It has been more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit us. Since then, almost every academic institution in the world has been forced to close its doors for the students to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, a majority of the institutions continue to offer education or assignment help through online classes, allowing students to learn without leaving their homes.
International students have been encouraged to return to their respective countries since the on-campus education is no longer taking place during the pandemic. While class closures and cancellations of new semesters may be temporary, it is difficult to predict whether the pandemic will cause long-term disruption to the higher education system.
In this blog, we will try to understand how the ongoing pandemic is affecting the various aspects of the higher education systems.
It is important to acknowledge the fact that international students are a significant part of the domestic higher education markets. If we look at the US market only, we will find that the Chinese students and Indian students make up 33.7% and 18.4% of the total foreign student population, respectively.
While the travel restrictions have helped slow down the spread of the disease, it has also kept the international students from coming to the US (or other countries where they study). Even when the travel restrictions were lifted towards the end of 2020, a lot of students still could not come to the US to continue their studies because of other inconveniences.
While students are using other avenues to receive their education from the tutors, no one really knows how long with will last. If the restrictions keep the students from coming back to their education campuses, the entire higher education systems in the different countries are going to get affected.
There is no denying that online courses have been effective in maintaining access to learning for the students. In this pandemic, most universities in the world have shifted their programs online to facilitate education to the students.
While the existing students are able to attend the online classes and receive the necessary education, the admission offices at most academic institutes remain closed for an indefinite period. Even though the online programs are open for admission, there is no clarity regarding the admission in the regular courses as of now.
No one can assert when the pandemic will be over. Until that happens, the universities, schools and colleges are going to take virtual classes to continue the education process.
The academic institutions which had already integrated some form of online education into their coursework enjoy a certain level of advantage when on-campus education was banned. For the rest, it has been quite challenging to move all programs online. While some universities already have a strong infrastructure to offer education online, the smaller institutions are struggling to meet the demands.
The university course creators are now working with their respective IT departments to make the courses available online. It surely is difficult to manage all the lectures and to attend to all the students, while a majority of the tutors are new to the online learning platforms. But in the last year, there has been some significant improvement in the video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, etc., where most of the classes are being held.
The schools, colleges and universities need to ensure that their students and staff remain safe and protected from the virus, even if they are not attending the campus. Students should be properly taught about the best practices that will help them avoid the spread of COVID-19. Even the staff, who are playing a major role in maintaining the flow of education online, also need to be practice those measures before they can preach them to students.
The colleges and universities, which have opened their offices for admission and other crucial operations, also need to practice the safety measures as that can further delay the chances of reopening of the campuses. Also, schools, colleges and universities need to play a more active role in ensuring that their students living in the worst affected areas are performing the necessary measures and are getting the much-needed resources.
The academic institutes are currently facing a number of unexpected expenses after moving to online courses. Some of these expenses include refunds issued to students for room and board, increased cleaning operation costs, and increasing technology costs from moving the courses online. This is why a number of institutes have announced pay cuts or furloughs for staff.
As there is a significant dip in enrolments, most academic institutions are forced to make changes in their budgets. In fact, some states are reducing funding for higher education this fiscal year to invest more in healthcare and infrastructure.
Another major change in higher education has happened in the campus work-study jobs. Around 700,000 undergraduate students get Federal work-study subsidies that offer an average yearly award of $1,759 to students. While some states in America are allowing institutions to continue paying students the work-study wages, some states are waiving the regulations that allow such wages to students.
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the education system quite hard. And while it may not be easy for everyone to get accustomed to the sudden change in the academic system, the higher education students need to bear the brunt.
Author bio: AnneP Gill is a high school teacher in Michigan, US. She has been a part of the team of experts at MyAssignmenthelp.com, where she offers paraphrasing tool for rewrite your content on students request. She also has a PhD in sociology.
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