COVID-19 has shifted the way many sectors work worldwide as it forced many to close down their facilities for the time being. For education, many schools – from primary education to postgraduate level – had to shut down to prevent the virus from spreading in their respective communities.
However, educational institutions did not allow the pandemic from stopping students from getting their education. They have launched several measures to shift how lessons will be conducted and introduced changes to their curriculum like what MOE did to match these measures.
Collaboration is also seen between institutions to find solutions for students to continue their courses even at home.
If you are considering about taking your education overseas, here are the possible scenarios you may be looking at once the pandemic is over:
Online learning and virtual education will be preferred
Online learning and the use of virtual education platforms were not very common before the pandemic.
Only a handful of schools and universities used their online learning platforms to deliver content, connect students and provide a way for students to submit their work for their course requirements. Even so, many of the course materials are not searchable or accessible online.
However, the pandemic has shown that online and virtual education is crucial, especially now that students have to remain at home to stop the virus from spreading. Even SmileTutor has our own online tuition service to help our students during this crucial period.
Several programs have now revised their platform to include new mediums to support online learning such as videos, online internships, and group discussions.
Video conferencing apps are also used to help get experience and give them a better way to adapt to new cultures without too much stress while still finishing their course requirements..
It will be likely that virtual education will continue even after the pandemic.
While it doesn’t compare to actual learning overseas, having virtual and online learning will help students who may find it difficult to adapt to a different culture or learning environment immediately.
In other areas of education such as English language teaching, the move towards the virtual is a trend that has been accelerated by the pandemic. Teaching English online will likely remain a big component of the landscape.
Study domestically may become the preferred choice
Since we do not know where the virus is, everywhere is a high-risk zone, including schools.
Flying out of the country, or returning back, is also out of the question, especially if the student is coming from a country with a high COVID-19 infection rate. If they do come in the country, they may be subjected to quarantine and other protocols to prevent the virus from spreading.
Once the pandemic is over, many students and their families may not be open to flying overseas for education. Students are stranded overseas and barred from flying home to be with their families during the onset of pandemic may cause a distaste for parents to send their children so far away.
Schools may also reduce the amount of international students they are getting because of the possibility they may have the virus and bring it to their campuses.
To respond to this concern, some institutions are now offering study-away programs they can do in the country with other schools overseas or even across other states to help them experience the feeling of studying in another country.
A global approach is now applied for learning
When it comes to the approach of overseas education, it has improved immensely for the past 20 years and faculties have been spearheading these changes.
Once the pandemic ends, overseas education will still be supported by the faculty, with a special group of faculty members serving as program leaders for online learning and virtual education.
This means there will be a concentrated area to bring in new innovations to help students continue their studies online with influenced viewpoints and resources, as well as collaboration between institutions to provide a global approach to various disciplines.
Universities are also looking into introducing a new global curriculum that would enable students from getting the same benefits of enrolling abroad in their course offerings.
For example, students can sign up for virtual online classes from overseas universities to improve their knowledge on certain courses. They can also sign up for courses done in partnership with other universities from other countries to provide a global approach to courses which they can do online.
Driven focus on subjects that bring back economy and environmental focus
Education is no longer just focused on the history and developments in a particular country. It is now slowly adapting the subjects and topics that influence the world as the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every industry imaginable.
Global tourism and travel, in particular, has taken a very large hit and its reduction has shown the world the impacts it has to the environment.
For instance, Venice’s majestic water canals are much cleaner and many major cities worldwide are now seeing clearer skylines due to the low pollution levels brought by lockdowns.
For overseas education, the pandemic has shifted to show students how they can be involved in today’s global community and offset their carbon footprints to help. Once the pandemic ends, more institutions will be focusing on helping students to learn how they can assist the recovery of the economy that was affected by the pandemic, as well as help the environment.
Institutions will also reinvent itself to teach students about interconnectedness to counter isolationist and xenophobic tendencies, especially now that some people are blaming China for triggering the pandemic.
It is early to say when the COVID-19 pandemic will end and what more sectors will be affected by it.
For education, learning abroad will definitely shift from face-to-face classes to virtual education, domestic study opportunities to an equal blend of classroom learning and other means. Institutions will also shift how they conduct these classes, especially with the focus these subjects have to help with the world’s recovery.
If you are considering enrolling overseas to continue your education, it is important to note that you should do your research regarding the COVID-19 preventive measures of the country your future institution is located. It is important to take care in these uncertain times and once it is over, the changes will definitely change the way we look at education overseas for the near future.
For more news on how Covid-19 has impacted our education, these articles will share some light: