bored students, students who were more satisfied with their academic work/life, social science students, students with a better living standard (with a scholarship and/or the ability to pay the overall costs of study), and those who were studying in Europe showed greater satisfaction with the role and measures of their university during the COVID-19 crisis. These findings importantly call for public and higher education authorities to closely collaborate (together with other stakeholders) and urgently pay attention to vulnerable student groups while seeking to resolve the diverse, mostly negative, consequences of the prolonged COVID-19 measures around the world.
Compiled by : Mrs.Nikita D.Shinde