Coronavirus | Students in limbo as UGC yet to decide on final year exams

The Hindu |Priscilla Jebaraj | Jul 5, 2020

7 States announce cancellation; others waiting for orders.
Eleven days after the Centre asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) to review its guidelines on final year university examinations; there is still no clarity for many anxious students across the country.
At least seven States have cancelled their college and university examinations — Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Odisha, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal — without waiting for the UGC’s fresh guidelines. However, some private universities will continue to conduct online examinations in these States.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/education/colleges/coronavirus-students-in-limbo-as-ugc-yet-to-decide-on-final-year-exams/article31996448.ece

COVID-19: Why higher education in the US must embrace digital

We Forum |Daniel Rosensweig & Paul LeBlanc | Jul 6, 2020

  • The pandemic is an opportunity to change higher-education delivery.
  • Online learning is cheaper and more flexible than the traditional on-campus variety.
  • Universities should embrace a new role as validators of education.

The ongoing global pandemic has changed much of our daily lives, and education is no exception. Almost overnight, students at all levels were forced to homeschool online with little time to prepare. This shift was scary and uncertain for academic institutions, teachers, professors, students, as well as parents now forced to abandon the schooling routine to which they had come accustomed.
Despite innovations in technology ... we have not yet seen the great shift to accessible, affordable, high-quality education. Perhaps now is that moment.

Partnerships across the learning ecosystem and a recognition that high-impact learning can take many forms in many settings – many digital – can help address the urgent problem of getting people back to work and ready for a workforce that is changing at a ferocious pace. Universities will increasingly find that their value-add is in recognizing and validating and lending credentials to learning, and less about the curation and delivery of content knowledge.
This crisis has highlighted something we have understood all along. We need to redefine how we think about education, allowing for greater access for and support of the student. This is a call to action to forever change the nature of higher education throughout the US.

Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/07/covid19-higher-education-universities-digitalization/

How Can Technology Solve 7 Problems in Indian Higher Education in the post-COVID-19 Era?

India Education Diary | Jul 7, 2020

Indian higher education is poised for a radical change. This change is not coming from any calibrated policy, nor from any business lobby, or from any socio-educational movement. The techno-digital-world powered by forces like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are challenging and disrupting the status quo, the age-old educational traditions, deeply held perceptions, inherent biases, and existing practices that have shaped the higher education of India since the colonial times. This is not only challenging teaching, learning, and research and related platforms but disrupting multiple processes involved from an end to end in the entire educational ecosystem.

QUALITY Challenges in Indian Higher Education
‘Q’ stands for Quality
‘U’ stands for Universality
‘A’ stands for Access
‘L’ stands for Localization
‘I’ stands for Integration
‘T’ stands for Transformation
‘Y’ stands for Youth for Social Change

Distance education, e-learning, and online education, not long ago, were treated as inferior in quality and inferior in status. IGNOU, the world’s leading distance educator was most often not considered equivalent to its sister central universities in India who provided face-to-face regular courses. But now it is poised for a paradigm shift. Considered so far as peripheral to learning and education, e-learning and online courses are now the buzz words. Digitization of higher education may not be the panacea to all pressing problems, but it will certainly pave the way for future changes and reforms.  The digitization of higher education has the potential to make better, the best, the average, the better, and the below average, the good.

Source: https://indiaeducationdiary.in/how-can-technology-solve-7-problems-in-indian-higher-education-in-the-post-covid-19-era/

Will Covid-19 trigger a new model of higher education in Latin America?

Times Higher Education| Ellie Bothwell | Jul 7, 2020

The pandemic drove learning worldwide into the digital sphere, but Latin America’s universities have responded slowly. Ellie Bothwell asks if the crisis will prompt the region to overcome the barriers to progress.
“There is growing awareness worldwide that the model of higher education employed since the founding of the University of Bologna may have run its course. The pace of change has been slow everywhere; but with a few notable exceptions, Latin America has been particularly slow to join the global discussion of new strategies for active learning, hybrid learning, competency-based learning, peer instruction and more.”
 But they are particularly relevant in today’s post-Covid-19 world, in which universities have been forced to adapt quickly to online education. And while the pandemic has hit universities and students across the globe, it has posed some unique challenges for higher education in the Latin American region.
“What you have in Latin America is so many levels of problems,” Reisberg says in the wake of the coronavirus’ deadly appearance in the region. “One is that there has been a disregard and undervaluing of online education.”

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/will-covid-19-trigger-new-model-higher-education-latin-america

States that cancelled college exams ‘revisit’ move after UGC order, Maharashtra holds ground

The Print |Jul 8, 2020

Several states that had decided to cancel final-year college and university exams in light of the Covid-19 pandemic will revisit the order in consonance with a controversial directive issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) Monday.
The UGC Monday received clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs to mandatorily conduct final-year college and university exams, with officials of the university watchdog telling The Print that institutes could choose to hold the tests online if feasible.

Source: https://theprint.in/india/education/states-that-cancelled-college-exams-revisit-move-after-ugc-order-maharashtra-holds-

Transformation of Higher Education; How COVID- 19 Is Changing the Face of Education?

BW Education | Dr Jagannath Patnaik | Jul 8, 2020

The pandemic has drained economies around the world and has struck our education system like a lightning bolt and shaken it to its core. Just as the First Industrial Revolution forged today’s system of education, we can expect a different educational model to emerge from COVID-19.
The pandemic has undoubtedly upended business for schools, colleges and universities. Campuses have moved to remote learning instantaneously and institutions are also grappling with grave financial challenges as the domestic and global economies may enter a major recession. The outbreak of this pandemic has demanded of institutions to foray into virtual learning mode; it has forced schools, colleges and universities to bring their courses online. This is just one breakthrough in a new educational paradigm. The impact has been dramatic and transformative as educators scramble to put in place workable short-term solutions for remote teaching and learning, particularly in emerging markets, where students and schools face additional challenges related to financing and available infrastructure.

While each level of education faces its unique challenges, it is the higher education segment that may end up, by necessity, triggering a learning revolution and metamorphose into a completely new domain. Universities are distinctive in that their students are both old enough to handle the rigours of online work and technologically savvy enough to navigate new platforms. The real challenge lies for the institutions in which they have enrolled. Can traditional, campus-based universities adapt by choosing the right technologies and approaches for educating and engaging their students? The successes and failures that unfold should give us all a better grasp of what is possible.

Source: http://bweducation.businessworld.in/article/Transformation-Of-Higher-Education-How-COVID-19-Is-Changing-The-Face-Of-Education/08-07-2020-295372/

Will the coronavirus change higher education forever?

Aljazeera | Jul 8, 2020

As COVID-19 forces more schools to forgo traditional face-to-face learning, we look at how universities are adapting. Eduardo Padron knows a thing or two about running an institution of higher education.
For more than 20 years, he was the president of Miami Dade College, one of the biggest colleges in the United States, with more than 150,000 students.
In this conversation with Al Jazeera's Steve Clemons, Padron discusses his concerns about US higher education and the disruption caused by COVID-19.
With so many universities going online for the next academic year, will students remain engaged?
Will students and parents be willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to expensive universities for an online education?
Will students miss out on the "college experience", where they can mix with fellow students from different backgrounds and experiences?
And with the Trump administration's recently announced rules further diminishing the presence of international students, what will the future look like for them on US campuses?

Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/the-bottom-line/2020/07/coronavirus-change-higher-education-200709060723206.html

Coronavirus Is Blowing up America’s Higher Education System

Vanity Fair| Ken Stern | Jul 8, 2020

OU’s frantic effort to train hundreds of teachers and transition thousands of students on the fly was seen at colleges and universities around the world. Steps that would typically have been implemented over the course of years were telescoped into weeks and sometimes even days. The City University of Hong Kong, for instance, moved all its coursework onto digital platforms in just eight days, according to Canvas. This relative success belies an underlying failure: for years, elite schools have advocated for the value of in-person teaching. When the pandemic hit, they were forced into crisis mode.
With the coronavirus upending the service model and the economics of universities across the country, it is not at all clear how flexible America’s higher education system will be in the face of high costs, institutional barriers to change, and a longstanding belief in the value of the way things are traditionally done. A professor at Columbia Business School once told me that “all businesses will be disrupted in the digital age,” but added with a self-satisfied smile, “except for us, of course.” The American affection for the residential model is understandable, but as Mitchell Stevens, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, told me, it also comes with an astronomical price tag: student costs significantly higher than those in other countries; oppressive student debt; and exclusion from top universities for a wide range of students who can’t afford to leave behind family commitments to spend years on campus.

Source: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/07/coronavirus-is-blowing-up-americas-higher-education-system

Virtual conference on 'Challenges of Higher Islamic Education after COVID-19'

Zawya | Jul 9, 2020

The World Muslim Communities Council, in partnership with the Association of Islamic Universities, and a number of universities, Islamic colleges, institutions, and educational quality agencies concerned with higher education will organise an international scientific virtual conference entitled "Challenges of Higher Islamic Education after Corona", on Saturday, 11th July 2020, via ZOOM app and Social Media.
The conference examines the challenges of the coronavirus crisis, which represented a new and unprecedented turning point in the history of educational institutions, as these institutions were forced to resort to distance education during the closure. This situation created a new reality that will lead the education personnel to reconsider the higher education system in terms of its philosophy, goals, systems, curricula, methods, activities.

Source: https://www.zawya.com/mena/en/business/story/Virtual_conference_on_Challenges_of_Higher_Islamic_Education_after_COVID19-WAM20200709123824714/

Coronavirus: Universities offer students guaranteed places

BBC News NI Education Correspondent | Robbie Meredith | Jul 9, 2020

Queen's University of Belfast (QUB) has offered guaranteed places to about 2,500 Northern Irish students before they get their A-level results.
The university said the "unprecedented step" would "reduce anxiety and provide clarity for young people".
The places represent about 70% of QUB's 2020 intake of NI undergraduates.
Both Queen's and Ulster universities had previously said they could face multi-million-pound losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the move by Queen's, Ulster University said it would also immediately be moving to guarantee places to applicants where appropriate, "to ensure a consistent university admissions process for Northern Ireland, support the wellbeing of applicants and ensure they are fully informed".
"We will, of course, honour offers for students who do not secure an early guaranteed place but nonetheless subsequently gain grades that meet their offer," said an Ulster University spokesperson.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/im-dyslexic-and-academic-publishing-twice-hard

University exams by Sept-end impossible: Maharashtra minister to Centre

Hindustan Times | Nandini | Jul 10, 2020

Maharashtra minister Uday Samant on Thursday said he has informed the Centre that it would not be possible to conduct final-year exams at universities by September-end in view of the COVID-19 crisis in the state.
The minister of technical and higher education said he has written to the HRD ministry after it announced on Monday that final-year examinations in universities will have to be conducted by September-end. If the University Grants Commission (UGC) insists on conducting the examinations, then it should also issue proper guidelines for the same, Samant said.
Maharashtra has so far recorded 2,23,724 cases of COVID-19, the highest in the country.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/education/university-exams-by-sept-end-impossible-maharashtra-minister-to-centre/story-wnCMDRS3ahaySkeDz3VKNO.html

I’m dyslexic and academic publishing is twice as hard

Times Higher Education | Jul 4, 2020

Rejection is a word and an experience I’ve become well acquainted with since starting PhD. Around every corner is another rejection; it’s just a fact of academic life.
A career in academia means dedicating time to publishing your research in academic journals. And while we all want, and indeed need, to get our research out there, it’s not an easy process. Publishing process is complicated further by dyslexia, a learning difficulty that typically affects accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.
Everyone’s experience of dyslexia is unique, and much strength can come with it, but dyslexic students in higher education often experience problems with writing to a high academic standard and will develop compensatory strategies to do it.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/im-dyslexic-and-academic-publishing-twice-hard

Australia set to ease virus visa hardship for foreign students

Times Higher Education | John Ross | Jul 3, 2020

Australia appears set to address international students’ visa gripes just as a resurgence of coronavirus cases on both sides of the Tasman Sea threatens to neutralise Antipodean universities’ upper hand in the race to revive student flows. the Australian government may announce new visa arrangements next week, bringing rules for foreign students more in line with those in competitor countries.
The plans are expected to include fee waivers for students forced to extend their stay in Australia because of the pandemic, and to clarify whether online classes count towards the period of study required to qualify for post-course work rights.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/australia-set-ease-visa-hardship-foreign-students

Class work suspended in higher educational institutions till July 31

Greater Kashmir | Syed Rizwan Geelani | Jul 3, 2020

The Higher Education Department (HED) ordered suspension of classwork in all Higher Education Institutions till July 31.
The order in this regard has been issued by commissioner secretary HED, Talat Parvez Ruhella. As per the order, the faculty members, teachers, researchers and non teaching staff will work from home and utilize the time for online education, academic and other activities as per the academic calendar. The order has been issued in pursuance to guidelines on Unlock-2 notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India vide its notification issued on June 29 and in continuation to Government Order No: 234- JK (HE) of 2020 dated: 05-05-2020 and 254-JK (HE) of 2020 dated: 04-06-2020.

CSUB focuses initiatives on making higher education diverse, welcoming for all

Bakersfield.com | Jul 3, 2020

Cal State Bakersfield has made it a primary goal to show that higher education is diverse, accessible and welcoming to all students, especially students of color. Over the course of the last few years, a number of programs or initiatives at CSUB have taken charge of focusing on students of color, their academic success and future career goals. Following the death of George Floyd and conversations taking place nationwide and locally relating to social justice and equity, the university has placed more emphasis on making even more opportunities available to students. Some programs try to target students while they're in high school. CSUB's Department of Teacher Education has been partnering with the Kern High School District’s Project BEST, or Black Excellence in Scholarship and Teaching, to encourage young Black men to consider education as a career path.

Source: https://www.bakersfield.com/news/csub-focuses-initiatives-on-making-higher-education-diverse-welcoming-for-all/article_dfd84b38-bbb7-11ea-9f7a-53f16ebbe4ea.html

Dan Tehan botches higher education funding reform

The Australian | Jul 3, 2020

The unintended consequences of the botched higher education reforms minister Dan Tehan spelt out at the National Press Club a few short weeks ago continue to reveal themselves. The idea seemed simple enough. As Tehan told the NPC: “What we’re trying to do is encourage and incentivise students to go in those areas where we know the skills will be”. Fair enough, he wants people, ideally, to study in areas where he believes the jobs of the future will be. Areas where Australia needs more educated professionals. And he wants to incentivize potential students to pick those subjects.

Source: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/dan-tehan-botches-higher-education-funding-reform/news-story/8e7df49f1682408465eeee3f3362ddf9

Ditch COVID-19 equaliser myth and Eurocentric curriculum

University World News | Nic Mitchell | Jul 3, 2020

The myth that COVID-19 will be “some great equaliser” should be debunked as its impact on education is likely to increase the gap between richer and poorer regions around the world, the British Council’s Going Global 2020 conference heard in its final session – which also focused on the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement on the “Eurocentric curriculum”.
This year’s virtual conference was split into a series of webinars culminating in a look at ‘Global learning in a post-COVID world’ on 29 June in a session chaired by Maddalaine Ansell, director of education at the British Council.
While moving lessons online may appear to offer the “perk” of greater accessibility, that “only applied to the people who can get online and COVID-19 has highlighted the depth of the digital divide and how complex and multi-layered that is”.
It is not just the divide between those who do and do not have access to the internet, but those who are and are not “digitally literate”.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200703110244594

A Path to Lifelong Learning: Credentialing Every Semester Of Higher Education

Forbes | David Blake | Jul 3, 2020

David Blake is the Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Degreed and managing partner of The Future of Work Studios.
In the United States, only about 45% of college students graduate with a full degree in four years. That leaves 55% who intended to get a degree but, at the end of a typical college term, do not have one.
The number of people holding a partial degree that grants them little in the eyes of employers is overwhelming. What’s more, by and large, we aren’t effectively enabling learners in our organizations. Every day, the skills gap grows wider and deeper. How can we reverse this trend? The good news: Within reach is the change I believe can accelerate us into a lifelong learning model. It starts by credentialing every semester of college.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2020/07/03/a-path-to-lifelong-learning-credentialing-every-semester-of-higher-education/#512eaa755ae1

The Demystification of Higher Education for Fall 2020 and Technology’s Supporting Role

Forbes | Paige Francis | Jul 2, 2020

While there may be more differences than similarities when comparing the first day of classes this fall over last, the education delivered will remain solid, future-focused and more dependent on technology than ever before.
As always, there is fear in the unknown. Traditional spaces, primarily for health considerations, promise slightly-to-significantly different experiences for the upcoming semester. Removing the mystery should soothe weary parent and student souls.
Much will remain the same. Students will be taught, they will discuss, they will self-reflect, they will experience and consider new ideas. One difference in learning involves location tolerance. At least 30% of universities are planning for an online or online-option experience. While for some students that might feel different, Covid-19 has proven the importance of survivability within a remote environment.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/paigefrancis/2020/07/02/the-demystification-of-higher-education-for-fall-2020-and-technologys-supporting-role/#32ce939e70df

COVID-19 Roundup: Dartmouth's Deferral Flip-Flop; Spelman's Online Discount

Inside Higher Ed | Doug Lederman | Jul 2, 2020

Dartmouth College on Monday sent an email to its incoming freshmen saying that they have the choice of enrolling either in person or remotely for the fall -- but they would have to reapply for admission if they chose not to enroll this fall. Wednesday evening, after reporting by the student newspaper The Dartmouth and an inquiry from Inside Higher Ed, college officials sent a new email that reversed course. In the initial email Monday (below, at right) to members of the admitted Class of 2024, Lee Coffin, dean of admissions and financial aid, wrote, "If you do not wish to enroll in classes for the fall, winter and spring terms as required of all incoming first-year students during the 2020-21 academic year, we advise you to cancel your enrollment by July 10 and reapply for admission to next year's class."

Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/07/02/coronavirus-roundup-dartmouth-flip-flops-deferrals-spelmans-online-discount

Egypt's CIT, Higher Education Ministry to equip space information system centre

Mena FN | Jul 2, 2020

The Ministry of Communication and Information and Technology and the Egyptian Space Agency have signed a cooperation protocol to equip a computer centre and integrated information system for the Egyptian Space Agency.
The protocol, which will last over three years, will see the preparation of infrastructure and a data centre to connect the centre up with all buildings under the space agency. It will also provide computing equipment, software, information network and security devices, servers and storage units for the agency. An agency online portal will also be made available and put into operation, to provide electronic services and external link lines to the agency. There will be cooperation agreements for training between the agency and institutions affiliated to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

Source: https://menafn.com/1100424993/Egypts-CIT-Higher-Education-Ministry-to-equip-space-information-system-centre

Fitch Affirms New York Higher Ed Finance Authority, NYHELPs Education Loan Rev Bonds, 2009 Series A

Fitch Ratings | Jul 2, 2020

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ratings on the State of New York Higher Education Finance Authority (NYHEFA), New York Higher Education Loan Program Education Loan Revenue Bonds, 2009 series A (NYHELPs 2009-A) at 'AA+sf'/Outlook Stable. The affirmation is reflective of the build in credit enhancement (CE) and performance in line with expectations since the last review.

Source: https://www.fitchratings.com/research/structured-finance/fitch-affirms-new-york-higher-ed-finance-authority-nyhelps-education-loan-rev-bonds-2009-series-a-02-07-2020

Egypt is developing 4 vaccines, 3 drugs against COVID-19: Higher Education Minister

Mena FN | Jul 2, 2020

Egypt's National Research Center (NRC) is in the pre-clinical development phase of four vaccines against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar.
In a ministry statement on Thursday, Abdel Ghaffar said the four vaccines are among 132 the World Health Organization (WHO) reports are currently under development against the virus.
The minister indicated that the NRC's research team developing the vaccines have completed pre-clinical trials for a second type of vaccine, and are currently working to obtain approval for clinical trials. He also said that the NRC has zoned in on three natural materials that significantly inhibit the virus' reproduction, and that it is currently preparing the clinical trials on potential drugs.

Source: https://menafn.com/1100423396/Egypt-is-developing-4-vaccines-3-drugs-against-COVID-19-Higher-Education-Minister

A Dozen-Plus Ways You Can Foster Educational Equity

Inside Higher Ed | Viji Sathy, Kelly A. Hogan And Calvin M. Sims | Jul 1, 2020

Recently on social media, we have seen a lot of people posting ways white and non-Black people of color can support the Black Lives Matter movement. Like many of you, we’ve taken these suggestions to heart and taken action in various ways.
We think analogous lists tailored to educators and administrators in higher education are warranted and needed. Since the U.S. professoriate is majority white, some faculty members may not recognize the power and privilege they hold to dismantle educational inequities.

Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2020/07/01/list-practical-ways-non-black-faculty-members-can-help-dismantle-educational

Lessons from a Course on the Pandemic

Inside Higher Ed | Shampa Biswas | Jul 1, 2020

COVID-19 hit the U.S. higher education system like a tsunami, uprooting long-established rules, habits and taken-for-granted norms. Faculty members, administrators and students scrambled to swiftly readjust and find their bearings within a changed educational landscape.
We still remain very much in the middle of the storm, but the process of reckoning has already begun, as has speculation of what is to come in the future. It is possible that, similar to the aftermath of the 2008 economic downturn, the restructuring of institutions of higher education struggling with financial hardships within a depressed economy will lead to shifts in focus toward workforce development and skills education. I would, however, suggest that this moment, perhaps like no other, has revealed the value of a well-rounded liberal arts education. Let me illustrate using the example of a course that was collaboratively created at my institution during the tumultuous spring semester.

Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2020/07/01/college-course-pandemic-offers-lessons-value-liberal-arts-education-opinion

New Supplemental Guidance and Deadlines Issued for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds Under the CARES Act

JD Supra | Jul 01, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has recently provided additional guidance and instructions in connection with the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. On June 16, 2020, ED released a supplemental FAQ document with respect to HEERF grants on its CARES Act website.

Source: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/new-supplemental-guidance-and-deadlines-48136/

Why Scott Galloway Is Wrong About Higher Ed's Big Tech Future

Inside Higher Ed | Joshua Kim | Jul 1, 2020

Galloway’s say: Ultimately, universities are going to partner with companies to help them expand. I think that partnership will look something like MIT and Google partnering. Microsoft and Berkeley. Big-tech companies are about to enter education and health care in a big way, not because they want to but because they have to.
It is difficult to see how big tech companies will enter into strategic partnerships with public universities driven by missions of access and affordability. These schools have little funding to invest in partnerships, as trends in state-level disinvestment have driven a long-running set of financial challenges at these institutions. What exactly the business model is that would entice big tech to invest in or partner with the cash-strapped public institutions the majority of college students attend is a question that Galloway never addresses.

Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/learning-innovation/why-scott-galloway-wrong-about-higher-eds-big-tech-future

Three-year visas for PhD graduates in £300 million UK science plan

Times Higher Education | Jack Grove | Jul 1, 2020

Plans to invest £300 million in scientific infrastructure, extend post-study work visas for PhD graduates and establish an “Office for Talent” to attract top international researchers have been unveiled as part of a research “road map” designed to “cement the UK as a science superpower”.
Under wide-ranging plans announced by the business secretary, Alok Sharma, on 1 July, the government will also set up a new Innovation Expert Group to review how it supports research from the idea stage through to product development, and has pledged to make up “any funding shortfalls” if the UK fails to strike a deal with the European Union on participating in the Horizon Europe framework programme.
The unveiling of the Research and Development Roadmap comes a day after a major speech by Boris Johnson in which he expressed his ambition to turn the UK into a “science superpower” and to “end the chasm between invention and application that means a brilliant British discovery disappears to California and becomes a billion-dollar American company or a Chinese company”.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/three-year-visas-phd-graduates-ps300million-uk-science-plan

A Higher Education Department is Welcome. Its Business-Oriented Slant May Not Be

University Times | Emer Moreau | Jul 1, 2020

The formation of a new Cabinet, higher education in Ireland went from being a near-afterthought of most politicians to centre stage – almost overnight. The sector now has its own dedicated department – the Department of Higher and Further Education, Research Innovation and Science – headed by Simon Harris, the outgoing health minister and one of the most high-profile politicians in the country.
While the creation of this department has been broadly welcomed by the sector, the fact that it is headed by a Fine Gael minister who views third-level as a potential revenue stream could be a cause for students’ concern.

Simon Harris's focus on higher education as an economic driver betrays a lack of interest in the more fundamental aspects of university, writes Emer Moreau.
Harris was widely praised for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, it appears unlikely he will embrace vast state investment into an ailing higher-education sector and likely he will take a more business-oriented approach. This could spell bad news for students if he is given free reign.

Source: http://www.universitytimes.ie/2020/07/a-higher-education-department-is-welcome-its-business-oriented-slant-may-not-be/

The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development offering free job training online

Four State Home Page | Gretchen Bolander | Jul 1, 2020

MISSOURI — Workers who’ve lost their job through recent economic issues have a new training option to add to their job skills.
The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development is offering free job training online.
The program is called Coursera. It offers 3,800 classes designed to build knowledge and job skills, including areas like information technology.
Missouri residents must sign up by September 30th and complete the course by the end of the year.

Source: https://www.fourstateshomepage.com/news/health/coronavirus/the-missouri-department-of-higher-education-and-workforce-development-offering-free-job-training-online/

Research covered in mainstream media ‘gets more citations’

Times Higher Education | Simon Baker | Jul 2, 2020

The increasingly frantic pace of modern research and the mountains of scholarly articles being published can make it increasingly difficult for scientists to keep abreast of what is cutting edge in their field.
And although increasingly sophisticated tools exist to help researchers keep on top of developments, is there a possibility that scholars may sometimes pick up on new insights primarily from mainstream news coverage and social media?
New research from academics in the US certainly leaves open this possibility after a study found evidence of a strong link between media coverage and citation impact.

The increasingly frantic pace of modern research and the mountains of scholarly articles being published can make it increasingly difficult for scientists to keep abreast of what is cutting edge in their field.
And although increasingly sophisticated tools exist to help researchers keep on top of developments, is there a possibility that scholars may sometimes pick up on new insights primarily from mainstream news coverage and social media?
New research from academics in the US certainly leaves open this possibility after a study found evidence of a strong link between media coverage and citation impact.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/research-covered-mainstream-media-gets-more-citations

Outstanding achievement towards reshaping future of higher education using advanced technology

Intelligent Cio | Rebecca Miles | Jul 1, 2020

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) has announced the successful and complete migration of its systems and applications from its on-premises data centres to the leading technology of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. This development is in line with HBMSU’s pioneering efforts to establish a new educational culture by shifting away from the on-premises, traditional model of education in order to raise highly qualified and globally competitive future generations. The advanced Digital Transformation initiative has made HBMSU the first university in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to shift its on-premises legacy systems to a full cloud computing model on AWS. The achievement further highlights the success of the university’s efforts to develop its technological resources and smart infrastructure, which was lauded by the global technology cloud service provider AWS, as a leading model in the sector in the region.
The strategic collaboration with the AWS reflects HBMSU’s commitment to make a fundamental and positive change in the education system in order to provide the best education to innovators and creators of the future, in accordance with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of HBMSU, to enhance the readiness to build the future based on quality education. The announcement was made during a virtual media event held via the ZOOM platform, with the participation of high-profile dignitaries including H.E. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai and Chairman of HBMSU’s Board of Governors; Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU; Paul Grist, Head of Education, International, AWS; Zubin Chagpar, Head of Middle East and Africa, AWS.

Source: https://www.intelligentcio.com/me/2020/07/01/outstanding-achievement-towards-reshaping-future-of-higher-education-using-advanced-technology/

Higher education and universities

Tribune | Syed Akhtar Ali Shah | Jul 01, 2020

Universities are established as autonomous statutory bodies so that they can act independently, efficiently and effectively. However, transparency and accountability are also the essentials of good governance. The preamble of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa University Act 2012 postulates to reconstitute and reorganise universities and their governance and management by ensuring accountability, transparency and giving due representation to all stakeholders in decision making, to enhance the quality of higher education. The efficacy of a system depends on ruthless accountability, transparency, enforcement of law and policies. But, in the case of universities, the decisions of the syndicate, Senate and chancellor are being floated with impunity.

Source: https://tribune.com.pk/story/2252695/higher-education-and-universities

Latin America University Rankings 2020: Methodology

Times Higher Education | June 29, 2020

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are the only global performance tables that judge research-intensive universities across all their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The Latin America University Rankings uses the same 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons, trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and even governments – but the weightings are specially recalibrated to reflect the characteristics of emerging economy universities.
The performance indicators are grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment); Research (volume, income and reputation); citations (research influence); International outlook (staff, students and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer).

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/latin-america-university-rankings-2020-methodology

Internet speeds hamper campuses in developing world during crisis

Times Higher Education | Matthew Reisz | Jun 29, 2020

Access to good internet connections is a challenge facing universities in the developing world during the Covid-19 crisis, a conference heard.
Sharon Memis, chief operating officer of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, presented initial findings from a survey about how Covid has impacted the ACU’s more than 500 member universities at an online conference organised by the University of London’s Institute of Commonwealth Studies. Two-thirds of member universities are based in lower- and middle-income countries, which together represent 1 million academic and management staff as well as 1 million students.
At the most basic level, said Ms Memis, 51 per cent of the universities that responded had “fully closed” and another 41 per cent had “partially closed”. Meanwhile, “60 per cent of respondents identified both internet speed and data costs as key problems”, while “lack of access and affordability of internet is obviously exacerbating existing inequalities” between, for example, “the wealthy urban young” and “disadvantaged rural populations”.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/internet-speeds-hamper-campuses-developing-world-during-crisis

Why Africa should embrace private sector higher education

How We Made It in Africa | Hichem Omezzine | Jun 29, 2020

At a crossroads, the continent has an opportunity to boost education provision by embracing bold and ambitious private sector solutions.
Access to better education infrastructure equals stronger and sustained economic growth. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4 is “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. This is a hard reality in Africa: it has a massive shortfall of access at a time when its young population is soaring and the pace of change for the workplace is accelerating away. Bridging the gap and creating the best educational ecosystem is, therefore, critical. An entire continent’s prospects depend on it.

Private institutions clearly need to be accountable. A huge portion of Africa’s future intellectual property and growth is in their hands. So, they need to listen to what young people need and what today’s complex, globalised and evermore digitised world of work needs. Not only does the current population believe that being able to code is important, they also have more faith in vocational and soft skills than before. Higher education institutions in Africa have an enormous responsibility and opportunity to give young people what they want and what they need above and beyond academics. 

Source: https://www.howwemadeitinafrica.com/why-africa-should-embrace-private-sector-higher-education/67835/

COVID-19 and the 'new normal' in higher education

EASTMOJO | Amlan Jyoti Das | Jun 29, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has surely brought in a time of new normal and the field of education has seen and experienced a total turnover. From daily social contact classrooms to online classroom education tools, both the students and professors alike are turning towards new modes of knowledge dissemination.
One thing that this COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent lockdown made painfully clear is that a vast majority of youths of Gen-Z prefer to get their basic education out of the Northeastern states. With over 30 private universities, 10 central universities excluding the state and deemed universities in Northeast India, students still opt for education out of their states.
Professor Sunandan Baruah, Dean Engineering and Technology, Assam down town University, indicated three obvious reasons for this brain drain. The first is a feeling of independence from the watchful eyes of the parents. The second reason, based on my observation, is the feeling that better job opportunities are in the offing if they study in institutions in metro cities like New Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, etc, which of course does carry weight. The third reason, which should have been the only reason, is a student’s own choice of programme and universities. There is also the issue of visibility of colleges in the Northeast which results in the lack of employment and placement options. Moreover in a country like India, especially in Northeast India, not everyone has access to a smartphone and even if one does, the issues of connectivity remain the ever big hurdle.

Source: https://www.eastmojo.com/author/amlan-jyoti-das

Australia’s fee shake-up is overly complicated and inconsistent

Times Higher Education | Gavin Moodie | Jun 29, 2020

The Australian conservative government’s revised Job-ready Graduates: Higher Education Reform Package 2020, uploaded on 22 June, comprises proposals for substantial changes to the country’s higher education funding.
The plan has multiple layers and will affect several areas of funding: financing a substantial expansion of the number of students; aligning the financing of disciplines with their costs of education; redressing the major under-servicing of people in regional and remote areas; and further concentrating on serving the narrow economic interests of industry.
This makes the package complicated and, in some respects, internally inconsistent. The fragmented composition of Australia’s Upper House makes it likely that at least some parts of the package will be legislated, while the fate of the big financing proposals will be shaped by the political and policy debate now developing.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/australias-fee-shake-overly-complicated-and-inconsistent

Don’t casualise academics, says OECD

Times Higher Education | David Matthews | Jun 29, 2020

One of the world’s most influential policy think-tanks has warned universities against shifting academics on to short-term or zero-hour contracts, in a report that argues universities are all but out of money-saving options as they struggle to cope with pandemic-induced hits to private and public income.
In advice aimed at governments mulling how to fund higher education in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also cautioned that online teaching was just as expensive as in-person instruction.
Despite a trend towards the “casualisation” of the academic workforce, studies stretching back to 2004 suggest that temporarily employed lecturers lead to a drop in student retention, the report says.
Despite hopes in some quarters that the sudden shift online will allow mass-scale, cheap online teaching, the OECD cautions that “systematic evidence on the cost effects of digitalising course development, delivery, assessment and credentialing is limited – and, for many, disappointing.”

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/dont-casualise-academics-says-oecd

Outstanding leaders: reshaping the UAE higher education scene

Gulf News | Jun 28 2020

AUD’s transition to online courses in March was immediate and seamless and it clearly demonstrated our continuous commitment to teaching and learning. At AUD, the learning, and teaching never stops. Students did not lose any classroom time and the faculty never stopped delivery of a world-class education.
This is a testament to the high level of expertise of the AUD faculty. Ranked by QS World Rankings as the third-most diverse international faculty in the world, their global skill set enabled them to effortlessly adapt and adopt to the disruption of the pandemic and continue serving our students, achieving the highest standards of a university education.
AUD has always been taking innovative approaches to teaching and learning in or outside of classrooms, not just during the pandemic. Our faculty maintain up-to-date teaching techniques and incorporate technologies such as 3D printing and virtual reality into the classroom. We understand that learning and teaching are not limited to the physical classroom. Our newly established Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center is an example of AUD’s Smart Learning Model in support of our well-established traditional classroom teaching.

Source: https://gulfnews.com/uae/education/outstanding-leaders-reshaping-the-uae-higher-education-scene-1.1593345575794

Higher education institutions should adopt new tools of teaching: Maharashtra Governor

Deccan Herald | Jun 28, 2020

On speaking at the inauguration of a webinar on ‘New Age Tools for Teaching Online’ organised by Academisthan, a platform for teaching faculty serving in Higher Education Institutions governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari ;on Sunday said that higher education institutions should adopt new online tools of teaching and learning. Mentioning that even IIT Bombay has decided to conduct its classes online, he added that a holistic view should be to see if the new technology is foolproof, harmonious and practical.
Mentioning that students will not be happy if they are passed without writing examinations, the Governor expressed the view that new technology can be used for conducting exams. He said a thought can be given to provide computers to those not possessing one for writing examination.

Source: https://www.deccanherald.com/national/west/higher-education-institutions-should-adopt-new-tools-of-teaching-maharashtra-governor-854786.html

New core subject groups will harm students’ higher education: Teachers

The Times of India | Sukshma Ramakrishnan & Sampath Kumar | June 28, 2020

The new subject groups for Class XI from the 2020-21 academic year, where students can opt for three core subjects for 500 marks instead of the present four for 600, will affect the prospects of students for higher education, say teachers. “Though the current CBSE board model follows 1 + 4 subject system as well with similar 500 marks, it has more flexibility. Unless there is an option to omit a language paper, the three core subject model’s ability to reduce stress on the students and provide a level-playing field will be only on paper. In reality, one needs to be cautious while choosing, otherwise it will limit the students’ choice of higher education courses substantially after Class XII,” said M C Abilash, secretary, Private Schools Correspondents’ Confederation. Teachers expressed fears that Class X students, especially if parents are not educated enough, may not be able to make well-informed decisions on choosing subjects. Though the new system still offers the choice of opting six subjects too, students may not prefer it as it would mean studying an extra subject compared to other groups.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/madurai/new-core-subject-groups-will-harm-students-higher-education-teachers/articleshow/76667789.cms

DUTA Calls Delhi University's Decision to Postpone Exams For 10 Days 'Irresponsible'

NDTV Education | Jun 28, 2020

Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) called the University's decision to postpone July exams thoughtless and irresponsible and said that it has created more stress and anguish. DUTA has again called upon the University to cancel the Open Book Exams (OBE). It says that the OBE is 'highly discriminatory towards those who have not had equal access and is bound to put undue strain on students and households in these difficult times'. DUTA's letter says that 'the University has ignored all the concerns raised in representations sent by Deans, HoDs, teachers and students.'

Source: https://www.ndtv.com/education/duta-calls-delhi-universitys-decision-postpone-exams-for-10-days-irresponsible

Universities Should Not Conduct Exams amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Online Tests 'Discriminatory': Kapil Sibal

NDTV Education | Jun 28, 2020

Universities should not conduct examinations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and even holding online tests is not right as it is "discriminatory" towards poor students, former Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said on Sunday. The senior Congress leader also said that with almost half the 2020-21 academic years of schools over without proper classes due to the COVID-19 spread, board examinations for Class 10 should not be held next year as it would burden the students unnecessarily.

Source: https://www.ndtv.com/education/universities-should-not-conduct-exams-amid-covid-19-pandemic-online-tests-discriminatory-kapil-sibal

Experimentation in higher education must become the norm

University World News | Dara Melnyk and Daniel Kontowski | Jun 27, 2020

We have seen something similar before. In the 1960s and 1970s, the wave of experimental higher education institutions offered new models and practices, which mainstream higher education could not ignore. This is how problem- and project-based learning, student-centred education and individualization became the norm. Now, universities have come to the point when they cannot but innovate. To succeed without betraying their values, they need new solutions.
The central and established institutions might seem immobile and inert – a luxury, we assume, sponsored by vast reputational and financial resources. However, a careful historical analysis shows that the Cambridges and Lunds out there are anything but static. They have reinvented themselves many times over.

Central higher education institutions need transformation to stay in the game. The peripherals cannot enter the game without it. New ideas can shine brighter when they come from unexpected places.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200624152437652

5 Things That Covid-19 Will Make The New Normal In Higher Ed

Forbes | Derek Newton | Jun 26, 2020

Years from now we probably won’t appreciate the drastic and dramatic changes that our institutions of higher education have had to engineer over the past six months.
That is because many things will revert to business as it was. Students will return to campus as enrollments return to familiar patterns following demographics and economics.
Here are five things in higher education that will likely outlive the pandemic and become just part of the expected, unexceptional process and experience of higher education.

  • Universal Online Backup Plan
  • Remote Test Security and Live Proctoring
  • The Distributed Campus and the Preeminence of the Mobile App
  • Creative Enrollment and Recruitment Outreach
  • Design and Architecture

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/dereknewton/2020/06/26/5-things-that-covid-19-will-make-the-new-normal-in-higher-ed/#4061d1e56071

Why Colleges Should Turn to Companies for Inspiration

Inside Higher Ed | Jun 25, 2020

The economic fallout of COVID-19 has now caused the largest unemployment crisis since the Great Depression. More than 44 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the beginning of March, and the country’s unemployment rate surpasses 13.3 percent. In response, higher education is being called to step up and respond to the unprecedented and urgent needs that extend well beyond making good on their promises and obligations to displaced students and faculty. They are being asked to help get Americans back to work. That challenge brings to the fore the already-fraught relationship between higher education and employers, which already harbored doubts about the ability of colleges to produce graduates with the skills to thrive in a rapidly changing economy.

Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2020/06/25/higher-education-has-much-learn-world-work-opinion

THE Leaders Survey: Will Covid-19 leaves universities in intensive care?

Times Higher Education | Paul Jump | Jun 25, 2020

There is no question that the Covid-19 pandemic presents university leaders around the world with a series of fiendishly difficult and dizzyingly high-stakes decisions.
Quite apart from the longer-term considerations, the sudden lockdowns enforced across the world by the pandemic have thrown up a host of issues requiring urgent resolution. Most salient among them is how to keep teaching when all your staff and students are confined to their homes.
Most respondents are content with the way they have handled the online switch. A full 85 per cent believe that their transition has been successful from a technical point of view. For instance, Sarah Springman, rector of ETH Zurich, reports a “stunning response from colleagues” to the need to teach more than 1,200 courses online during the summer semester. Only about 10 had to be cancelled “because the lecturers were external – and these were all small and optional courses”. 
A number of respondents also stress that the ease with which in-person teaching can be transferred online varies considerably according to discipline. Social sciences, business and computer science are often cited as having found the transition easiest, while courses with practical elements and assessments are typically seen as having found it hardest, especially medicine and dentistry.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/leaders-survey-will-covid-19-leave-universities-intensive-care

Covid-19: Exam cancellation for final yr students, deferment of academic session till Oct likely

LiveMint | Jun 25, 2020

Exams for final year students in universities and higher education institutions which were to be held in July are likely to be cancelled in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases, and the commencement of the new session is likely to be deferred to October, according to officials.
According to officials, a panel, set up by UGC and headed by Haryana University vice-chancellor R C Kuhad, has been asked to revisit the guidelines and come up with alternative options. The revised guidelines are expected to be announced by the higher education regulator within a week's time.
The ministry has made it clear that the foundation for revisited guidelines shall be the health and safety of students, teachers staff. The expert committee is of the view that the examinations due in July in most universities as per the revised academic calendar be cancelled and marks for final examination be awarded based on the past performance of each student.
The UGC had in April formed two committees to deliberate on issues arising due to the lockdown to avoid academic loss and take appropriate measures for the future of students.
One of the committees, led by Haryana University Vice-Chancellor R C Kuhad, was tasked with looking into ways of conducting exams in universities amid the lockdown and work on an alternate academic calendar.
The second committee, formed to suggest measures to improve online education, was led by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Vice-Chancellor Nageshwar Rao.
Based on the recommendations of the two panels, the HRD Ministry had on April 29 announced the guidelines recommending the exams for final semester students be conducted in July.

Source: https://www.livemint.com/education/news/exam-cancellation-for-final-yr-students-deferment-of-academic-session-likely-11593010087377.html

IIT Bombay First Major Institute to Scrap Face-To-Face Lectures This Year

NDTV| Swati Bhasin | Jun 25, 2020

Amid spike in coronavirus cases across the country, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay has become the first major institute to scrap all face-to-face lectures for the rest of the year "so that there is no compromise on the safety and well-being of the students".
In a Facebook Post last night, IIT Bombay Director Professor Subhasis Chaudhuri said "For IIT Bombay, students are the first priority. We took the first step in India in concretely deciding how we must bring a closure to the current semester to help our students, A large section of our students come from economically less privileged families and would require a helping hand to equip them with the IT hardware (i.e. laptops and broadband connectivity ) to take these online classes, We have estimated that we need about Rs 5 crores to help those needy students. We look forward to your overwhelming support to help these bright young minds to continue their learning without any further hindrances or delays,"

Source: https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/coranavirus-cases-india-iit-bombay-first-major-institute-to-scrap-face-to-face-lectures-this-year-2251811?pfrom=home-topscroll

THE Young University Rankings 2020: results announced

Times Higher Education | Ellie Bothwell | Jun 24, 2020

Asia is home to the world’s leading two young universities for the first time, according to Times Higher Education’s latest ranking.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology tops the THE Young University Rankings for the third consecutive year, while Nanyang Technological University, Singapore ranks second, up from third last year.
Both universities have very similar profiles, excelling in the areas of international outlook and citation impact, but also achieving high scores for research environment and knowledge transfer.
the ranking includes more than 400 universities from 66 territories. The Young University Rankings are based on the same metrics as the THE World University Rankings. But the weightings are recalibrated to reflect young universities’ missions, with less emphasis on reputational surveys and more on factors such as research productivity, staff-student ratios, institutional income and doctoral education.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/young-university-rankings-2020-results-announced

COVID-19 Puts 2019 Higher Ed Challenges in Stark Relief

Campus Technology | Jun 24, 2020

Declining government funding has two root causes, according to the report: a decline in the "belief of higher ed as a 'public good'" and an "inability to quickly adapt." The first plays into a painful cycle. As government support drops, schools increase tuition, forcing people to reconsider the value of postsecondary education, generating less political support and so on. Countering that, members told the APLU, would require greater public advocacy on the contributions made by higher ed, creation of political action committees for more lobbying and continued attention on finding "alternative sources of funding." The second, slow adaptation, was questioned as an assumption. As the researchers pointed out, "COVID-19 has certainly forced almost all institutions to adapt extremely quickly, particularly in the area of moving to online education, perhaps suggesting the perceived inability to adapt is only partially true." Among the suggestions offered by respondents: to incentivize faculty "to engage with business/industry" and to encourage universities to "think big, think entrepreneurially [and] move nimbly."

Source: : https://campustechnology.com/articles/2020/06/24/covid-19-puts-2019-higher-ed-challenges-in-stark-relief.aspx

Explained: How US pause on H1-B visas will hit Indian companies

Indian Express | Aashish Aryan | Jun 24, 2020

The US administration on Tuesday said it was extending the 60-day ban on immigration and non-immigrant worker visas till the end of 2020. Popular work visas including the much-coveted H-1B and H-2B, and certain categories of H-4, J, and L visas shall also remain suspended until December 31, the White House said in a press note.
US President Donald Trump said, was to protect domestic workers who had been impacted due to a contraction in the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to fill a vacuum of highly-skilled low-cost employees in IT and other related domains, the US administration issues a certain number of visas each year which allows companies from outside the US to send employees to work on client sites. The technology boom coupled with the arrival of the internet and low-cost computers in developing nations such as India and China saw a large number of graduates willing to work at relatively low costs in the US, a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee. However, it has since often been criticised for sending low cost workers to the US at the expense of domestic workers.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/us-h1b-visa-suspension-india-it-companies-6471966/

Protecting UK universities from Covid-19

Times Higher Education | Jun 24, 2020

UK higher education has received clarity, of sorts, via the government’s sector support package. To support short-term cash flow, the Student Loan Company will bring forward £2.6 billion of tuition fee payments for the 2020-21 academic years. Student number controls have also been temporarily reinstated, specifically a cap on providers recruiting full-time domestic students of up to 5 per cent above their forecasts for the next academic year. Essentially, the domestic applicant pool needs to increase about 6.5 per cent to result in an even spread across all institutions.
There is continued debate regarding a September term commencement, with “digital September” now firmly on the cards for many. This is expected to increase the number of deferrals, affecting both domestic and international student numbers, although the student experience may have a greater impact. It will have a knock-on impact on accommodation, catering and research income next year, not just this summer. Furthermore, with universities’ digital provision becoming so important, there needs to be increased safeguarding for it. Having the right digital learning offering in place is one thing, but getting the message to students about how they will still receive a high-quality education and value for money is a separate and significant challenge.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/hub/hsbc/p/protecting-uk-universities-covid-19

Varsities yet to study impact of coronavirus on lives in rural areas

Times of India | Jun 24, 2020

Even as the UGC had directed the universities and colleges to facilitate studies on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on rural lives and also the role played by the agrarian communities in its containment more than 10 days back, no institution in the state has so far come forward to take up this initiative. The institutions are supposed to submit their study report to the UGC latest by the end of the current month. In its directive issued on June 12, the UGC pointed out that the main objective of this study is to protect the village community from this pandemic. The vice-chancellors of universities and colleges were dusked to facilitate the study of five to six villages adjoining their institutions. The universities were asked to constitute a dedicated research team for carrying out the studies.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/varsities-yet-to-study-impact-of-coronavirus-on-lives-in-rural-areas/articleshow/76537770.cms

The Radical Adjustment of Higher Education

Forbes | Jun 23, 2020

Students, classrooms and instructors have persisted as key components of the U.S. higher education system since its first colleges opened in the 17th century. Despite major societal changes in the past four hundred years, the vast majority of postsecondary students began 2020 in traditional classrooms. Just three months later almost every institution of higher education (IHE) was forced to shift the delivery method of their instruction—some in less than a week—with varying degrees of success and failure. 
Almost 25 million students had to pivot in that moment. Housing accommodations away from campus, with a decent broadband internet connection, became a necessity overnight. 

The MAPS Dashboard examines the results of over 50 student surveys from across the nation. These data support the conclusion that students need more flexibility and support from their colleges and universities, especially students who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, women, students with disabilities, or students experiencing financial instability. 
The drastic differences in how colleges and universities prioritize their student populations will shape who in our country ends up with the privileges associated with higher education. 

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sorensonimpact/2020/06/23/the-radical-adjustment-of-higher-education/#498c1e7933a9

What does the new post-study work visa mean for international students in the UK?

Times Higher Education | Vivienne Stern | Jun 22, 2020

International students who study at UK universities will be able to stay and work for two years after graduation, by applying for the newly announced Graduate Immigration Route. The Graduate Immigration Route will be available to international students who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance and who have a valid Tier 4 visa at the time of application.
Successful applicants on this route will be able to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for a maximum period of two years. Beyond that, graduates who have found skilled jobs, and who qualify for skilled work visas, will be able to switch visas in order to continue their careers in the UK. This new visa category, announced in September 2019, will be open to applicants from summer 2021, which means that anyone starting a degree this autumn, and who has a valid Tier 4 visa when the new category opens for applications, will be eligible to apply.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/blogs/what-does-new-post-study-work-visa-mean-international-students-uk

Reasserting universities’ value will be focus of Latin America summit

Times Higher Education | Jun 22, 2020

From years of austerity measures placed on higher education in Brazil to campus closures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, university leaders across Latin America have consistently fought to preserve the vitally important institutions of research and teaching for their faculty and students.
The online Times Higher Education Latin America Universities Summit 2020, which will focus on the theme “Universities for the public good: reasserting the value of higher education post-pandemic”, aims to demonstrate how fundamental these institutions are as promoters of social progress.
The summit for leaders from across the region will begin at 0800 CST (Mexico City) on 7 July and will feature a series of online panels and master classes highlighting the vital socio-economic contributions of universities in Latin America.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/reasserting-universities-value-will-be-focus-latin-america-summit

Academy commits to supporting gender equity in higher education during and after COVID 19

Australian Academy of Science | Jun 23, 2020

The Australian Academy of Science has reaffirmed its commitment to gender equity in STEM by signing the ‘Preserving gender equity as a higher education priority during and after COVID-19’ joint statement.
The statement was published recently by the Higher Education Senior Equity Practitioners Advisory Group on Gender and COVID-19.
The Academy joins a growing number of universities and other sector partners, including Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), in signing the statement.
The statement acknowledges the gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased caring responsibilities and family violence, and reductions in workforce participation. It declares sector commitment to immediate and ongoing gender equity actions.

Without concerted efforts to manage and mitigate the uneven impacts on women, progress towards achieving greater participation of women and girls in STEM as recommended in the Women in STEM Decadal Plan will be jeopardised.

Source: https://www.science.org.au/news-and-events/news-and-media-releases/academy-commits-supporting-gender-equity-higher-education

Covid-19's impact on Spanish Roma

Euobserver | Jun 23, 2020

At the beginning of this crisis context, the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) decided to conduct a survey of 11,000 Spanish Roma by telephone who participate in FSG programmes with the aim of verifying how Covid-19 was affecting Roma families, identifying and trying to respond to the greatest needs they were facing.
The closure of primary and high schools led to the transformation of an education system based around digital resources, but a large number of Roma families do not possess the necessary equipment or skills to access and use these resources: only a third of minors have a computer and more than 40 percent of them do not have internet access or have it with limited data.
Although only 6.3 percent said they had suffered at least one incident of discrimination during this time, of being insulted or of being attacked because they are Roma, 37 percent believe that they are being stigmatised, which leads to a negative, unfair image of the Roma community in the context of the Covid-19 crisis.
The Spanish government has put in place some political and legislative measures to counter the negative impact of the crisis on most vulnerable people in Spain – recommendations on how to coordinate emergency aid and food delivery to the most deprived neighbourhoods and settlements.
However, some of these initiatives have not been implemented by regional and local administrations in a flexible, rapid way as an emergency situation requires, nor have they reached the most vulnerable groups, such as Roma.

Source: https://euobserver.com/coronavirus/148675

OECD education head: pandemic disruption should mean lower fees

Times Higher Education | Jun 22, 2020

With the key selling point of university – meeting people and having a ‘great experience’ – now gone, Andreas Schleicher sees high fees as unjustified and calls for more government investment.
One of the world’s most influential voices on higher education policy has said tuition fees should be cut after coronavirus lockdowns removed the key reason students attend university – to meet top academics, to mingle with interesting fellow students and to have a “great experience”. In an interview with THE Europe reporter David Matthews, Andreas Schleicher, director for education and skills at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said restrictions on physical contact threatened the entire rationale for university education, leaving institutions vulnerable to competition from IT firms that could offer better online learning. “From a student perspective, £9,000 is certainly not the value of an online course,” he said, referring to the annual cost paid by students at English universities. However, he added, it would be “reasonable for governments to increase their investment in higher education” given that the return for taxpayers remained “strong”.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/oecd-education-head-pandemic-disruption-should-mean-lower-fees

Four-year degree courses better for higher education system: Kerala government panel

New Indian Express | Jun 22, 2020

According to the committee, the move will enable students to get admission for higher studies in foreign universities and also promote research at the undergraduate level. An expert committee constituted by the state government has recommended the state higher education department to include four-year honours bachelor’s degree programmes in top-ranked colleges and to devise integrated courses. The recommendation is aimed at improving the quality of higher education in the state and providing better avenues for advanced studies.
According to the committee, the move will enable students to get admission for higher studies in foreign universities and also promote research at the undergraduate level. The honours programme will make a big change in the higher education system in the state, the committee noted.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2020/jun/22/four-year-degree-courses-better-for-higher-education-system-kerala-government-panel-2159630.html

Preparing for the Covid-19 Impact on Universities: Microgrids for Resilience, Cost Savings & Sustainability

Microgrid Knowledge | Jun 22, 2020

Bill Kipnis, of the Siemens Building Performance & Sustainability Division, explores how university microgrids can ramp up resilience, cost savings and sustainability — all crucially important in navigating the COVID-19 impact on these institutions.
According to him - In response to the pandemic, some colleges/universities will adapt new and longer schedules in order to de-clutter their buildings require some on-campus education to be online, and make other changes that potentially increase utility and maintenance costs. In turn, energy efficiency measures are at risk. Those campuses that have transitioned to a microgrid strategy, and gained greater independence from the utility, will use their systems to maintain their energy savings programs. For campuses that have adopted distributed energy (e.g., solar PV), the transition to a fully functional microgrid is relatively inexpensive.

Source: https://microgridknowledge.com/university-microgrids-covid-19/

COVID admissions in Higher Educational institutions

Digital Learning | Jun 21, 2020

The government of India announced lockdown across the country to curb the spread of Coronavirus. All the educational institutions were closed mid-March.
Even as the country battles the pandemic with a lockdown, educators have not forsaken their primary responsibility to the students which is a continuity in their education with the same exacting standards. Overnight, educators have had to change track and adopt steps to keep the ball rolling.
With the lockdown suspending classes, the annual academic calendar has been hit hard, especially as the March-April period signifies the crucial tail end of an academic session and this is also the time for roll outs for the new session.
Due to COVID, the mobility of students will be immensely affected. The admissions will get affected as the many exams are postponed or cancelled. This is also a very crucial time for the admission processes for the next academic session. Some institutes have made their admission process 100% online. To ensure the safety of prospective students, parents and their staff, these institutes have adopted a range of online virtual methodologies to facilitate the entire admission process.

Source: https://digitallearning.eletsonline.com/2020/06/covid-admissions-in-higher-educational-institutions/

Placement can be huge challenge for Higher Institutions

Digital Learning | Jun 21, 2020

It is important to identify key challenges for students and teachers in the current scenario. Once identified, academic leadership and the government can address these through innovations in focus areas.
Some companies are rescinding job and internship offers after being negatively impacted by COVID-19. Junior students are finding it harder to find internships, especially foreign research opportunities, which play a key role in interdisciplinary research and exposure to global research facilities.
New project opportunities by universities and within government institutions should be floated and due recognition given. In the long run, leadership within universities and government institutions should push policies to motivate and support an entrepreneurial ecosystem within colleges by setting up more innovation and incubation centres, grants/ fellowships to pursue start-up ideas and flexible policies for deferred placement for start-up enthusiasts.
The private institutions are finding it difficult to provide placement assistants to students. Many firms have withdrawn or deferred their offers given to students. It’s been hard times for many institutions in this crisis.
In the case of technical courses as well as in commerce and management disciplines, students have to do internships with industry as part of course requirements. How would students be fruitfully able to undergo internship when academic institutions and industries are closed due to lockdown. Some industries may reopen in course of time, but would they be able to comply with internship requirements, concerned as they are with productivity and sales?
There have been no comparable breakthroughs from Indian universities, and to the extent that studies on India have been done, most have been carried out by scholars based in foreign universities rather than those working in Indian universities.

Source: https://digitallearning.eletsonline.com/2020/06/placement-can-be-huge-challenge-for-higher-institutions/

Having the right infrastructure in Higher Education matters

Digital learning | Jun 21, 2020

Infrastructure plays an important role in education sector. Classroom design, auditoriums, laboratories, campus area etc. are crucial elements of a learning environment.
Classroom and interior design of Higher Educational Institutions have a major impact on a student’s learning and thus the outcome. There is strong evidence that high-quality infrastructure facilitates better instruction, improves student outcomes, and reduces dropout rates, among other benefits.
With the COVID-19 taking a toll, institutions have started virtual classrooms, labs, high-speed internet provider as digital infrastructure is developed across the globe.
Poor building conditions especially in Higher Education Institutions such as dark classrooms with no proper ventilation, broken furniture, leaky washrooms, poorly maintained cafeterias and pantry areas, messed-up library arrangement creates a negative environment and this adversely affects student’s learning outcome.
Infrastructure should not just focus on facilities for students, but also for teachers.
Institutions must consider recreational centers such as space for indoor activities, studios for musical performances, gym, etc. as an integral part of education infrastructure rather as an add-on. Recreational centers with the right kind of furniture that helps create conducive atmosphere for students to spend time inside the campus for longer duration.
The playground is another vital component of education infrastructure. It contributes to the physical and mental wellness of a student and creates a positive atmosphere in the campus. Playgrounds must be multi-functional, flexible and safe. It must also be spacious enough to support various sports at the same time.

Source: https://digitallearning.eletsonline.com/2020/06/having-the-right-infrastructure-in-higher-education-matters/

How Covid has impacted higher education sector

New Indian Express | Jun 21, 2020

Covid-19 pandemic-impacted higher education will be different mainly in the mode of teaching and evaluation. Nationally there was a call for a de facto switch to virtual teaching, learning and evaluation, pushing a huge number of teachers into an unfamiliar mode.
Hailed as a more effective, quick and less expensive mode, online teaching/learning is being given precedence over the campus mode as the new normal. It has been suggested that a single podcast at the national level hosting the entire course material for smart teaching can ensure quality.

It appears that the contingent situation will predictably divide higher education institutions into two types: a) covering humanities and social sciences taught informally through virtual mode, less expensive and meant for liberal arts and social sciences and (b) covering pure sciences professional disciplines excluding law. 
The immediate post-pandemic change in campus-based education will be behavioural, distinct for physical distancing, masking and sanitising; bringing about rearrangements in classroom, library, laboratory, common rooms and just about everywhere.
Online teaching and evaluation, pushed as a new normal under the pretext of the pandemic crisis, upset objectives of access, equity and excellence in the higher education sector. About 30 per cent of students at home under lockdown are not able to access online lessons due to lack of internet connectivity. Further, a massive shift to online mode will be tantamount to making one-third of the teaching faculty redundant, a strategy likely to be adopted for public expenditure cut under the crony-capitalist setup. 

Differences between online and classroom teaching are not merely confined to the medium and environment. There are differences in the art or science of teaching, designing learning outcomes, techniques of communication, ways of facilitating learning and methods of evaluation. It is important for  teachers to be formally accustomed to the art, science and methods of ICT-based pedagogy to become effective in virtual teaching. As for the long-term impact, interdisciplinary academic programmes will rank the foremost. Disciplines will increasingly draw closer to one another in the wake of the emergence of more and more cross-disciplinary areas of knowledge. Blurring of disciplinary borders in higher education will demand cross-disciplinary literacy among teachers and adaptability among students.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/2020/jun/21/how-covid-has-impacted-higher-education-sector-2159338.html

How to secure recovery of international student mobility

University World News | Jun 20, 2020

Australian universities have been in dire straits due to the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed how dependent they are on international student fees. It has also exposed how fragile the current transactional higher education model is, in Australia and in other major destination countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.

This model is the fruit of multiple factors: government policies promoting the commercialisation of higher education while reducing public funding for higher education, accelerated globalisation and multilateral relationships between nation states and the growing middle class and associated demand for overseas study in emerging economies, especially in Asia.
A number of factors are likely to facilitate the recovery of Australian international student mobility. At this stage, Australia is one of the countries to successfully limit the spread of COVID-19, which will likely lead to:

• Better international student health safety and well-being.

• Earlier international student travel than other major destination countries.

• Earlier and safer return to study and part-time or casual work.

• Stronger confidence in the return on investment of studying in Australia for parents and international students, compared to other key destinations.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200620071618800

Covid-19 impact: Maharashtra cancels final year university exams

Live Mint | Jun 20, 2020

Maharashtra government, late on Friday, has decided to cancel the final year and final semester examinations conducted under various universities in the state in the backdrop of rising cases of coronavirus despite the lockdown.
"However, those who want to take the exam should submit it in writing to the university and a decision in this regard will be taken on the basis of the influence of the covid-19 pandemic situation," said Uday Samant, Minister for Higher and Technical Education, while interacting with students through the Facebook page of the Directorate General of Information and Public Relations.
"Those who do not want to take the exam due to the cancellation of the exam will get the degree according to the appropriate formula" said Samant.

Source: https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/covid-19-impact-maharashtra-cancels-final-year-university-exams-11592624171194.html

Covid-19 Impact on Higher Education

Digital Learning | Jun 20, 2020

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has caused a great deal of uncertainty in higher education. Students don’t know if campuses would open or if they would need to continue studying online. If online, then what would the experience be like? If they had to return to campus, then how would social distancing mar their experience? Would they be at risk of catching the virus? The list of questions and concerns goes on.
Speaking of online – SP Jain’s online learning system is not something ordinary. The delivery would be far superior than almost any online learning system offered by other universities. We call it Premium Learning Online or PLO. This has been designed by SP Jain to surpass face-to-face learning in very clever ways. To popularise this, the School offers several short courses. These are mostly 3-week course that leads to the development of in-demand skills, and are taught live by an expert says Mr Nitish Jain, President, S P Jain School of Global Management in a conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

Source: https://digitallearning.eletsonline.com/2020/06/covid-19-impact-on-higher-education/

Students thrive in construction, despite COVID-19’s impact on schools

AJC | Arlinda Smith Broady | Jun 19, 2020

For recent high school and college graduates, these are some of the worse times to be entering the job market. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are more than 3.2 million high school graduates in the country. The unemployment rate in Georgia is near 12%, a few points below the national average of 15%. Despite those grim figures, the construction industry is hungry for young talent.

Source: https://www.ajc.com/news/local/students-thrive-construction-despite-covid-impact-schools/fStKbfoPku8V3zMhFtJMzM/

A Coalition of Maryland HBCUs Keeps the Hope of a Legal Settlement Alive

Diverse education | B. Denise Hawkins | Jun 19, 2020

By the time Dr. Aminta H. Breaux was named president of Bowie State University in July 2017, a contentious, federal lawsuit to remedy longstanding racial disparities and funding inequities at four historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Maryland was already in its 11th year.

The funds for the state’s HBCUs would have also ended the long-standing lawsuit in which U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake ruled that Maryland had maintained a dual and segregated education system and had underfunded HBCUs for decades.
“It’s no surprise that we are disappointed,” said Michael D. Jones, an attorney for The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education. But he and others agree that the COVID-19 pandemic is no excuse for the legal setback.
With a settlement, each of the four HBCUs would receive a slice of the funding pie based on enrollment size. With nearly 5,500 undergraduates, Bowie State, Maryland’s oldest HBCU, could receive about $16.8 million.
On the campus known for its STEM programs, Breaux said that funding could help fuel new “workforce-related, academic programs and grow and enhance graduate programs.” One thing the lawsuit alleged was that state policies perpetuated segregated higher education by allowing predominantly White state colleges and universities to create new programs that duplicate those at historically Black institutions.

Source: https://diverseeducation.com/article/181481/

Which nations will weather the storm on international recruitment?

Times Higher Education | Jun 18, 2020

The coronavirus has sent shock waves through higher education, particularly when it comes to international student recruitment, an ever increasing source of income and academic talent for Western universities. THE’s team of reporters around the globe have taken an in-depth look at how five of the biggest recruiting nations have responded to the crisis with steps to remain attractive to international students. Visa rules have been relaxed in some countries, but poor overall responses to the pandemic – and even instances of racism against international students – may have far-reaching consequences for some countries.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/which-nations-will-weather-storm-international-recruitment

COVID-19 impact | Not just H-1B, US L-1 visa holders also in the line of fire

Money Control | Swathi Moorthy | Jun 17, 2020

L-1 is a non-immigrant visa for intra-company transfers for candidates who are already working for the company that intends to open or expand operations in the US. It could also be the US parent company that wants one of its employees working in its subsidiary to work in the US. These visas are reserved for experienced professionals such as managers and executives (L-1A) and those with specialized knowledge in the company’s processes (L-1B). Indian firms continue to be the largest beneficiaries of L-1 visa accounting for 23 percent of total visas issued. Followed by the UK. For instance, companies like TCS, Infosys and Tech Mahindra, are one of the largest users of this visa. According to immigration experts, unlike H-1B, the intra-company transfer visa does not have cap issues. H-1B visa cap is 85,000 in a financial year. This allows companies to file for L-1 for those employees who would be working at their US units. An immigration attorney pointed out that some companies used L-1 in place of H-1B given the complex and long-drawn process the latter involves. The rate of denials and request for evidence have increased under the Trump administration leading to L-1 visa rejections. According to a research report by the US-based immigration think tank CATO.org, between 2016 and 2019, rejection share of L-1 increased from 25 percent to 34 percent. Recent layoffs due to COVID-19 have only added to the troubles. Unlike H-1B visa holders; these employees cannot seek employment in another firm once laid off and have limited options but to return home, especially in the case of Indians. (Canadian and Mexican nationals can move to TN visa that allows them to work in the US).

The visa rejection would also impact IT firms in delivering projects on time as it would be challenging to find replacements for L-1 visa resources who are specialized in particular fields. This would, in due course, force companies to look at other operating models apart from the onsite-offshore mix. We are already seeing it happening. Most IT firms now have close to 60 percent of their workforce in the US as locals. In its FY20 annual report, TCS said with remote working becoming a norm it was looking at a lesser dependency on visa and travel as meetings go virtual.

Source: https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/covid-19-impact-not-just-h-1b-us-l-1-visa-holders-also-in-the-line-of-fire-5412311.html

Petoskey High School receives grants from the Michigan College Access Network

Petoskey News | June 17, 2020

The Public Schools of Petoskey was recently awarded a Reach Higher Systems Impact Grant for $20,000 and a COVID-19 Response Grant for $2,525 from the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN).
Petoskey school officials note their belief that all students deserve the opportunity to pursue postsecondary education. Postsecondary education includes trade school, apprenticeships, military, community college, college, university or any other type of credential beyond high school. The Public Schools of Petoskey encourages all students to pursue “another piece of paper” beyond high school.
Reach Higher System Impact Grants are awarded to high schools that are innovative, progressive, and reform-minded. Schools receiving these have demonstrated they have buy-in, engagement, and formal participation from the building principal and school counseling staff. High schools with a plan to implement a bold systems change initiative, developed using local quantitative and qualitative data, to improve metrics around college and career readiness are recognized with these grant awards.

Source: https://www.petoskeynews.com/news/community/petoskey-high-school-receives-grants-from-the-michigan-college-access-network/article_f76118fc-bdd0-57b1-8786-2b6d5499ec51.html

University of Massachusetts scaling up online learning, partners with California’s Brandman University on adult education

Mass Live | Katie Lannan | Jun 17, 2020

The University of Massachusetts will partner with a California-based university system to scale up its online educational programs with the goal of serving more adult learners. The partnership between UMass Online and Brandman University is expected to be finalized later this year.

The move comes amid the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and UMass officials said millions of adults in Massachusetts and across the country will need “flexible, high-quality and affordable online education alternatives” as they seek to recover from economic dislocation.

The arrangement will strengthen UMass Online's technology platform and support services, according to the university. Kilburn said the partnership does not carry a cost for UMass or the state.

Source: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/06/university-of-massachusetts-scaling-up-online-learning-partners-with-californias-brandman-university-on-adult-education.html

Gov. Wolf: Four Universities Receive Funding for COVID-19 Response Through Manufacturing Innovation Challenge

Governor Tom Wolf | Jun 17, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf today announced the seven project awardees of $174,603 in new funding through the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program COVID-19 Challenge to address the commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are fortunate to have some of the brightest minds in our higher education system, and they rose to the challenge in supporting our commonwealth during this unprecedented time,” Gov. Wolf said. “My administration remains committed to identifying new resources that can support our state’s businesses and communities as we continue to navigate this pandemic and the recovery steps ahead.”
The Manufacturing PA Innovation Program COVID-19 Challenge awardees are:
Carnegie Mellon University
In partnership with the Allegheny Health Network, Carnegie Mellon University was awarded $24,986 for its project, Scalable Manufacturing of Nasopharyngeal Swabs to Address Pennsylvania’s Need for COVID-19 Testing.
In partnership with the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University was awarded $25,000 for its project, Accelerating the Availability of a COVID-19 Vaccine by Mass Spectrometry Characterization of Immunogens.
Lehigh University
In partnership with Solvay USA, Inc., Lehigh University received $25,000 for its project, A Novel Technology for Disrupting the Spread of Coronavirus.
The University of Pittsburgh
In partnership with Du-Co Ceramics Company, the University of Pittsburgh received $25,000 for its project, Rapid Manufacturing of Polymer-Derived Ceramic Films for Respirator.
In partnership with The ExOne Company, the University of Pittsburgh received $25,000 for its project, Reusable N95 Filters via Metal Binder-Jet 3D Printing.
Villanova University
In partnership with RTM Vital Signs, LLC, Villanova University received $24,802 for its project, COVID-19 Risk Monitoring by Wearable Sensor with Machine Learning Processing on Mobile Device.
Villanova University received $24,815 for its project, Design and Development of NovaVent, a low-cost rapidly manufacturable ventilator.

Source: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-four-universities-receive-funding-for-covid-19-response-through-manufacturing-innovation-challenge/

Washington State furloughs employees, cancels raises citing ‘severe’ revenue downturns

KING 5 | Jun 17, 2020

More than 40,000 state employees will be required to take furlough days starting no later than June 28. A raise for around 5,600 employees was also canceled. Citing a downturn in revenue, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday that most state employees will be furloughed and a 3% scheduled raise “for many of the state’s highest-paid general government employees” will be canceled. A general wage increase for most state employees approved by the state Legislature was scheduled to go into effect July 1. Under Inslee’s directive, the raises will be canceled “for agency directors, Exempt Management Service and Washington Management Service employees, and all other exempt employees who earn more than $53,000 annually,” according to a press release.

Source: https://www.king5.com/article/news/politics/washington-state-furloughs-employees-cancels-raises-citing-severe-revenue-downturns/281-c24fa6b1-110f-4b06-b606-26e192467b66

David Eccles School of Business “Navigating COVID-19” Webinars Inform Utah’s Coronavirus Crisis Policies and Business Outcomes

Newswise | Jun 17, 2020

A COVID-19 webinar series at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business has helped shape Utah's formal response to the coronavirus pandemic while counseling hundreds of businesses statewide – a practical and service-driven model for higher education efforts in the global crisis.
“Higher education’s ability to bring together experts and convey information in a practical, impactful manner is a strength we can bring to the pandemic recovery. It is our obligation as educational leaders to work for the betterment of society,” said Taylor Randall, dean of the David Eccles School of Business.
Garnering more than 18,000 views since its debut in April, the series counseled hundreds of businesses and nonprofits statewide with practical and service-driven guidance during this uncertain economic time. Through its 14 webinars, the series also fostered the creation of several COVID-19-related projects that will continue to support the health and economic recovery of Utah. The informative webinars are still free and accessible to all via the following link:  Eccles.link/COVID 
In addition to helping countless Utah businesses and nonprofits plan for the unknown, the series also helped create and shape several important statewide policy initiatives including:

  • Utah Leads Together – the plans for health and economic recovery developed as part of Utah’s COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force.
  • Utah HERO (Utah Health and Economic Recovery Outreach Project) – the project mapping the true spread of coronavirus infection in the state.
  • Hope Corps – teams of college and university students in Utah developing innovative solutions to COVID-19 challenges. 

The Utah Leads Together plans continue to support the vital functions of the state’s economic response to COVID-19 in areas such as:

  1. Defining Utah’s three economic phases of “urgent, stabilization, and recovery”
  2. Presenting color-coded health guidance levels (red, orange, yellow, and new green) to help Utah’s public and private decision-makers target reactivation of the Utah economy
  3. Presenting protective information for Utah’s high-risk population
  4. Sharing recommendations for assisting multi-cultural Utahns facing the challenges of the digital divide, food insecurity, English proficiency, and other challenges
  5. Planting seeds for economic renewal through guiding principles, a strategic approach, and fresh thinking on re-imagined economic incentives.

Source: https://www.newswise.com/coronavirus/david-eccles-school-of-business-navigating-covid-19-webinars-inform-utah-s-coronavirus-crisis-policies-and-business-outcomes/?article_id=733345

Howard president: anti-racism protests ‘give us a voice’

Times Higher Education | Ellie Bothwell | Jun 17, 2020

Leader of US’ most prominent historically black university says proper funding of such institutions will improve diversity in academia.

 Wayne Frederick, president of Howard University, America’s most prestigious historically black university, published a letter to his staff and students citing “We were born for such a time as this. And I am convinced that institutions like Howard University are destined to continue to build, mould and train the leaders who will help bring needed change to the structures of our society.”
Howard University has faced particular financial challenges, not least because it also fully owns and runs Howard University Hospital, which provides critical care for low-income, predominantly African American residents.
But Dr Frederick said the institution’s finances have been improving over the past couple of years, while more recently Howard has “received our share of donations” directed at mitigating the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black communities.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/howard-president-anti-racism-protests-give-us-voice

Bilaspur-based Dr. C.V. Raman University goes 100% digital for admission process for the 2020 session

India Education Diary | Jun 16, 2020

Dr. C.V. Raman University (CVRU), which is a part of the AISECT Group of Universities, has announced admissions open for the 2020 session. In view of the nationwide lockdown amid the coronavirus threat, the University has taken the admission process for the session 100% online. Students can now indulge in live chat sessions with counsellors through specialised counselling apps, access the virtual campus tour videos available on CVRU’s YouTube channel to get a glimpse of the lush green 60 acre campus, fill up the admission form and submit their fees online through enabled websites and portals. The University is also set to arrange career counseling sessions for prospective students along with online classes on personality development, soft skills and communication, entirely free of cost.

CVRU is credited to be the first private university in Chhattisgarh and it offers a range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses under 9 faculties that include Engineering, Education, Information Technology, Law, Commerce & Management, Journalism & Mass Communication, Pharmacy, Arts and Science.
Besides going 100% digital for the admission process, the University has initiated several schemes for the digitalization of the curriculum as well as the process of learning. CVRU features a campus radio station called Radio Raman 90.4 FM, which is the first community radio station set up by a university in India. The radio station broadcasts educational and entertainment based content with an aim to increase literacy of the people staying in tribal and backward areas around Kota regarding their legal, health and educational rights. Other key digital initiatives include conducting online live lectures through distance learning centres across India, offering e-learning online web/video courses in partnership with the National Programme on Technology and Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), online A-V classes in collaboration with Amrita University and IIT Mumbai and an extensive digital infrastructure with over 600 computers and 1500 online journals.

Source: https://indiaeducationdiary.in/bilaspur-based-dr-c-v-raman-university-goes-100-digital-for-admission-process-for-the-2020-session/

From dorm living to classes, here’s how college will be different this fall

CNBC | Michelle Fox | Jun 16 2020

Amid the uncertainty of what college will look like this fall, one thing is for sure — it won’t be the typical experience for students. Students who get back to campus are going to find themselves on very different campuses and in a very different environment than they expected,” said Debra Felix, a former director of admissions at New York’s Columbia University.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, which is tracking about 960 colleges across the U.S., 65% of higher-education institutions are planning for in-person classes, 8% are planning for online and 11% are proposing a hybrid model. Additionally, 9% are considering a “range of scenarios” and 6% are waiting to decide.
The CDC also recommends modifying the classroom layouts, so big lecture halls packed with students will be gone. Instead, everyone inside a classroom will be seated 6 feet apart, and seats and rows in lecture halls may be taped off. colleges have been taking different approaches to address on-campus housing in the age of Covid-19, and many are still deciding what to do, said Von Stange, president of the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International. The changes may lead some students to opt for off-campus housing. Those units are set up differently, generally with three or four bedrooms with a kitchen and living area, as well as a bathroom.

Then there are budget cuts likely to come due to the financial blow colleges have taken during the pandemic.
Already hard hit before the crisis, they had to return room and board fees to students who were sent home in the spring. On top of that, enrollment will likely be down in the fall and there will be an increase in demand for financial aid.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/16/college-will-be-very-different-this-fall-and-for-years-to-come.html

Narasaraopeta Engineering College Leads the Way in Fully Digital Education amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

India Education Diary | Jun 16, 2020

Narasaraopeta Engineering College, Guntur has taken a centre stage in improving the education structure which has been hit by COVID-19 from the last couple of months. The college is conducting regular online sessions, E-learning workshops, and is providing students with subscriptions of online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, etc on subjects like Big Data, Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, Industrial training, MATLAB, AutoCAD etc. The college marked a step ahead to search for innovative tech-based teaching platforms and tools. From using video conferencing software like Zoom and WebEx, shifting to learning management systems such as Instructure’s Canvas, Blackboard and Google Classroom. Further, to keep students serious about academics, NEC is conducting online exams using Software like Proctorio. As the future of education is “Going Digital”, NEC is transforming contemporary teaching methods with interactive digital environments for the students.
The college administration is making sure that no student is left out from this new way of teaching culture and following their academic circular strictly. The college is conducting “E-learning mockups” for students and teachers in association with a number of online platforms, mentors, and educational experts.

Source: https://indiaeducationdiary.in/narasaraopeta-engineering-college-leads-the-way-in-fully-digital-education-amidst-covid-19-pandemic/

Aligarh Muslim University: Webinar held on impact of COVID 19 on job opportunities

India Education Diary | Jun 16, 2020

“We need to have professional skills apart from the intellect to market ourselves to the corporate world and undergraduate students need to take up degrees in subject areas which the market needs”, said Mr Surya Pratap Singh, an entrepreneur and corporate trainer, while speaking at the webinar organized by the Training and Placement Office (General) and Internal Quality Assurance Cell, Aligarh Muslim University. He said that in order to avoid being in the lower work force, one should be open to learn new things and learning about the concepts of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and Digital Marketing can take the person higher up in the corporate hierarchy.
The webinar concluded with a talk on certificate programmes which could be acquired through various MOOC platforms along with a regular course.

Source: https://indiaeducationdiary.in/narasaraopeta-engineering-college-leads-the-way-in-fully-digital-education-amidst-covid-19-pandemic/

GE Healthcare, University of Oxford, NCIMI, to Develop AI Algorithms to Help Predict COVID-19 Impact

Enterprise AI | Jun 16, 2020

GE Healthcare is working with the University of Oxford-led National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imaging (NCIMI) in the UK to develop and test algorithms to aid in the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 pneumonia. The program will focus on developing, enhancing and testing potential algorithms to help diagnose COVID-19 pneumonia, predict which patients will develop severe respiratory distress - a key cause of mortality in patients who develop COVID-19 pneumonia - and which patients might develop longer term lung function problems, even when they recover from respiratory distress.

“It would be extremely valuable to predict at a relatively early stage in the disease which patients will do well, which are at risk of imminent deterioration and should be admitted to ICU as they will need more intensive support, and which are at higher risk of delayed deterioration and need to be actively monitored.” says Professor Fergus Gleeson, Consultant Radiologist, Professor of Radiology at the University of Oxford, and the 2020 president of the European Society of Thoracic Imaging. “These distinctions would allow hospital resources to be targeted to those that will need them whilst in hospital and following discharge.”

The development of robust algorithms and models requires large data sets comprising thousands of patients. The Oxford and NCIMI teams will have access to data from NCIMI NHS partner hospitals as well as working with the National COVID-19 Chest Imaging Database (NCCID) led by NHSX in England and the British Society of Thoracic Imaging. GE Healthcare is developing various imaging and vitals-sign algorithms for use in conducting research for better understanding of the COVID-19 disease progression. The team at Oxford will assess and test various approaches to determine if these can be used to help patients who have or have had COVID-19 pneumonia.

Source: https://www.enterpriseai.news/2020/06/16/ge-healthcare-university-of-oxford-ncimi-to-develop-ai-algorithms-to-help-predict-covid-19-impact/

How IIT Guwahati is dealing with the Covid-19 crisis

India Today | Jun 16, 2020

As the world copes with the coronavirus pandemic, it has witnessed the biggest disruption in living history in the educational sector, especially in the overseas educational plans. In the face of this enormous challenge, IIT Guwahati has explored ways to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 in response to the surge in demand for online learning platforms to avoid flattening the curve in education.
Maintaining a positive attitude during the pandemic, Prof. TG Sitharam, Director, IIT Guwahati, says, it “gives a unique prospect for India to become a vibrant higher education destination” and envisions a recovery plan to provide “an opportunity for indigenous invention in medical equipment, hygiene related products and boost the economic activities in the post-Covid-19 scenario.”
Prof. Sitharam feels that it is time to promote student and faculty mobility within premier education institutes.
IIT Guwahati has established a robust engagement with embassies of different countries, set up active collaborations with institutions in neighbouring countries, like Bhutan, and International Joint PhD Degree Programmes with Japan, Germany and Australia and is in the process of signing an agreement on International Cooperative Graduate Programme with the National Institute of Material Sciences, Japan.
The joint degree programmes envisage a stay in partner universities outside India to provide students an opportunity to gain global exposure and research experience in countries abroad while being registered in their parent institution, i.e. IIT Guwahati.

Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/how-iit-guwahati-is-dealing-with-the-covid-19-crisis-1689699-2020-06-16

Social sector funding hit by economy woes

Times of India |Rupali Mukherjee | Jun 15, 2020

Call it the Covid-19 effect. Philanthropic or social sector funding has taken a huge blow with several non-profits even facing an existential crisis, with all funding activities currently revolving around fighting the Pandemic.
The sector stares at a huge fall, with CSR funding expected to drop by an estimated 30-60% over the next two years, as ultra-high-net-worth individuals and leading corporate set aside their spends for Covid-19 response. The drying up of funds for social sector funding, together with the downward pressure on corporate profitability over the years, is expected to significantly reduce CSR funding across sectors, experts say.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/social-sector-funding-hit-by-economy-woes/articleshow/76395542.cms

COVID-19 pandemic could decimate outdoor environmental, science education programs

Science Daily | University of California – Berkeley | Jun 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the survival of organizations nationwide that provide critical outdoor environmental and science education to K-12 students, with an alarming 63% of such groups uncertain about their ability to ever reopen their doors, according to a study released this week by the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

A survey of 1,000 outdoor education programs nationwide finds that nearly two-thirds are in danger of folding because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such programs connect youth with the world around them and teach about nature, with documented academic, health and social benefits. But most programs are conducted by residential outdoor science schools, nature centers, parks and zoos, not in traditional classrooms. The loss will be felt disproportionately by students of color and low-income students.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200615140919.htm

Indore: DAVV to conduct study on Covid impact in neighbouring villages

Free Press Journal | Jun 15, 2020

The move comes following a letter by University Grants Commission (UGC) for the same. The UGC said that there is a pressing need to sensitively analyse the impact of pandemic as well as the role played by communities in agrarian part of this country.
The higher education regulator stated that in order to effectively address this need, the vice chancellors of universities and principals of their affiliated colleges should facilitate the study of 5-6 villages adjoining their institution/adopted by them.
The focus of the study, the UGC said, should be to elaborate on level of awareness in villages regarding Covid-19, how did the village withstand various challenges posed by pandemic and the best strategies or measures adopted by the village to combat the challenges posed by deadly virus.
In addition, the UGC stated that the higher education institutions should also facilitate a parallel study on impact of 1918 Pandemic (H1N1 Virus) or Spanish Flu on India elaborating on how the country handled it, and what measures India took to boost the Indian economy after the pandemic.
DAVV media incharge Chandan Gupta stated that they would soon start study on the neighbouring villages and submit the report to UGC within the prescribed time limit.

Source: https://www.freepressjournal.in/indore/indore-davv-to-conduct-study-on-covid-impact-in-neighbouring-villages

Government should end ‘hostile bureaucracy’ facing overseas students

Sropshire Star | Jun 15, 2020

The Government should end the “hostile bureaucracy” facing overseas students and bring in a four-year post-study work visa to help universities overcome Covid-19 and Brexit, a former minister has said. A predicted large drop in international students due to coronavirus will “expose real vulnerabilities” in university finances and it will compound problems already facing the sector, according to a report. Jo Johnson, former universities minister, argues that British universities have long been “tied down by bureaucracy, obsessions with poorly-crafted immigration targets and pettifogging rules”.
In a report, published by King’s College London (KCL) and the Harvard Kennedy School, Mr Johnson makes a series of recommendations to the Government on how to reduce the impact on UK universities. International students should be allowed to stay in the UK for double the length of time after graduating, from two to four years, to “send a clear signal that Global Britain is open to the world” – and the Government should launch a marketing drive to double student numbers from India by 2024, he says.

Source: https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/uk-news/2020/06/15/government-should-end-hostile-bureaucracy-facing-overseas-students/

Jo Johnson calls for four-year post-study UK work visa

Times Higher Education | Jun 15, 2020

The UK should introduce a four-year post-study work visa and a target to double the number of Indian students, if it is to remain competitive in global international student recruitment after Covid-19 and Brexit, according to former universities minister Jo Johnson.
Former universities minister also recommends that UK prioritises recruitment from India to remain competitive after pandemic.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/jo-johnson-calls-four-year-post-study-uk-work-visa

What Does Virtual Learning Mean For The Future Of Higher Education?

Forbes | Robyn D. Shulman | Jun 14, 2020

As U.C. Riverside had already begun moving several courses online, the transition was somewhat underway before California, and national mandates in mid-March required all education to jump online and most communities to shelter in place.

Toothman sees the future of higher education and professional training believes education is forever changed—especially at the college level. He also states many schools are running a hybrid teaching model in the fall, and many universities are moving entirely online. Toothman realized he had two choices to make when it comes to teaching today. Here's what he stated:
1. To lead out in pioneering new and better formulas to entice students into a new frontier they could welcome; 2. Be left behind in a sector that is regarded inherently and forever a distant "second best" to the learning that takes place face-to-face.

Knowing it would be most difficult to replace the energy of the live interactions with instructors and other students, Toothman turned his attention to what an online platform could provide that other mediums can't. He realized the medium allows room for students to shape their own adventures in ways that a live and static lesson plan can't provide.

He has also made the intrepid choice to hold live Zoom sessions for for international students. He knows that most instructors will not do this, and it may not be a workable solution forever. Still, as the world adjusts, it is vital to ensure first and foremost that students are met with the most exceptional experience possible as they navigate the move to learning online.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robynshulman/2020/06/14/what-does-virtual-learning-mean-for-the-future-of-higher-education/#3866637c43fa

COVID-19 impact | Prolonged ban of H-1B visa may change IT, tech ecosystem in US

Surface Magazine | Swathi Moorthy | Jun 14, 2020

A proclamation banning all non-immigrant visas including H-1B in the US is more than likely at the back of rising unemployment due to COVID-19. This is not a good news for Indian IT firms or the US tech industry. For a prolonged ban will impact the talent supply chain and could potentially change the way the entire industry works, even in the post COVID-19 world.

Though the companies have been stepping up their localisation efforts, sudden ban will impact their ability to deliver projects and close deals due to talent crunch. This will also affect the US firms that employ significant Indian tech workers. “The ripple effect is not on just the tech companies and consulting firms, it will actually impact federal to state governments to companies across the US that are relying on these H-1B workers to help engine their products,” said Sheela Murthy, founder, Murthy Law Firm. In terms of IT firms such as TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Cognizant continue to be top H-1B employers and any set back will impact them.

Source: https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/covid-19-impact-prolonged-ban-of-h-1b-visa-may-change-it-tech-ecosystem-in-us-5402821.html

We need to reimagine higher education, not just repair it

University world news | Francisco Marmolejo | Jun 13, 2020

The COVID crisis is wreaking havoc with the student experience and higher education institutions around the world. Colleges and universities shifted to remote learning as they were forced to suddenly shut down. Now students and lecturers are anxiously waiting to find out if, when classes resume in September, they will be in person. At some United States colleges, students are staging tuition fee strikes in despair that their degree won’t be considered as valuable under the circumstances.

Crises can make innovations that seemed previously impossible suddenly inevitable. There will be years of ‘a reckoning’ that higher education institutions will go through. But the ‘new normal’ we must shape needs to begin with the recognition that putting classes on Zoom isn’t change. Higher education institutions need reimagining, not just repairing. Educators, policy-makers, employers and investors must urgently give thought to what a post-COVID world should look like and what role higher education institutions must play to make that world a reality.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200612100902318

COVID-19’s impact on the world’s largest youth population

University world news | Rajika Bhandari | Jun 13, 2020

Indian students have an almost 134-year documented history of obtaining a foreign degree from Western nations and they constitute one of the world’s largest groups of mobile post-secondary students, especially in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
The estimates of the numbers of Indian students abroad vary significantly by source: while UNESCO tells us that there were 332,000 Indian students abroad in 2017, more recent data by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs puts the number at more than double that, at 753,000 in 2018.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread speculation and anxiety within higher education sectors on whether Indian students will continue to seek an overseas education with the same enthusiasm as before.
Host universities in key destination countries have been supportive, communicating frequently with their future international students in India. However, more clarity is needed around each university’s ultimate decision on whether to offer on-campus or online instruction in the autumn.

One area in which students need more clarity is the proposed fee structure, and whether the cost of an online semester will be different from being on campus.

• Students need emotional support and guidance from their schools and counsellors during this time. For most Indian students, the pursuit of going abroad is a long journey that begins many years prior to embarking on the actual degree, reflecting years’ worth of aspirations, hard work and family savings. Given these investments, students are currently feeling disappointed and disillusioned, yet are seeking options that are a good fit for them.

Counsellors need to work with them to help explore other viable options. In encouraging words, one student said: “You will find another good option that is a good fit. You just have to really look.”

• The COVID-19 situation might prove to be favourable for Indian universities, particularly for those private institutions that are at the forefront of innovation and aspire to be world-class.

While such institutions were often considered a back-up for westward-bound Indians, students are now discovering that the institutions offer many of the same features that drew them to Western institutions in the first place: a stronger focus on the liberal arts; the ability to select both a major and minor; interdisciplinary academic programmes that allow greater flexibility; and increased opportunities for applied learning and internships.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=202006121449023

GIGXR Announces New Immersive Learning System for September 2020 with Remote and Socially Distanced Learning

Newsmaker | Jun 12, 2020

Los Angeles, CA – June 12, 2020 – GIGXR, Inc., a provider of extended reality (XR) learning systems for instructor-led teaching and training, announced today the availability of its GIG Immersive Learning System for September 2020. The cloud-based System was created to dramatically enhance learning outcomes while simplifying complex, real-life teaching and training scenarios in medical and nursing schools, higher education, healthcare and hospitals. The GIG Immersive Learning System is available for demos and pre-order starting today, and includes three core components: 

  • Remote and Socially Distanced Learning: Enables teaching and training with students in a distributed classroom through extended reality. Students can be co-located, remote or safely socially distanced, and participate in sessions anywhere using 3D mixed reality immersive devices and mobile phones, tablets or laptops for a 2.5D experience. 

 

  • Mixed Reality Applications: GIGXR’s flagship products HoloPatient and HoloHuman run on Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, placing the 3D digital world in a collaborative physical space for safe development of clinical skills and unprecedented exploration into human pathologies and anatomies. 
  • Immersive Learning Platform: Cloud-based infrastructure that supports GIGXR’s mixed reality applications and remote learning capabilities with additional features such as visual login, instructor content creation, holographic content management, session planning, roles and rights, license management, security, privacy, and long-term data management.

Source: https://www.newsmaker.com.au/news/377147/gigxr-announces-new-immersive-learning-system-for-september-2020-with-remote-and-socially-distanced-learning#.XuM6YtQzbIU

University students have high levels of food insecurity due to COVID-19 pandemic

News Medical Lifesciences | Jun 12, 2020

Four out of ten university students have reported they are worried that they will run out of food as they deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.
A collaboration of universities in the UK and USA surveyed students on their levels of food insecurity during April, after universities in both nations ceased campus-based teaching.
The preliminary findings outlined in the report, Food Insecurity and Lived Experiences of Students, reveal students have high levels of food insecurity and low levels of mental wellbeing, alongside a high level of lost jobs and income since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Those students who lived either alone or with other students were much more likely to face food insecurity than students who either lived at home already or who returned to their family home when lockdown began. The situation was more positive for 56% of those students who were able to return home and live with their parents, as their parents purchased food and there was shared responsibility for preparing meals.

Source: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200612/University-students-have-high-levels-of-food-insecurity-due-to-COVID-19-pandemic.aspx

Global Innovation Management Market Sees Growing Focus of Enterprises on the Development of New, Innovative, and Personalized Products

GlobeNewsWire| Jun 12, 2020

The global innovation management market size is forecast to grow from USD 918 million in 2020 to USD 1,663 million by 2025, at a CAGR of 12.6% during the forecast period. The major growth factors for the market include the increasing demand for crowdsourcing innovation across verticals and changing work culture in enterprises. However, the mindset of leaders towards traditional approaches may restrain the market growth.

By function, the innovation management market is subsegmented into product development and business processes. Among functions, the product development segment is expected to grow at a higher growth rate during the forecast period as enterprises are focused on customer-centric product development. Thus, product research and development platforms are very useful for the development of innovative products.

The innovation management market is segregated into various verticals, including aerospace and defense, Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI), healthcare and pharmaceuticals, government, retail and eCommerce, IT and telecommunications, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and others (education, media and entertainment, legal, construction, agriculture, energy and utilities, and Non-Profit Organizations [NPO]). These verticals are expected to witness high adoption of innovation management solutions to achieve benefits, such as optimized storage information resources, lower risks, improved enterprise efficiency, and transparency in the innovation process of enterprises. Among these verticals, the healthcare and pharmaceuticals vertical is expected to grow at the highest growth rate. Healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations are focusing on changing their business plans for meeting the needs and expectations of patients and consumers worldwide.

The innovation management market by region covers North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Latin America. North America is expected to hold the largest market size of the innovation management market. The region has been adopting innovation management solutions. It has been extremely responsive toward adopting the latest technological advancements, such as integrating technologies with Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud, and mobile technologies with the use of traditional innovation management solutions. The major growth driver for this region is the presence of rigorous government standards and regulations framed for various industries.

Source: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/06/12/2047340/0/en/Global-Innovation-Management-Market-Sees-Growing-Focus-of-Enterprises-on-the-Development-of-New-Innovative-and-Personalized-Products.html

Mounting Peril for Public Higher Education During the Coronavirus Pandemic

American Progress | Victoria Yuen | Jun 11, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has led to the most difficult semester in generations on college campuses across the United States. With that semester now wrapping up, public colleges and universities are facing costs that already dwarf the $7.6 billion in federal stimulus funds that are on their way to these institutions. Absent dramatic new action from Congress, many of the public colleges that support social mobility will confront an existential threat.
Public colleges across the country face the same dire financial picture. The majority of states cannot run budget deficits,which severely limits their ability to protect higher education from funding cuts as tax revenues fall off a cliff. That means that there is no entity besides the federal government that is in a position to ensure that everyone in the country can access the education that they need to thrive in the U.S. economy.

Source: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education-postsecondary/reports/2020/06/11/485963/mounting-peril-public-higher-education-coronavirus-pandemic/

Delhi University to begin admission process from June 20

Digital Learning | Jun 11, 2020

According to media reports, Delhi University would begin the DU Admission 2020 process from June 20, 2020. The admission process has been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak this year. Students can download the form at www.du.ac.in. The registration process would open on June 20 and would close on July 4, 2020, for all courses. The second window for registration would be opened by the varsity after the declaration of result by CBSE for the updation of marks.

Delhi University is expected to announce the cut-offs by end of July or early August, as per UGC Exam & Admission Guidelines. This year the varsity would not have trails for sports and Extra-Curricular activities (ECA) due to the pandemic. There will be no admission in ECA except for NCC and NSS and that too on the basis of the certificates as no trials will be conducted, the member said, adding this was decided keeping in mind the coronavirus situation.

Source: https://digitallearning.eletsonline.com/2020/06/delhi-university-to-begin-admission-process-from-june-20/

Gov. Northam’s coronavirus briefing: no spike in COVID-19 cases, higher education guidelines, May revenue numbers

NBC29.com | Jun 11, 2020

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Governor Northam is holding a briefing on the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic in Virginia. On higher education, Northam says guidance for reopening is similar to those recently announced for K-12 schools.

Peter Blake, the director of state council of higher education, spoke about the challenges around racial inequities in Virginia’s colleges and universities, and that they will strive to improve. Blake says reopening guidance for higher education puts safety at the forefront. Blake said campuses will have to meet certain conditions related to public health, and each plan will be unique and can be updated. He says to expect a new normal in college life as colleges and universities adjust as a result of COVID-19. Additional info is expected to be released Friday.

Source: https://www.nbc29.com/2020/06/11/governor-northam-hold-coronavirus-briefing-pm-watch-live-here/

Are international students in the US facing OPT suspension?

Study International | Jun 12, 2020

International graduates in the US Optional Practical Training (OPT) programme may have to deal with OPT suspension soon. The OPT is a student visa extension which allows eligible international graduates to work in the US for up to 12 months after completing their studies. STEM majors get an additional 24 months.

This comes as the US government considers further immigration restrictions to manage the devastating impact of COVID-19.
First, the US government took the first step by suspending entry of immigrants deemed risky to the US. Then, it released an executive order directing agencies to “address this economic emergency by rescinding, modifying, waiving, or providing exemptions from regulations and other requirements that may inhibit economic recovery”.
In response, 21 Republican Members of Congress wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf opposing the OPT suspension.

Source: https://www.studyinternational.com/News/opt-suspension-us-covid19/

Online classes to continue in post-covid Kerala: Higher Education Council

Mathrubhumi | Jun 12, 2020

The higher education sector in Kerala will face major changes in post-covid Kerala. The Higher Education Council has; declared that online class mode will continue simultaneously with classroom education.
A draft policy of higher education prepared by the council recommended forming training programmes to tackle challenges from online classes.

Though online classes will continue, use of online education materials will not be made mandatory. Webinars and teleconferencing which are used at present to confront the challenges will be continued. The report of the higher education council pointed out that graduation and post-graduation courses will turn online as it is less expensive and effective. More teachers will be made to adopt the online education system.

Source: https://english.mathrubhumi.com/education/News/News-updates/online-classes-to-continue-in-post-covid-kerala-higher-education-council-1.4824481

COVID-19 impact: Odisha government cancels all pending exams for UG, PG students

The Indian Express| Jun 12, 2020

The State Government on Thursday announced cancellation of all pending final semester and final year examinations of Under Graduate (UG) and Post Graduate (PG) courses for 2019-20 academic session.
A decision to this effect was taken by Higher Education department in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Guidelines to this effect will be issued soon, said Higher Education Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo.

Students not satisfied with the marks will be allowed to appear the exams in November and results will be published in December.
Students having more than two back papers, however, will have to appear a separate exam, schedule for which will be released by the universities and autonomous colleges after improvement of Covid situation.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2020/jun/12/covid-19-impact-odisha-government-cancels-all-pending-ug-pg-exams-2155558.html

Cambridge offers £1m in bursaries for adults worst hit by Covid-19

Times Higher Education | Anna McKie | Jun 11, 2020

The University of Cambridge has launched a £1 million bursary scheme for adults who have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus to continue their education. The bursary from the university’s Institute of Continuing Education will give 1,000 adults in the UK the chance to study for a range of part-time qualifications. The university said that more than 20 million people are eligible for the programme, as any of the 1.5 million people designated “most at risk of the virus” by the NHS can also apply for the bursary, as well as individuals aged 70 and over and all key workers. The institution will provide undergraduate teaching online during 2020-21 “to maintain accessibility for all during the coronavirus crisis”, the ICE said.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/News/cambridge-offers-ps1m-bursaries-adults-worst-hit-covid-19

Do university excellence initiatives work?

Times Higher Education | Jun 11, 2020

Nations are increasingly making conscious efforts to propel a subset of their universities into the global elite. But are such aspirations ever met? And, if they are, is that a blessing or a curse for those institutions denied entry to the club?

One of the other positive outcomes of excellence initiatives is that they have allowed a new generation of university leaders to emerge. ... It is indeed unlikely that the scientific production of beneficiary universities would increase significantly within the first few years of an excellence initiative. There are also examples of developed higher education systems pursuing this approach, as they try to elevate the global status of their top institutions in a world where this can influence academic and student recruitment. Perhaps the most famous is Germany, whose Excellence Strategy is now entering its third iteration. France, too, has sought to amalgamate some of its top institutions into larger units known as ComUEs (communautés d’universités et établissements), in an attempt to boost their collective power and global prominence.
Arguably, excellence initiatives also exist unofficially in other systems whose funding schemes concentrate resources on institutions deemed the highest quality. A prominent example is the UK, whose £1.3 billion-a-year “quality-related” research block grants are distributed on the basis of the inevitably named research excellence framework (REF).

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/do-university-excellence-initiatives-work

THE financial crisis risks ‘lost generation of researchers’

Times Higher Education | Jun 11, 2020

THE financial crisis risks 'lost generation of researchers' Universities around the world face a “lost generation of researchers” unless careful thought is given now to supporting early career academics through the funding storm created by the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been warned.
It comes amid growing concerns among PhD students and postdoctoral scholars, who are already struggling to finish current projects during lockdowns, that future posts will dry up as universities struggle to balance their books.
Indications that early career researchers could be at the sharp end of any financial squeeze have included findings last month from a UK survey, which discovered that just one in ten postdocs whose contract ends this year had received extra funding.
Meanwhile, a report from the Australian Academy of Science, also in May, warned that “the highly casualised and fixed-term nature” of the research workforce meant job cuts could be “disproportionately felt by junior researchers including recent graduates”, as well as “early career and mid-career researchers, and women”.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/News/he-financial-crisis-risks-lost-generation-researchers

Millions in Emergency Education Relief Funds to help Virginia's schools

CBS 19 News| Jun 11, 2020

Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia schools will get $66.8 million through the federal Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund.
"This funding will help Virginia provide high-quality instruction and continue to delivery of services for K-12 and higher education students during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Northam. "We are prioritizing this federal assistance to help address learning gaps caused by school closures, expand and improve Internet connectivity, increase access to robust distance learning programs, and help students in need of additional financial assistance complete their postsecondary education and training."
According to a release, the GEER Fund was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security Act to give states the flexibility to determine how best to allocate emergency assistance to meet educational needs.
Of the funding, $43.3 million is going to support PreK-12 priorities, including short-term and long-term initiatives to expand high-speed Internet access to all communities and provide laptop computers and Mi-Fi devices to students who don't have home Internet access; expanding early childhood education and child care programs especially for children with academic and social-emotional needs; supporting the expansion of the Virtual Virginia online learning program to provide content for elementary and middle schools students as well as allowing teachers to use the platform to create, edit and share content and provide personalized virtual instruction for all students; expanding the Virtual Virginia Professional Learning Network to help educators and technology-support personnel have the capacity and skills to meet the demand for quality online learning; and cover unfunded costs for the continuation of school-based meals programs while schools remain closed, including hazard pay for school nutrition staff.

Source: https://www.cbs19News.com/story/42235273/millions-in-emergency-education-relief-funds-to-help-virginias-schools

State Senate Education Committee discusses COVID-19 impact on higher education

CBS 21 News | Jun 10, 2020

HARRISBURG, Pa. — COVID-19 has made a serious impact on the lives of Pennsylvanians working and studying in higher education.This led the PA Senate Education Committee to hold a public hearing, Tuesday, to discuss just that.

"How do we get this balance on a limited amount of resources? So, if additional resources come in, where does it go," Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D - 19th District) asked. The state system is facing many challenges and is working on solutions.

"It entails a degree of structural change, but I don't actually see a way, given the financial issues the state is dealing with," Daniel Greenstein, chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, said. "I don't see a way to get out of the situation we're in."

Source: https://local21News.com/News/local/state-senate-education-committee-discusses-covid-19-impact-on-higher-education

Explained: Why jury is still out on holding final year college exams in Maharashtra

The Indian Express | Abha Goradia | Jun 10, 2020

Currently, the state law and judiciary department is exploring the possibility of cancelling all final-year exams across all streams. A final decision has still not been made. After Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a webcast on May 31, announced scrapping of all final-year exams, his announcement was met with several objections.
This is because different colleges are governed by different councils at the central level. Medical colleges are liable to instructions by Medical Council of India (MCI), pharmacy colleges by Pharmacy Council of India, architecture colleges by Council of Architecture, engineering colleges by All India Council of Technical Education and law colleges by Bar Council of India.
For students studying through distance learning mode, they will be provisionally passed for now, but will have to appear for exams once the universities begin

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/maharashtra-examinations-coronavirus-6450115/

This IIM-B incubated online mentoring startup doubled its enrolments after COVID-19

YourStory | Sohini Mitter | Jun 10, 2020

MyCaptain(Founder:- Mohammed Zeeshan, Sameer Ramesh, Fatema Hussain, Ruhan Naqash ) offers topic-based mentoring to high-school students, undergrads and working professionals.
Bengaluru-based MyCaptain has created more than 6,00,000 hours of learning content. The courses are spread across 30-day live online classes that can be availed on its app or website. The MyCaptain app has crossed 10,000 installs on Google Play Store, and is rated 4.7 out of 5.
The learning content covers a diversity of fields from graphic design, spoken poetry, photography, and stand-up comedy to app development, machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), ethical hacking, entrepreneurship, and more.
In four years, the startup has mentored over 100,000 students from metros to small towns. It has roped in nearly 200 mentors, including leaders from NASA, Tesla, Microsoft, Google, Apple, and other giant corporations. Mentors, known as ‘captains’, also include celebrities;published novelists, and entrepreneurs.
MyCaptain, which primarily focussed on the B2C segment until now, is bullish on the B2B segment. The founder reckons that the deals in the B2B space will close much faster in the aftermath of the pandemic, which has resulted in systemic changes in education across the globe.

Source: https://yourstory.com/2020/06/iim-b-incubated-online-mentoring-startup-enrollments-covid-19

QS World University Rankings: No Indian university in top 150

FreePress Journal | Jun 10, 2020

No Indian universities made to the top 100 universities in the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings released on Wednesday.
In India, The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay) is highest-ranked institute according to the rankings. Among top universities, IIT Bombay is ranked 172nd in the 2021 global ranking. It is followed by IIT-Delhi(182), IISc-Bangalore (184), , IIT-Madras (281), IIT-Kharagpur (281), IIT-Kanpur (291).
QS World Rankings for Universities has ranked the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as world’s best university, MIT is followed followed by Stanford University and Harvard University. The rankings are based on six indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty/student ratio, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.

Source: https://www.freepressjournal.in/india/qs-world-university-rankings-no-indian-university-in-top-150

COVID-19 Impact and Recovery Analysis- Higher Education Market 2020-2024 | Emergence of Transitional Education to Boost Growth | Technavio

BusinessWire |Jun 10, 2020

Technavio has been monitoring the higher education market and it is poised to grow by USD 37.82 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of 12% during the forecast period. The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment.
The market is fragmented, and the degree of fragmentation will decelerate during the forecast period. Adobe Inc., Apple Inc., Blackboard Inc., Dell Inc., D2L Corp., Discovery Inc., Ellucian Co. LP, Instructure Inc., Pearson plc, and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd are some of the major market participants. The emergence of transitional education will offer immense growth opportunities. To make the most of the opportunities, market vendors should focus more on the growth prospects in the fast-growing segments, while maintaining their positions in the slow-growing segments.

Source: https://www.businesswire.com/News/home/20200610005484/en/COVID-19-Impact-Recovery-Analysis--Higher-Education-Market

Galgotias University Reimaging Education amid COVID

NEWS 18 | Jun 10, 2020

One of Delhi NCR’s leading educators, with a 100% placement record over the last four years, Galgotias University, located in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh is turning this adversity into opportunity. Since day one of the lockdown, the university has ensured no stumbling block affects the learning curve.

Equipped with its e-learning tools Regular online classes, assessments, and seminars for its students have helped continue the learning process, using platforms such as Zoom, Moodle, Google Classrooms, Google Hangouts, Skype, Webex, and Virtual Labs. Students, across courses, are also attending e-sessions by industry experts—all from the comfort of their homes. Faculty members are available 24*7 through phone calls and WhatsApp guiding pupils at every step.

Embracing Technology and Learning A Noble Gesture to Contain The Pandemic To mitigate the after-effects and contain the spread of the pandemic, Galgotias has provided the Uttar Pradesh government with 2,200 beds for doctors. The university, which believes in giving back to society, has also helped create a quarantine centre in a short time. Over 6,000 meals are provided to the needy and 2,000 sanitizers have been arranged to ensure proper hygiene. Further, the university has announced Rs. 21 lakhs towards the Chief Minister’s Covid-19 relief fund.

Source: https://www.News18.com/News/press-release/galgotias-university-reimaging-education-amid-covid-19-2662461.html

Covid-19 impact: Here's how coronavirus is affecting the education sector

India Today | Jun 09, 2020

Extended school closures will not only weaken the fundamentals of students, but it will also lead to loss of human capital as well as economic opportunities in the long -run. According to the World Bank, its impact will be profound in countries where education is grappling with low learning outcomes and a high dropout rate. Several educational institutions had no choice but to embrace e-learning to sustain the momentum.

Over the past few years, e-learning has witnessed an uptick due to ubiquitous internet connectivity, the proliferation of smartphones and significant advances in technology.

PM e-VIDYA
Fortunately, the Indian government has taken cognizance of the untapped potential of e-learning. The one-nation-one platform facility through the PM e-VIDYA platform and a dedicated channel for students from Class 1 to Class 12 will liberalize distance and online learning regulatory framework.

Challenges:
Online education cannot replace the traditional classroom New-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Virtual Reality among others can be instrumental in bridging the crucial gaps.

Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/covid-19-impact-here-s-how-coronavirus-is-affecting-the-education-sector-1687004-2020-06-09

Coronavirus: Wider school reopening dropped and university dilemma

BBC NEWS | Jun 9, 2020

1. Wider school reopening plan dropped Plans to get all primary pupils in England back to school before the end of term have been dropped. Some years began returning last week, but head teachers and governors warned further expansion was unrealistic while social distancing measures limit classroom capacity. It's now going to be left up to individual schools to decide whether or not to increase numbers. 2. Lockdown meeting later Before Education Secretary Gavin Williamson delivers a statement to the House of Commons on that schools story, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a cabinet meeting later to discuss the next steps in easing England's restrictions. 3. University dilemma Students must decide by the middle of next week whether or not to accept university offers for the new academic year. It's an even bigger decision than usual given how different the experience is likely to be, with many lectures online and restrictions imposed on socialising. Those who put off university often hit the backpacking trail instead, but what is it like in towns normally full of young people now travel is off the cards? 4. May 'another tough month' for retail Total UK sales fell by 5.9% in May compared with the previous year, the British Retail Consortium says.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/News/uk-52968041

Michael Crow: crisis should herald cooperation and differentiation

Times Higher Education | Ellie Bothwell | Jun 10, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread disruption to higher education across the globe. But for Michael Crow, regarded as one of the most reform-minded university presidents in the US, it is just one of many shocks that the sector must come to terms with.

“Covid is just a sign of global complexity, a sign of global interconnectedness,” said Professor Crow, president of Arizona State University, which will next month be hosting a virtual conference on online education with Times Higher Education as a partner. “It’s a shock, a negative shock, but there are also other shocks that will be both negative and positive [such as] technological advancement and automation replacing many jobs.

“Every lorry on every motorway in the entire UK is going to be driven by a robot at some point. What does that mean? That means that humans may be free, if educated and if empowered, to now do new things.” Arizona State University now operates in “three simultaneous modalities”: a blended learning approach called “full immersion on campus”; an asynchronous online approach called “digital immersion”, which generally caters for students who are in employment; and a third approach, which has been built since Covid-19, known as “full immersion synchronous”, in which students learn in real time but are not on campus. The institution has around 70,000 full immersion students, and a similar number enrolled in a digital immersion programme.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/michael-crow-crisis-should-herald-cooperation-and-differentiation

No rush to the lecture hall in virus-free NZ

Times Higher Education | John Ross | Jun 09, 2020

New Zealand universities will not fast-track normal campus activities despite the government’s declaration that Covid-19 is all but eliminated within the nation. NZ moved to national alert “level one” on 9 June, cancelling all containment measures apart from border controls. But the University of Auckland said the change would not alter its plan to remain in remote teaching mode until semester 2 in late July.

NZ’s success in containing the virus owes much to prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s “go hard, go early” strategy. Campuses were closed from 25 March under level 4 lockdown measures that also saw all gatherings cancelled, most businesses closed and people instructed to stay home except for local exercise or essential travel.

Executive director Chris Whelan said universities had no choice but to maintain full remote delivery while thousands of their students remained in China. “For as long as it takes to get international students safely back into NZ, we are going to have to keep on doing dual delivery,” he said.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/no-rush-lecture-hall-virus-free-nz

China warns students of ‘safety risks’ in Australia

Times Higher Education | John Ross | Jun 09, 2020

China has warned its citizens against studying in Australia, as relations between the two nations continue to deteriorate. The notice, posted on the ministry’s Chinese language website on 9 June, said major Australian universities were planning to recommence classes around July. “The Ministry of Education reminds the majority of students to do a risk assessment and choose carefully,” it said, adding that students were also endangered by the ongoing epidemic.

Neither warning will have any immediate effect, with borders closed during the pandemic. But universities are setting their hopes on a limited return of Chinese students to help alleviate coronavirus-induced revenue downturns that could exceed A$1 billion (£550 million) at some universities. Some of Australia’s biggest research-intensive institutions earn more than one-quarter of their income from Chinese students’ tuition fees. Around 68,000 of the 175,000 Chinese people enrolled to study in Australia were stranded overseas in late May, according to federal education department statistics. Australian media has interpreted the warnings as the latest display of Chinese displeasure over Australia’s call for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus. China has also imposed tariffs on Australian barley and suspended beef shipments from some of Australia’s largest meat producers.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/china-warns-students-safety-risks-australia

Murdoch accused of using crisis as ‘cover’ to cut research time

Times Higher Education | John Ross | Jun 09, 2020

An Australian university has been accused by a union of using the economic impact of the pandemic as “cover” to shift research-active staff into teaching-only roles. Australian university directs academics to spend up to 80 per cent of their time teaching, despite relatively healthy financial position.

Perth’s Murdoch University will require academics to spend almost all of their time teaching, in an intensification of a workload reallocation proposal announced last September. Staff complained that the benchmarks were so onerous that even star publishers risked losing research time. The dispute has emerged amid revelations that Murdoch has sufficient financial reserves to cover several years of coronavirus-related revenue shortfalls.

Some observers believe the economic crisis created by the pandemic will leave smaller Australian universities with little choice but to rationalise their research activities.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/murdoch-accused-using-crisis-cover-cut-research-time

LSE’s financial woes spotlight wider issues for sector

Times Higher Education | Jun 09, 2020

LSE's financial woes spotlight wider issues for sector. Experts have said the London School of Economics' status as the British university with the highest proportion of international students means it is facing an acute financial problem next year − but its case highlights wider issues within the UK sector.
The London School of Economics will take a massive hit from loss of international students, highlighting how reliant some institutions have become on their revenue

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/lses-financial-woes-spotlight-wider-issues-sector

Asia’s cautious restarts offer glimpse of post-Covid campus life

Times Higher Education| Joyce Lau | Jun 9, 2020

If the spread of Covid-19 continues to be contained, most universities in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Singapore expect to be open for at least some in-person teaching in the 2020-21 academic year. Taiwan, meanwhile, has kept its universities open throughout most of the pandemic, with only a few weeks of disruption in February.
Huey-Jen Jenny Su, president of National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), said “ the institution had set up screening facilities and implemented student check-ups, distributed face masks and rolled out other social distancing measures. “It was a critical period for everyone to become literate” in disease control.
“Universities around the world are carefully assessing their options regarding the reopening of their campuses amid the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Professor Tan of NUS. “This is understandably a tough decision, as it impacts the health and safety of students, faculty members and staff – as well as their families and those in the surrounding communities. It is important that such decisions are made in consultation with public health experts, and with the precautionary measures and return-to-workplace policies of cities and countries.”

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/asias-cautious-restarts-offer-glimpse-post-covid-campus-life

Higher Education Students Persist in the Wake of COVID-19 Ellucian Commits Initial $1 Million in Scholarship Funding Towards $10 Million Goal; Partners with Business Higher Education Forum

Businesswire | Jun 08, 2020

Ellucian, the leading provider of software and services built to power higher education, today announced the launch of a new philanthropic initiative, PATH (Progress, Accomplishment, Thriving, Hope). This global awareness campaign and scholarship fund was created to provide financial assistance to students experiencing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring they are able to continue their education.

Ellucian and its executives have pledged an initial contribution of $1 million to the PATH scholarship fund. The company, in partnership with The Business-Higher Education Forum and its members, will build a coalition of supporters to contribute to the global fund, with a goal of reaching $10 million by Ellucian Live in April 2021.

Additional COVID-19 Resources from Ellucian
As institutions, educators, students, and staff face great change and disruption during the coronavirus outbreak, those who serve higher education are working together to help continue the delivery of vital services and ongoing education to students everywhere. In support of our customers, partners, and the higher education community, Ellucian is continually updating available resources, including webinars, articles and community discussions on business continuity, the CARES Act, online learning, student well-being and more.

Source: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200608005439/en/Ellucian-Launches-PATH-Campaign-Scholarship-Fund-Higher

Tackling risk of growing inequality between universities

University World News | Giorgio Marinoni and Hans de Wit | Jun 08, 2020

In order to better understand the disruption caused by COVID-19 on higher education and to investigate the first measures undertaken by higher education institutions around the world to respond to the crisis, the International Association of Universities (IAU) launched the IAU Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education around the World. The survey investigated the impact of COVID-19 on all aspects of higher education, teaching and learning, research and community engagement.
The results were analysed both at the global level and at the regional level in four regions of the world (Africa, the Americas, Asia & Pacific, and Europe).
Considerable impact on higher education
Online teaching and virtual mobility
the shift from face-to-face to distance teaching did not come without challenges, the main ones reported by respondents being access to technical infrastructure, competences and pedagogies for distance learning and the requirements of specific fields of study.

Different impacts

the negative impact of COVID-19 goes beyond that, as a bit more than half of higher education institutions (52%) reported that scientific projects are at risk of not being completed and 21% of higher education institutions even reported that scientific research has completely stopped.
On the other hand, the impact on partnerships and community engagement has been a mixed one. Almost two-thirds (64%) of higher education institutions reported that COVID-19 affected their partnerships.
Risk of growing inequality

The data on partnerships and community engagements suggest the existence of two different groups of higher education institutions, with one group being in a weaker position than the other to react to the crisis and feeling its consequences more negatively.

This suggests that there is a severe risk of growing inequality among higher education institutions, as already underlined by other organisations, for instance, the World Bank.

The risk of growing inequality is emerging also from the results of the regional analysis, with higher education institutions in Africa reporting more difficulties and negative effects than higher education institutions in other regions.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=2020060815405140

What will higher education in Africa look like after COVID-19?

World Economic Forum | Sampson Kofi Adotey | Jun 08, 2020

  • As of 8 June, Africa has recorded more than 88,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  • In response to the coronavirus outbreak, many African governments took the decision to close educational institutions to contain the disease.
  • As a result, higher education institutions are having to rethink their approach, becoming more digitally led, and shifting to online platforms.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the unpreparedness of many higher education institutions in Africa to migrate online. When the virus first hit the continent, many African governments were scrambling to figure out how best to handle the myriad of challenges it would pose on the socio-economic growth of their countries.
Nevertheless, recent developments indicate a recognition that education has experienced a significant shift. The leadership and managers of higher education institutions across Africa have become fully aware that empowering students to prepare for a future where pandemics such as COVID-19 and other disruptions might become a part of our daily lives also means embracing change in learning and teaching.
It is clear that technological innovations such as content management systems (CMS), learning management systems (LMS), and internet use has become a part of the DNA of higher education in Africa. These innovations, like COVID-19, have come to disrupt teaching and learning pedagogies.
Here are three ways in which higher education institutions are revitalizing education in Africa.

Blended and modular learning
Customized experience
High quality educators

Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/higher-education-africa-covid19-coronavirus-digital-online/

For Indian universities, post-COVID-19 world offers level playing field in higher education; specialist courses, foreign collaborations can help attract students

With over 10.9 lakh Indians studying abroad in 2019, India is now the second largest source of international students in the world. 
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost all of these areas, putting pressure on universities’ ability to deliver these benefits in a ‘physically distant’ world. This may very well be a blessing in disguise. Universities presently operate using centuries-old pedagogic and business models and, consequently, are now out of touch with what international students want. In a post-coronavirus world, attracting international students will require universities to reconnect with their students and understand what they care about.

 

 

Wants of the Indian Students:

  • International work experience, post-study work visa are key concerns
  • Value for money
  • University brand

What’s next for universities?

  • Paradigm shift needed
  • In order to be successful, education providers need to undergo a paradigm shift in approach – they need to move from having a transactional product-based approach favouring standardisation to a solutions-based approach — one that focuses on providing a learning experience which facilitates the unique outcomes that students desire. Universities would do well to consider launching programmes that can combine education from globally renowned universities, international work experience, and a hybrid of online and on-campus learning in flexible ways.

With over 10.9 lakh Indians studying abroad in 2019, India is now the second largest source of international students in the world. 
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost all of these areas, putting pressure on universities’ ability to deliver these benefits in a ‘physically distant’ world. This may very well be a blessing in disguise. Universities presently operate using centuries-old pedagogic and business models and, consequently, are now out of touch with what international students want. In a post-coronavirus world, attracting international students will require universities to reconnect with their students and understand what they care about.

 

 

Wants of the Indian Students:

  • International work experience, post-study work visa are key concerns
  • Value for money
  • University brand

What’s next for universities?

  • Paradigm shift needed
  • In order to be successful, education providers need to undergo a paradigm shift in approach – they need to move from having a transactional product-based approach favouring standardisation to a solutions-based approach — one that focuses on providing a learning experience which facilitates the unique outcomes that students desire. Universities would do well to consider launching programmes that can combine education from globally renowned universities, international work experience, and a hybrid of online and on-campus learning in flexible ways.

Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/higher-education-africa-covid19-coronavirus-digital-online/

Higher education in times of Corona – Are we prepared?

The Times of India | Jun 8, 2020

The Corona pandemic and ensuing social distancing norms pose enormous challenges to the technical education landscape. “Corona is here to stay” and “One has to live with Corona” are not mere prophetic statements but a stark reality. HEIs need to rethink, revisit and reinvent themselves so as to be well equipped to impart quality education to the future global citizens. It is high time the universities and institutions (including the huge cache of private ones) start planning and implementing standard operating procedures for the post-Corona times. Online learning/e-learning holds the key to provide much-needed momentum to the otherwise stagnant phase of teaching –‘Learning.’ Worth introspecting is whether these HEIs are well equipped to impart online teaching to existing and prospective students.

The transition to e-learning is inevitable; it’s prudent to actively lead the transition. Sharing assignments and notes on Whatsapp does not qualify as online/e-learning but mere dissemination of information. It is worth noting that the millennial student has access to huge quantum of information on the web. Therefore, information sharing by professors would be of not much use in shaping the destiny of a student.

HEIs need to take up the challenges and transform them into opportunities in the making. They need to innovate methods and lay thrust on developing systems whereby they prepare graduates who have the knowledge and not mere information, thereby making them creative, analytical and critical thinkers who have imbibed problem-solving attitude for a successful inning ahead. The transition from face to face to online methods is the new teaching-learning genre.

Source: https://www.firstpost.com/india/for-indian-universities-post-covid-19-world-offers-level-playing-field-in-higher-education-specialist-courses-foreign-collaborations-can-help-attract-students-8460711.html

Online classrooms will expose inequalities, but this is an opportunity for change

Times Higher Education | Priya Rajasekar | Jun 8, 2020

The idea of the university classroom as a private setting sounds incredible and yet, strangely, systemic racism and inequalities mean that a student can – sometimes out of desire, sometimes not – remain hidden, passing through the higher education system virtually unnoticed. So while some students aim to attract attention with the confidence that often comes cloaked in privilege, others are forced into obscurity, polarising university experiences.

The relatively levelling ambience of the university classroom will be replaced by an environment that starkly reveals both inequality and diversity. Thanks to Zoom, Skype and Facebook, cameras around the globe will show off wealth and privilege in sharp contrast to carefully concealed secrets of impoverished homes and culturally far-removed living-room décor. Mums in purdahs or siblings with disabilities may show up on camera during lectures.

As universities grapple with questions on how to deliver classes online, and as massive open online courses flood cyberspace with ideas of powerful tech and colourful games that ease the pain of transition, it is easy to lose sight of the fears and anxieties of those with a marginal voice and presence. Will they be pushed further to the edge? On the brighter side, never has it been more possible to access diverse knowledge where distance takes on a wholly different meaning. An expert lecture from a scholar in Africa, for example, could be just as easy to organise as one from the city of London. Our world has been opened to new possibilities, like cross-country collaborative courses, creative projects and lecture designs, and cross-disciplinary learning for students. This may well be the best time to take up decolonisation in earnest and make the most of it to address some of the starkest inequalities of our education system in a meaningful and impactful way.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/online-classrooms-will-expose-inequalities-opportunity-change

Universities face £460m loss from expected drop in East Asian students

Support The Guardian | Jun 8, 2020

UK universities have been told to expect a sharp fall in the number of new international students coming next year, including a loss of up to £460m in income from students from east Asia.

While the fall in student numbers appears smaller than some institutions are anticipating, one worrying sign from the survey is that nearly 40% of those coming from China – the UK’s biggest source of overseas students – have yet to decide. The British Council said its findings suggested the sector may take three or four years to recover from the shock of Covid-19. Some British universities are forecasting falls in international students of 50% compared with last year. “Universities are focusing their efforts on trying to get as many students through their doors in September, yet they are refusing to listen to students in the UK and abroad who say they are worried about what their education will look like and even if their chosen institution can ride out the crisis.”

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/jun/08/universities-face-460m-loss-from-expected-drop-in-east-asian-students-coronavirus

Foreign education dreams in peril: weigh the options

Live Mint | Disha Sanghvi | Jun 07, 2020

For those with secured jobs and cash flows, the pandemic may not come in the way. But given the market volatility, parents who planned to send their children abroad in the next few years may see some erosion in the education corpus.

  • Parents shouldn’t jeopardize their retirement to fund their child’s education abroad
  • Move savings into a liquid fund at least a year before the child is set to go abroad and also keep a buffer of 10-15%

“It is important to look at all the financial goals in totality. Parents should consider their job security, number of years to retirement, goals relating to other children (if any), and provisioning for contingencies while making such decisions,"

Owing to the economic growth concerns due to covid-19, between 1 January 2020 and 31 May 2020, the Indian rupee depreciated by about 6% against the US dollar. Though most students may have planned their foreign education well in advance, a sudden depreciation of the rupee could impact the education fund. For students who plan to fund their education through a loan, higher rupee depreciation would translate into higher EMIs or longer repayment term.

How much you end up spending will also depend on the country you wish to study in. Some countries such as the UK too have witnessed a fall in the currency value.

Source: https://www.livemint.com/money/personal-finance/foreign-education-dreams-in-peril-weigh-the-options-11591542315325.html

Online Education to stay here forever: KSHEC

Times of India | B S Anilkumar | Jun 6, 2020

A draft policy document prepared by the Kerala State Higher Education Council reads, “Thoughts about post Covid-19 higher education policy tries to capture the scope and depth of technology-aided education, which the council predicts would drive higher education sector in multiple ways in the coming days. The only question that remains pertinent would be how adept the higher education sector is in reinventing itself in the new techno-economic culture that the post Covid world is most likely to embrace”.

“Pandemic lockdown has helped the world exhilarate the reforms, especially the mode of teaching and evaluation. It appears that the contingent situation will predictably divide the higher education institutions into two types. One type covering humanities and social sciences taught informally through virtual mode involving less expense and meant for the general public. The other type covering medicine, pharmacy, nursing, pure sciences, engineering and architecture taught formally through the campus mode involving more expense,” the draft documents predicted.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/online-education-to-stay-here-forever-kshec/articleshow/76224219.cms?from=mdr

Australia: Higher Education – navigating market disruption

Mondaq | Henriette Rothschild and Suzanne Wauchope| Jun 6, 2020

The new normal: New opportunity or unprecedented economic fallout? For now, Australia is being regarded as a "COVID safe house" by our prospective international students, and a recent survey of nearly 6,900 international student applicants by IDP Connectii indicated that "students are not abandoning their dreams to study overseas", however the survey responses were also clear that "time is limited". While Australia is competitively placed to attract more students as the3rd most popular study destination after the US and UK, there are other considerations:

  1. Limited flexibility of financial and operational position
    Most universities are weighed down by significant contractual obligations (research and leases) and need to traverse material stakeholder obligations and sensitivities.
  2. Government support and restrictions
    Federal and state government support has been modest, with no direct support for research, a high bar to reach JobKeeper and only recent indications of variable, state based international student supports.
    Although the value of student experience is well understood and high priority, the current community and domestic travel restrictions are impacting existing student experience.
  3. Economic conditions
    Impact of COVID-19 on international students' countries of origin both socially and economically will vary significantly, making market predictions difficult and a net global contraction in the international student market

Are Universities well placed to survive and thrive?
While working to attract international students back to Australia, University leaders cannot fall into the trap of expecting a 'V' shaped recovery. Failing to recognise the seriousness of the current financial situation can place universities into long term financial hardship from which they may never fully recover - a legacy no University leader wants to leave in their wake.

Source: https://www.mondaq.com/australia/international-trade-investment/948606/higher-education-navigating-market-disruption

Covid-19: A historic opportunity to redefine the Indian school system

Hindustan Times | Manish Sisodia | Jun 05, 2020

Mr. Manish Sisodia, Education Minister of Delhi, encouraged the reopening of the schools with the basic guidelines issued by Ministry Of Human Resource. And supports the idea devised by Mr. Arvind Kejriwal ,C M, Delhi, that “we need to learn to live with corona”. While the pandemic has created an unprecedented challenge for humanity, it also offers a unique opportunity to re-imagine our schools. In the new way of life post-corona, we need to think afresh about the role of our schools.

We can transform schools from being a mere implementers of directions from the directorate or district headquarters to having a central role in our society. The goal should be that our children “learn to learn”. The only thing for which a teacher be held accountable is to ensure that every child stays connected with the school and enjoys the new teaching-learning format.

He suggested that For secondary and senior secondary grades, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to remove the stranglehold of syllabus and rote-learning oriented examinations from the academic life of a child. To begin with, NCERT should reduce the syllabus by at least 30% across all grades and subjects. Let there be more depth in learning and understanding rather than spreading the curriculum far and wide.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/covid-19-a-historic-opportunity-to-redefine-the-indian-school-system/story-isXZ8YoTqrPAxR1TPE1jYK.html

Guest View: Amazon as a model for higher ed

Register Guard | Kevin Frazier | Jun 5, 2020

As COVID-19 requires institutions to make big shifts and society to ask big questions, our answers should result in a higher education system that is lean, life-long and career-oriented. More specifically, our answers should look more to community colleges than traditional four-year universities for inspiration and look more like YouTube videos than classes in lecture halls.

A move to cheaper content will make higher education more accessible. According to some economists, higher education has lost its ability to signal high-quality job candidates to employers due to factors like grade inflation. As a result, instead of basing hiring decisions on what students have learned, employers look at the “prestige” associated with whatever school that student attended.

Financially, prestigious institutions are only open to students who have inherited tremendous privilege. Socially, the high, positive correlation between prestige and privilege has made it harder for talented students with less financial and social capital to stand out to employers.
Imagine if higher education courses were offered in an Amazon-esque format: students would only add courses to their “shopping cart” that aligned with their career goals, budgets and schedules. Think of the benefits that could be generated by a system that worked for younger students trying to earn credentials across a wide range of topics on a full-time basis and older students trying to update their skills or transition to a new industry.
Society in general, and students, in particular, should not continue to pay unnecessary costs for conventional higher education during unconventional times. Though the in-person experience fosters a sense of community that an Amazon-approach cannot recreate, we should celebrate this opportunity to update higher education to be accessible for Americans of all ages, incomes and aspirations.

Source: https://www.registerguard.com/opinion/20200605/guest-view-amazon-as-model-for-higher-ed

Torn safety nets: How COVID-19 has exposed huge inequalities in global education

WeForum | Nikita Sharma | Jun 5, 2020

In 2018, 258 million children of primary and secondary school age were out of school. Now, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 1.2 billion children find themselves out of school, at least physically. In both the developed and developing worlds, schools have been more than just places of learning; policy designs have moulded them into safety nets for children. However, the present pandemic has torn those structures apart and revealed gaping inequities.
Missed midday meals
Pressures of parenting
Risks of reopening
Short-term solutions
Continuing consequences

Source: https://www.registerguard.com/opinion/20200605/guest-view-amazon-as-model-for-higher-ed

Six types of modern student reflect how universities can build for the future

Times Higher Education | Mike Boxall | Jun 5, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has created an opportunity for institutions to tailor to the needs of different learners, writes Mike Boxall
the unprecedented disruption caused by Covid-19 and the economic downturn forecast in its wake have created both imperatives and opportunities for a back-to-basics reassessment of who higher education exists to serve, and what it should provide for them.

Such reassessment must recognise the enormous diversity of the people who need access to higher education and their very different reasons for investing their time and money in going to university.

There are (at least) six distinct categories of modern students:

  1. School-leavers transitioning to adult and working life
  2. Students who want to enter regulated professions
  3. Students with a passion for creative arts, music or drama
  4. Postgraduates developing specialised expertise
  5. Working professionals who are upskilling
  6. “Second chance” students who are reskilling

A number of universities have already worked hard to design programmes for different student needs, but a sector-wide effort is now required to meet this diversity of demands. Likewise, if the UK government is planning to restructure higher education after the coronavirus crisis, it should adopt a joined-up approach that embraces in-person, online and work-based pathways into both academic and vocational education.

By working together in a range of open collaborations, universities, the government and employers can be challenged to design and deliver new forms of higher education, built around the learning needs of everyone.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/hub/pa-consulting/p/six-types-modern-student-reflect-how-universities-can-build-future

How can we save the Mooc?

The Times Higher Education | Gorgi Krlev | Jun 4, 2020

As most universities digitise all their teaching, they are finding it very difficult to deliver education online. Gorgi Krlev offers three challenges to conventional wisdom. Massive open online courses (Moocs) have become notorious for their failure rates. Of those who register, considerably more than 50 per cent do not access even half the available material and under 5 per cent actually complete a course. While some commentators suggest how learners can still extract value from a Mooc, others see this as a sign of their complete failure or have called for Spocs (small private online courses) instead.

Goal to achieve:

  1. Try to promote thinking instead of understanding.
  2. Promote striking insights even in the absence of fancy material.
  3. Promote learning instead of the reproduction of knowledge.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/opinion/how-can-we-save-mooc

8 Indian institutes in top 100, IITs on a 'decline': Times Higher Education Asia University Ranking

Indian Express | Jun 4, 2020

THE Asia University Ranking: With eight institutes in the top 100, India is the third most represented country in the Times Higher Education (THE) Asia University Ranking which launched today. While the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore retains its top position in the country by attaining the 36th spot globally, eight Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have also been featured in the top 100. This is India’s best performance since 2016, in terms of the number of institutes. Last time, India had eight institutes in the top 100 in 2016. However, the picture is different in terms of ‘quality’.

Even as more IITs have been featured in the ranking; THE claims that “overall picture for India’s IITs (is) one of general decline amid increased regional competition”. Apart from IIT-Kharagpur and IIT-Delhi which have improved their performance since 2019, and IIT-Ropar which has debuted in the ranking this year, the rest of the IITs have scored lower.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/education/the-asia-university-ranking-8-indian-institutes-in-top-100-iits-on-a-decline-6439438/

Pandemic ‘confirms face-to-face teaching is here to stay’

The Times Higher Education | John Ross | Jun 4, 2020

University chiefs laud success of rapid online pivot but say campus-based programmes will not disappear any time soon. The Covid-19 crisis may have accelerated universities’ adoption of online education, but it has also confirmed the durability of the bricks-and-mortar model, an Australian forum has heard. Indiana University president Michael McRobbie said the past few months had strengthened his scepticism about predictions that traditional education would be supplanted by purely online approaches. “One thing we have learned definitively is that students do not want to be locked in their parents’ basement for four years doing their degree online,” he told a webinar presented by the Australian National University (ANU).

“Sociologists will claim that 50 per cent of what a student learns, they learn from interaction with other students and aspects of their environment outside the classroom. There is a desperation for young students to get back to a college education.” Professor Kong said the experience had also highlighted the importance of “synchronous interaction” in online learning. “It’s entirely possible to put lots of material online [that] students can access in their own time, at their own pace. But really what the students are looking for, and what they really learn from, is that interaction with somebody else on the other side of the screen.”

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/pandemic-confirms-face-face-teaching-here-stay

Universities UK publishes principles for ‘emerging from lockdown’

Times Higher Education | Ellie Bothwell | Jun 3, 2020

Universities UK has confirmed that the sector is planning a blended learning approach for the coming academic year, but specifics will vary based on location, size and type of university.

The organisation published a set of principles ,outlining how universities should prepare for the next academic year, stating that institutions will provide “as much in-person learning, teaching, support services and extra-curricular activities as public health advice and government guidance will support”. This will include “new ways of providing practical sessions in socially distanced forms” and “innovative approaches to extra-curricular activities such as welcome week programmes”.

The principles also include making appropriate changes to university layout and infrastructure, as well as regularly reviewing and adapting hygiene and cleaning protocols in all university spaces in accordance with public health advice.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/universities-uk-publishes-principles-emerging-lockdown

Crisis ‘could unify and strengthen’ Asia’s universities

Times Higher Education | Joyce Lau | Jun 3, 2020

Pandemic-driven shifts could ‘accelerate’ rise of continent’s universities, leaders tell THE event. Speakers at the Virtual THE Live Asia 2020 event urged institutions to adopt a more human-centred approach, whether in helping disadvantaged students bridge the digital divide or in lending support to humanities fields that help communities make sense of a highly disruptive time.

Subra Suresh, president of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU), said more Asian students were staying closer to home, as the region’s universities have improved in international rankings and as political issues such as Brexit or “geopolitical changes in the United States” act as a deterrent. “Covid will accelerate that trend,” he said, adding that “scientific gravitas is also shifting”.

Elichi Saitoh, president of Fujita Health University in Japan, said great strides had been made in digitising medical education with technology, including virtual reality.

Fanny Cheung, pro vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said her institution had brought together STEM and non-STEM professors for Covid-19 research.

The communications field, for example, was important for helping the public separate “facts from myths” about the disease. Psychologists and sociologists could study the mental health repercussions of the epidemic, as well as why different communities reacted with different public health behaviours, Professor Cheung said.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/crisis-could-unify-and-strengthen-asias-universities

Graduating from emergency remote teaching to online higher education in India

Observer Research Foundation | Leena Chandran Wadia | India Matters | Jun 3, 2020

Even if a single student is left behind, the move to online teaching will remain unfair. In the longer term, the Central and state governments must commit to providing broadband access and suitable devices to all educational institutions.

The higher education sector in India has been slow to adopt online education and has therefore been relatively unprepared to cope with the sudden need for online teaching. Online education is still perceived by many faculty members and students as being inferior to face-to-face education. It is indeed unlikely to replace campus-based education among those who have a choice between them.

In the longer term, the Central and state governments must commit to providing broadband access and suitable devices to all educational institutions.

Source: https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/graduating-emergency-remote-teaching-online-higher-education-india-67279/

Students oppose handouts only for top foreign students

University World News | Suvendrini Kakuchi | Jun 2, 2020

Students and academics are calling for immediate reforms to a Japanese government relief plan for university students affected by the COVID-19 downturn because it discriminates against international students.

But less than one-third of foreign students would be eligible. Explaining the decision to restrict the numbers, the education ministry said: “With many foreign students eventually returning to their home countries, we have set a condition to limit the handout to promising talent most likely to contribute to Japan in the future.”

Foreign students are required to have high average grades – specifically a grade point of 2.30 or higher in the past academic year – and monthly attendance of more than 80% to be eligible for payouts. These conditions do not apply to Japanese students claiming assistance.

“The conditions aim at differentiating between students, with a preference for Japanese students. This concept illustrates that Japanese students take priority in education policy and also in universities that follow government guidelines,” she said.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200602180641391#:~:text=Students%20and%20academics%20are%20calling,they%20discriminate%20against%20international%20students.

Details of English student number controls unveiled

The Times Higher Education | Anna McKie | Jun 2, 2020

UK government’s plans to cap the number of places for students from England next year in a bid to stabilise admissions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Westminster government will impose student number controls to prevent universities “taking a recruitment approach which would go against the interests of students and the sector as a whole”. English providers will have the number of students capped at their forecast growth plus 5 per cent, while universities in the devolved nations will not be able to increase their intake of English students by more than 6.5 per cent.

If an institution over-recruits the government said it will reduce the maximum it can charge in tuition fees to “redress the balance”. If a university in a devolved nation over-recruits English students, the government will reduce the amount the institution is allowed to charge English students for tuition fees. The government said the introduction of the cap will ensure “a fair, structured distribution of students across providers”, stabilizing the admissions system and helping safeguard the financial stability of providers.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/details-english-student-number-controls-unveiled

50% drop in foreign student enrolment by 2021 predicted

University World News | Geoff Maslen | Jun 1, 2020

The coronavirus crisis and the resulting government clampdown on foreigners entering Australia have cut earning capacity and created a revenue crisis for universities that has already left the top eight institutions dangerously exposed and is set to deepen, a new report has found. It predicts a drop of up to 50% in international student enrolment by mid-2021.

Dr Bob Birrell and Dr Katharine Betts, respectively president and vice president of the Australian Population Research Institute, say the crisis will deepen because normally about half of the foreign students taking up higher education student visas do so in the second half of the calendar year, but it is likely few will do so this year and that the numbers are also likely to drop in the first half of 2021, with the result that the number of overseas students enrolled in higher education could fall by up to 50%.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200601150411139

Coronavirus impact | IITs to grade students based on past results, hold viva on video calls

Money Control | Jun 1, 2020

The premier higher educational institutes are working on models that would facilitate early graduation for students by offering take-home examinations. They are also planning to grade students on the basis of past performances and have already introduced viva exams via video-conferencing.

IIT Kharagpur has planned to replace the end semester exam with other evaluation systems such as past performance, marks secured in mid-semester exams, assignments, and viva-voce. IIT Kanpur, on the other hand, has decided not to detain any student in view of the COVID-19 crisis. A special grading system has been adopted by the institute, whereby students will be awarded A, B, C and S grades. The process will reportedly be over by June 30.

IIT Kanpur students pursuing masters will be allowed to submit their projects, in case they could not complete their research work for the thesis due to the nationwide lockdown. Meanwhile, IIT Delhi students have been given the option to fast-track the graduation process and get their degrees by June or stick to the regular graduation process and wait for their degrees till the end of July or longer.

Source: https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/trends/coronavirus-impact-iits-to-grade-students-based-on-past-results-hold-viva-on-video-calls-5354881.html

IIT Ropar ranks 47th in Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2020

Times Higher Education | Jun 3, 2020

IIT Ropar made a debut this year in Times Higher Education (THE) ASIA University Rankings 2020, being ranked 47th and entering the top 50 list for the first time. In spite of being a young Institution, IIT Ropar has punched well above its weight from the more popular predecessors.

This year, in February the Institute has also made a reputable debut in THE Emerging Economies University Rankings 2020, being ranked 63rd sharing the rank with IIT Madras and entering the top 100 list for the first time.

The institute Director revealed that a number of nationally relevant research projects, including in sectors of defense, Water and Environment, energy; healthcare, infrastructure, etc are going on in the campus. There are a large number of projects undertaken by IIT Ropar which contribute to the national development goals and priorities.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/education/news/iit-ropar-ranks-47th-in-times-higher-education-asia-university-rankings-2020/articleshow/76178077.cms

Written tests moved to large-scale sport, music venues

University World News | Michael Gardner | Jun 3, 2020

Around 13,500 students are doing their written tests this month in large-scale event venues used for major sports and live music events in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). State government regulations accommodate the measure to cope with the coronavirus crisis and the need for social distancing.

From 26 June, for six consecutive days, students will be writing tests. Several of them will be held each day, and during the breaks in between, staff teams will be disinfecting all tables, chairs, access lanes and sanitary installations.

A general ruling issued via NRW’s ministry of labour, health and social affairs provides for the legal framework of these temporary arrangements, and the state government has drawn up a “hygiene concept for teaching and practical activities as well as exams at universities in NRW” that prescribes minimum distances to be observed between participants in written tests.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200603082428829

More Australian universities flag salary freezes, redundancies

TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION | John Ross | Jun 3, 2020

The University of Tasmania (UTas) will ask its staff to forgo this year’s 2 per cent pay rise in a bid to save an estimated 50 jobs, as more Australian institutions adapt their spending to depleted post-pandemic budgets.

Vice-chancellor Rufus Black vowed to seek voluntary redundancies before forced separations and to give internal applicants preference for jobs.

Chief executive Catriona Jackson said the losses could jeopardise up to A$3.5 billion of annual university research. “If universities are unable to continue funding this activity, Australia’s ability to innovate its way out of the Covid-19 recession will be severely hampered,” she warned.

La Trobe University is seeking similar changes and has scheduled votes for 15 and 16 June. Vice-chancellor John Dewar repudiated a newspaper report that La Trobe was “at risk of going broke”, but said adoption of the framework could save the equivalent of 225 jobs in 2020 and 2021.

Southern Cross University has proposed cancelling two annual pay rises and inviting staff to cut working hours, as it scrambles to save up to A$58 million over the next two years.

Source: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/more-australian-universities-flag-salary-freezes-redundancies

Academic Freedom for American College's China Program

Inside Higher Ed | Elizabeth Redden | Jun 2, 2020

Faculty at Franklin & Marshall College, a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, have raised academic freedom concerns about a planned F&M semester program in Shanghai designed to teach first-year Chinese students who may not be able to make it to campus due to the pandemic. Students in the Shanghai program will take online classes with professors at F&M, a college with an especially international student body: between 20 and 25 percent of its students are from overseas, with most coming from China.

Concerns about academic freedom for American university programs in China are not new and have only deepened in recent years as pressures on Chinese students and faculty members have, by expert accounts, increased. A September 2019 report from Scholars at Risk, an organization that monitors academic freedom conditions worldwide, said that in mainland China, "state and university authorities have employed a range of tactics to intimidate, silence, and punish academics and students," including "limits on internet access, libraries, and publication imports that impair research and learning; orders to ban discussion and research on topics the Party-state deems controversial; surveillance and monitoring of academic activity that result in loss of position and self-censorship; travel restrictions that disrupt the flow of ideas across borders; and the use of detentions, prosecutions, and other coercive tactics to retaliate against and constrain critical inquiry and expression."

Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/06/02/franklin-marshall-faculty-raise-academic-freedom-concerns-about-china-program

Alarm over universities’ backing of national security law

University World News | Yojana Sharma | Jun 2, 2020

The heads of the governing councils of Hong Kong’s eight publicly funded universities have backed a plan announced by Beijing last month to impose a national security law on the city, in an act that many academics see as ‘doing Beijing’s bidding’.

Some fear such statements on policies from Beijing emanating from universities could lead to the politicization of institutions in Hong Kong, which are already polarized between pro-democracy and pro-Beijing groups. A proportion of university council members are directly appointed by Hong Kong’s chief executive, who also acts as chancellor of all the publicly funded universities.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200602174432310

Global lockdown puts skills development to the test

UNESCO | Jun 2, 2020

“The world and the TVET community and systems are facing a double crisis: a sanitary crisis and an economic crisis, “said Bohrene Chakroun, Director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning in UNESCO’s Education Sector, at the opening of the eighth COVID-19 education response webinar on 7 May. “These crises are affecting other aspects of living. We need to look at how skills development and TVET will be affected in a short-, mid- and long-term perspective.” While the COVID-19 pandemic highlights some already existing structural weaknesses of TVET systems including financing, it also brings an opportunity to rethink their readiness to face similar crises in the future with more agility. To mitigate the immediate actions and reduce the impact of COVID-19, it is important to find alternative pathways, including reinforcing online and digital solutions.

A mix of high-, low- and no-tech solutions should be taken into account as continuous learning solutions. Whether on-line or off-line, distance training requires adequate ICT infrastructure, adapted curricula and trainer training - an experience which most trainers and students do not have.

During the lockdown, the platform provided the opportunity for continuous learning. To address the COVID-19 crisis, specific programs targeting digital skills as well as new items were added to address distance learning. Some of the keywords for solutions to TVET challenges during lockdown are agility, Open Educational Resources (OER) and distance learning. Investing in the training of trainers to use digital solutions is important if distance learning is to become a core part of teaching today and in the future.

Source: https://en.unesco.org/news/global-lockdown-puts-skills-development-test-covid-19-webinar-8

Coalition partner mobilizes for teachers

UNESCO | Jun 2, 2020

New data released today by the Teacher Task Force show that 9.1 million teachers across the world who have been impacted by coronavirus school closures (out of 63 million affected teachers in total) are untrained. This is only exacerbating the impact of the crisis as teachers are forced to adapt to remote learning.

Meanwhile, data released by the Teacher Task Force, which is hosted by UNESCO, on the basis of data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the International Telecommunication Union, show 706 million of the world’s 1.75 billion learners lack internet access. he data revealing the scale of the educational challenge posed by COVID-19 was discussed at the TEACHERS OF THE WORLD UNITE! summit on coronavirus and the future of education, held on 26 May.

The summit - which was opened by Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation and the Global Teacher Prize - saw the launch of nine teacher task forces on coronavirus and the future of education to be coordinated in collaboration with the Teacher Task Force. These nine task forces will lend governments and international bodies the expertise and varied perspectives of teachers from every continent on key policies such as providing reliable internet access for all, solutions to keep children learning where there is no internet, and a safe environment for teachers and students to return to when schools reopen.

The Teacher Task Force gave the teachers present at the summit the opportunity to contribute to a draft toolkit with practical tips and checklists for school leaders to ensure they are supported and protected as schools re-open. Participants were able to discuss the toolkit and provide feedback to help improve this important international tool before it is released.

Source: https://en.unesco.org/news/coalition-partner-mobilizes-teachers

Academic year in Kerala begins with online classes

WEB INDIA | June 1, 2020

On Monday,1ST JUNE 2020, The Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the beginning of the academic year in the state with online classes for school students by the name 'First Bell'. Chief Minister Mr.Vijayan said that” government has opted for online classes as students cannot reach schools due to COVID-19”.

As soon as The Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) has released the timetable for the classes that will be carried out through KITE Victors Channel, and they will be also available on YouTube.

The online classes will be held from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. from Monday to Friday for all the classes. Various time slots have been allocated to students of different standards. Students of Class 11 was launched on April 6 in partnership with the Career Launcher and 85 per cent students registered for the class.

The English classes were launched on May 4 by the government in partnership with British Council and MacMillian Education to provide an opportunity to acquire new skills for the students waiting to complete their board exams.

In the online Maths classes in collaboration with Khan Academy, around 1.75 lakh students of Class 9 accessed the Maths lessons assisted by 1,015 teachers who were oriented by Khan Academy to guide the students of their respective schools.

Source: https://career.webindia123.com/career/education-news-events/2020/academic-year-in-kerala-begins-with-online-classes-1-06-2020.htm

Universities will never be the same after the coronavirus crisis

NATURE | Alexandra Witze | June 1, 20200

The coronavirus crisis is forcing universities to confront long-standing challenges in higher education, such as skyrocketing tuition costs and perceptions of elitism — and some of the resulting changes could be permanent. Over the long term, universities might shift many classes online (a trend already under way), have fewer international students and even refashion themselves to be more relevant to local and national communities — both to solve pressing problems and to prove their worth at a time when experts and public institutions are coming under increased criticism.

The universities that are likely to fare best are those that are rich and powerful. But even those face challenges. Some educators expect the pandemic will lead to more and better online teaching than before — in both wealthy countries and those with lower incomes.

Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01518-y

Foreign Student Enrollment At U.S. Universities May Plummet This Fall

Forbes | Preston Cooper | Jun 1, 2020

The Trump administration is preparing to restrict a program that allows international students at U.S. universities to work in the country after they graduate, according to press reports. The move is sure to discourage foreign students from enrolling at American colleges.

With hundreds of globally-ranked research universities, the United States is a top destination for foreign students looking for a college education. A collapse in international student enrollment may be devastating for the finances of some universities. The average foreign student were paying 3-time more of the amount that a local students’ tuition fee.

That decision now looks prescient. Some have argued that fewer foreign students may be a positive development: while university finances will take a hit, more spots will open for domestic students. On the other hand, foreign students’ high tuition rates cross-subsidize their domestic peers and could allow the university system to enroll more American students. A study of universities in the United Kingdom reaches a similar conclusion: in programs where student enrollment is not constrained by quotas, more foreign students and more domestic students go hand-in-hand.

In either case, foreign students have a positive impact on universities’ finances. But domestic students should also be sad to see them go. If the lack of foreign tuition dollars results in smaller university budgets, domestic students may suffer from fewer admissions or leaner financial aid packages. Overall, there’s greater reason to mourn rather than cheer the departure of international students from American universities.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/prestoncooper2/2020/06/01/foreign-student-enrollment-at-us-universities-may-plummet-this-fall/#27d56036aa76

For class of 2020, all higher study plans put on the back-burner because of Covid-19

Hindustan Times | Srishti Jaswal | June 01, 2020

The student community moving to colleges and universities has been hit hard by the pandemic, with no clarity on competitive exams and admission schedules to institutes of higher education. The home ministry’s fresh guidelines for lockdown 5.0 to reopen schools and colleges after consultations with states and union territories in July has added to the confusion.

Students are upset and confused about their planning to study abroad as most of the universities are providing online classes from home. Which disrupt their planning to change their place and earn a certificate and experience abroad.
Many more reasons leading to the students’ confusions are:
Changing education destinations
No concrete plan to reopen institutes
Situation more complicated for government institutes

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/chandigarh/for-class-of-2020-all-higher-study-plans-put-on-the-back-burner-because-of-covid-19/story-J6aYgWJJkjND2nCH1gmC1K.html

Covid-19 Lockdown: UGC drafts plan to reopen campuses

Hindustan Times | Amandeep Shukla | June 01, 2020

All higher education institutions will also need to form strategic tie-ups with medical facilities and put protocols in place to deal with students who are unwell. Students and teachers with a history of health conditions will be asked to opt for online learning and teaching.

In the draft prepared by the UGC, it was suggested that the process of admissions be conducted online to avoid visits by students to the campus.

Students and faculty with a history of ailments like heart disease or diabetes would be told to prefer the online mode. For international students, too, the focus would be on promoting the online mode of learning. Another suggestion, especially for teaching of subjects that have a practical component, is to teach half the students in the classroom and engage the rest in laboratories. Even in common facilities like labs, it will have to be ensured that equipment is not widely shared.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ugc-drafts-plan-to-reopen-campuses/story-UTJCLGRYFPoTHf28CDUjoN.html

A ‘gap year’ will just increase the gap in your higher education

CALLMATTER | Vincent J. Del Casino Jr.| May 31, 2020

Under COVID-19, the term “gap year” is taking on new meaning. It has broadened to “taking time off” until higher education can reset and re-establish its more traditional face-to-face role. 

While higher education might not be perfect in the fall of 2020 because it needs to teach more classes remotely, reduce face-to-face interactions or limit large events, it is still one of the best investments that can be made in one’s self today not just economically but emotionally and socially also.

New and returning students are better off moving their education forward and should take advantage of these new and creative approaches.

After all, this is what higher education does. For millions of first-generation and underrepresented students enrolling in higher education systems, such as California’s public universities and colleges, taking classes this fall will help them navigate the uncertain path laid out by this pandemic. It will provide tools they need in this new digital age to move on in a career after COVID-19 has been managed. And, it will enhance the life journey by connecting them to communities that facilitate lifelong learning.  

There is no greater equalizer than a university degree. A gap year in uncertain times does not meet the current needs of most students. Instead, a gap year delays the longer-term investment higher education helps a student make in their professional and personal lives as citizens.

Source: https://calmatters.org/commentary/a-gap-year-will-just-increase-the-gap-in-your-higher-education/

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a crisis in the UK universities

VOX | Peter Dolton | May 31, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing serious financial problems for UK universities. the present financial problems of universities are rooted in their growing reliance of UK universities on the huge growth in overseas students coming to the UK for higher education. This growth has been more or less exclusively from China. This over-reliance on recruiting Chinese students has meant that the UK HE system is vulnerable to any change in policy from the Chinese government or an exogenous event like COVID-19.

Figure 1 First-year non-UK students by domicile, 2006/7 to 2018/19

Now only approximately 25% of funding comes from central government. The remainder comes directly from student fee income. The reality is that the present UK HE funding regime involves a large-scale underinvestment in research and an element of cross subsidization of fee income to fund research. As the overseas students may or may not come for the fall seasons .It will be a huge problem for universities.

Faced with these large expected losses in income, many universities in the UK are already implementing, or planning to implement, hiring freezes, redundancies, termination of short-term contracts, dropping courses and even whole degree programmes, and closing departments. Talk of mergers of neighbouring universities have been rumoured In response to the potential loss of overseas student fee income, UUK (2020) asked the government for a £2.2 billion boost to short run research funding. What the government decided to do instead was increase research funding by only £100 millio and allow an advance on undergraduate fee income from the Student Loans company to the tune of £2.6 billion. This represents a loan of around 10% of fee income to universities. While this loan will be a short-run lifeline for some universities, it only stores up future funding problems as these loans will inflate future financial obligations.

Source: https://voxeu.org/article/covid-19-pandemic-causing-crisis-uk-universities

International enrolment drop to cost universities US$4.5bn

University World News | Mary Beth Marklein | May 30, 2020

United States colleges and universities are bracing for declines in international student enrolments in the coming autumn (fall) semester, a prospect that could lead to a loss of revenues as high as US$4.5 billion and further slow the momentum of overseas recruitment, a pair of reports examining the impact of COVID-19 on US higher education suggest. The reports also raise concerns about the potential long-term consequences, including jobs lost and missed opportunities for global learning, if study abroad opportunities for US students are scaled back dramatically because of the uncertainties around public health.

NAFSA’s analysis of responses from 346 institutions estimates that US higher education overall will lose at least US$3 billion due to anticipated international student enrolment declines in autumn 2020. Based on projections by the American Council on Education of a projected 25% decline in international student enrolment for fall 2020, NAFSA estimates a loss of approximately US$10 billion and 114,000 jobs to the nation’s economy.

Most institutions responding to the IIE survey (83%) had cancelled their summer study abroad programmes. A relatively small proportion (17%) of institutions have already cancelled all or some of their study abroad programmes in the fall.

Most colleges and universities have held off announcing study abroad plans, the IIE said, and will likely base decisions on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of State’s Global Health Advisory.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200530072612612

The time is NOW

The Times of India | Shibu John and Seyed Ehtesham Hasnain | May 30, 2020

The current pandemic has adversely affected every aspect of human life from health, business, and leisure to education. Schools and colleges are closed and there are many doubts about the short-term and long-term impact of the measures being used to tackle the problem. Even after the pandemic subsides, its ripple effects will have a permanent impact on education.

According to the 2018-19 All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), a total of 47,427 international students are enrolled in different Indian universities. The majority belong to India’s neighboring countries. COVID-19 will definitely limit their international travel and the proportion of foreign students enrolled in Indian Universities will also reduce.

an argument towards the Indian education system waiting for a revamp. If India is to be featured on a larger scale on the global education platforms, this is the time. Significant focus needs to be laid on technology and innovation with improvisations in the IT infrastructure.

The Finance Minister has announced that the top 100 universities in the country will be permitted to start online courses by May 30, 2020, which is a welcome step. This will help in increasing the GER substantially with increased enrolment from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. We have never given online or distance mode of education as much weightage as the regular mode.

The online education system cannot function unless there is a reliable backup of Information Technology infrastructure. Very few universities have a good quality IT-enabled education system, which also has Internet connectivity with good bandwidth and a robust security system, in place.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/education/the-time-is-now/article31710989.ece

SOAS University of London to slash budgets and cut staff amid coronavirus crisis

The National | May 30, 2020

The university, formerly known as the School of Oriental and African Studies, is seeing a significant number of students not take up offers for placements compared with previous years because of the coronavirus outbreak. Graduate enrolments have been at their lowest levels since 2012.

The university’s latest financial statements show it is carrying multi-million pound deficits – accounts for 2018-19 revealed a £19.1m (Dh 86.6m) deficit, but excluding changes in pension liabilities, the annual deficit was £6.2m, driven by a £2m drop in tuition fees from UK and EU students. Adding to this, the university’s auditors warned earlier in May that difficulties recruiting more students during the pandemic meant “a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the school’s ability to continue as a going concern” over the next year. SOAS interim director Graham Upton’s leaked email to the press on May 6, said that “recurrent deficits have posed a severe threat to our long-term financial sustainability”.

SOAS University of London plans to cut budgets and lay off a significant number of staff as it struggles to deal with the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this month SOAS sold valuable property in central London’s Russell Square for £9m to help it maintain sufficient credit from banks to remain solvent.

Source: https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/soas-university-of-london-to-slash-budgets-and-cut-staff-amid-coronavirus-crisis-1.1026571

COVID 19 plunges Indians' study abroad dreams into turmoil

BBC News | Nikita Mandhani | May 29, 2020

Universities fear fall in lucrative overseas students
Online students face full tuition fees
Universities warn of going bust without emergency funds

As the world changed as Covid-19 spread, plunging the immediate future into uncertainty, hundreds of thousands of Indian students who were planning to study abroad. But now they are not quite sure what will happen given international travel restrictions, new social distancing norms and the sheer uncertainty of what the next few months will bring.

Some universities across the UK and the US are giving international students the option to defer their courses to the next semester or year, while others have mandated online classes until the situation improves.

Virtual classes mean they don't have to pay for a visa, air tickets or living expenses. But many students are hesitant about spending their savings or borrowing money to pay for attending college in their living room.

The idea of returning to India with an expensive degree and the looming unemployment is scaring students - especially since for many of them, the decision to study abroad is tied to a desire to find a well-paying job there.

Experts say universities are in a tough spot too. And logistics will also pose a challenge - colleges have to enforce social distancing across campuses, including dormitories, and accommodate students from multiple time zones in virtual classes.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52846214

COVID-19 crisis nudges universities embracing technology for...

The Times of India | B S Anilkumar | May 29, 2020

Even as the absence of a well laid out protocol for online classes poses series challenges to schools, universities in the state seem to have decided to take the untamed technology bull by the horns and domesticate it themselves. According to sources, APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University would be taking a lead role in shaping up a broad protocol and training facility for affiliated colleges. The university would suggest a bouquet of platforms, available free of cost, to the colleges. Using the same, each college can configure their online transaction platforms for academic transaction between faculties and students. Deliberations are also on regarding how to bridge the internet connectivity gap among students. During the lockdown period, the university has organised online training programme in which more than 100 teachers participated. The first online faculty development programme held from May 22 to 27 saw faculties developing 70 online courses for engineering students.

Taking the proactive initiative to the next level, Kerala University has developed an online platform modeled on Google Meet. The software UoKmeet, developed using Freesoftware, was launched by university vice chancellor V P Mahadevan Pillai on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Kerala State Higher Education Council has prepared a draft approach paper on the approach to be taken to higher education sector in the post-Covid scenario. The draft paper has laid stress on the need to embrace technology based academic transaction with immediate effect and wanted teaching community to realise it. It also predicted the inevitability of several ICT enaplatforms getting integrated to the main body of academic transaction and its seamless and ubiquitous use even after the Covid crisis.

Calicut University is perhaps the pioneer among varsities in Kerala that effectively embraced technology aided teaching learning systems, thanks to the educational multimedia research centre there. The centre has successfully curated several online courseware which are of high demand from students and faculties across the country. "The Centre has over 100 online courses to its credit. This includes 'Art of C programming', which has already been attended by around l people", said the centre director Damodar Prasad.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/76090106.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

COVID-19 Provides Opportunities and Challenges for African Universities

Global Atlanta | Phil Bolton | May 29, 2020

COVID-19 has forced African universities to re-imagine their futures and seek out ways of adopting blended curriculums that don’t entirely sacrifice classroom instruction, according to university officials brought together by the Atlanta-based IUGB Foundation for a Trans-Atlantic webinar May 20. The IUGB Foundation is an outgrowth of an historical relationship between the International University of Grand-Bassam in the Cote d’Ivoire and Georgia State University. During the webinar, Amini Kajunju, the foundation’s executive director, expressed her support for their mantra “Proudly African With a Global Scope” as representing the common goal of the francophone universities participating in the conference.

“This conversation is showing that bilingual professionals are indispensable in the development of the continent of Africa,” said Ms. Kajunju. The eruption of COVID-19 has forced educational institutions around the world, much less African institutions, to adopt on-line courses and to grapple with a wide variety of issues concerning their futures such as the development of partnerships especially with information technology companies and internet providers on behalf of the students, financing the general needs of the universities and on-line course development.

Mr. Kaneye said that “There was intensive learning of how to do it on-line and it was easier than could have been imagined.” he admitted that his university hadn’t received as of yet payment for the new on-line courses. With the development of widespread on-line learning, he said that he feared the students at the moment “feel that they don’t have to pay anymore.” He added that the threat of COVID-19 might change the desire of students to study abroad, which could have the positive effect of encouraging more locally-based development, more local innovation and more self-reliance.

Source: https://www.globalatlanta.com/covid-19-provides-opportunities-and-challenges-for-african-universities/

COVID-19 pandemic may create opportunities to deepen India’s engagement with Africa

The Indian Express | Sujan R Chinoy | May 29, 2020

India could also create a new fund for Africa and adapt its grant-in-aid assistance to reflect the current priorities. This could include support for new investment projects by Indian entrepreneurs especially in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors in Africa.

India has been closely associated with African Unity (now known as the African Union) on account of its shared colonial past and rich contemporary ties. The Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses has hosted an Africa Day Round Table annually for the last four years in order to commemorate this epochal event. This year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has marred the celebrations in India. Africa, too, has come to a standstill due to the coronavirus.

The World Bank’s Africa’s Pulse, a biannual analysis of the near-term macroeconomic outlook for the region, in its April 9 report, assessed that the COVID-19 outbreak has sparked off the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region’s first recession in 25 years. Growth is expected to plummet to between -2.1 and -5.1 per cent in 2020, from a modest 2.4 per cent in 2019. With high rates of HIV, malaria, diabetes, hypertension and malnourishment prevalent, a large number of Africans were already faced with a health and economic crisis.

Africa’s rich natural resources, long-term economic potential, youthful demography and influence as a bloc of 54 countries in multi-lateral organisations are apparent. In recent years, several extra-regional economies have strengthened their engagement with African states, with an eye to rising economic opportunities, including in energy, mining, infrastructure and connectivity. India could also create a new fund for Africa and adapt its grant-in-aid assistance to reflect the current priorities. This could include support for new investment projects by Indian entrepreneurs especially in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors in Africa.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/africa-day-india-coronavirus-covid-19-6432071/

6 Factors Impacting Information Security and Privacy during the COVID-19 Crisis

Campus Technology | Brian P. Fodrey | May 28, 2020

While each institution's experience is likely individualized and hardly standard, as you recount your lessons learned and future planning, consider the following factors influencing security and privacy during this crisis.

1) Expediency of the Migration to Remote
In the current situation, fast was the mandate, so we were left with just two options: 1) Some of the efforts that were put forth came at an expense that will now need to be accounted for in already strapped budgetary times (in other words, good but not cheap), or 2) The quality of the solution might reflect its intention as a temporary option or the solution lacks a sustainable business or support plan beyond the immediate (cheap but not good).

2) Enhanced Vendor Accommodations
In a lot of ways, the licensing and access that has been afforded to us (temporarily) by many of our vendors/partners is likely what we always wished we had or could afford all the time! But this also is a cautionary tale for many because with those looser or more generous access options, you may find yourself in a situation where users are accessing and managing university data and information in ways that you no longer have oversight or visibility into.

Source: https://campustechnology.com/articles/2020/05/28/6-factors-impacting-information-security-and-privacy-during-the-covid-19-crisis.aspx

Improve Remote Learning with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

ED TECH | Doug Bonderud | May 28, 2020

With many colleges and universities opting for remote learning this fall, VDIs offer a way to bridge the desktop divide and improve student outcomes. While this safety-based shift makes sense given current conditions and uncertain futures, it also poses a significant challenge: How can colleges and universities deliver online or remote classes that still support successful learning outcomes?

According to Mike Joyner, senior solutions architect for client virtualization at CDW, there’s a simple rule for making this work. “User experience is king. It needs to be the same or better than in-person,” he says. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) offers a way to bridge the gap by giving students simple, streamlined, straightforward options for remote access.

The concept of VDI is straightforward: Running on-premises or in-cloud data centers, desktop virtualization software makes it possible to create a virtual desktop image that is delivered via network infrastructure to end-user devices such as PCs or tablets. Users can then interact with applications and services on the VDI as if they were on local machines.

Joyner breaks down three tiers of VDI, each with its own potential benefits and drawbacks:

Tier 1: Joyner points to solutions such as Citrix XenDesktop or Horizon in the tier 1 space. He describes these VDIs as “the Cadillac of user experience and the closest to a normal desktop.” Tier 1 VDIs provide each user a dedicated virtual instance, allowing them to make the best use of any connected services, solutions or apps.

Tier 2: According to Joyner, tier 2 VDIs are multisession instances. These types of VDIs, he says, “have terminal services that provide a multikernel environment to offer more density per virtual session.” Here, the big advantage is volume — more users in a smaller virtual space — but Joyner points to the potential for “noisy neighbor” problems. If, for instance, another user on the same virtual machine has a runaway process, it could affect the experience for everyone. Solutions such as VMware’s RDSH offer tier 2 functionality.

Tier 3: These solutions require the lowest infrastructure commitment by focusing on application delivery. Joyner describes it as “injecting a set of applications into the OS,” which allows students to access what they need, when they need it. This isn’t a one-to-one desktop experience, however. Instead, it’s an app-focused analog of university IT resources.

While remote learning remains a necessity, it’s not enough to simply deliver canned lectures and allow limited IT access. The student experience and ease of use are critical to improve course outcomes and encourage ongoing student enrollment. Implemented effectively, VDI offers a potential means of accomplishing both.

Source: https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/taxonomy/term/11901

How AI and machine learning are helping to fight COVID-19

WE FORUM | Swami Sivasubramanian | May 28, 2020

Organizations have been quick to apply their AI and machine learning know-how in the fight to curb this pandemic.
These technologies are being deployed in areas from research to healthcare and even agriculture.

As the world grapples with COVID-19, every ounce of technological innovation and ingenuity harnessed to fight this pandemic brings us one step closer to overcoming it. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are playing a key role in better understanding and addressing the COVID-19 crisis. Machine learning technology enables computers to mimic human intelligence and ingest large volumes of data to quickly identify patterns and insights.

Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/how-ai-and-machine-learning-are-helping-to-fight-covid-19/

Russell Group sets out proposals to improve UK position in the international student market

The Boar | Reece Goodall | May 28, 2020

The Russell Group has set out a number of proposals to give the UK an edge in the international student market after the disruption caused by COVID-19.
The leading universities have called for continuing reform of the student visa system, a joint international marketing campaign and global recognition of online courses.
It has proposed a three-part plan, which it hopes to deliver alongside the UK government.

  1. The group has advised that the two-year UK post-study work visa is fast-tracked into law and extended by six months.
  2. It has suggested fee waivers for those forced to extend visas as a result of COVID-19 disruption. This should be followed by a new campaign targeting particular countries that involves universities, the British Council, and the Departments for Education and International Trade.
  3. The final measure is a global consensus on the recognition of online courses. The group recommends that the UK works with other governments to agree reciprocal recognition over courses which are delivered partly online as a result of COVID-19.

Dr Tim Bradshaw (Chief executive of the Russell Group) said - “Further action to streamline the immigration process, alongside an ambitious campaign to show the UK’s doors are open will be crucial to helping the country bounce back”.

He added that International students bring many benefits to the UK, but as the world recovers from the Covid-19 crisis, we have to expect numbers will fall for a while and that competition from other countries will be even more fierce than usual. With more top universities than any country other than the US, the UK has an advantage but we must maintain that and protect our hard-won reputation as one of the best places globally to study for a degree. “The Government has shown its determination to do that with the new 2-post study work visa and now is the time to build on this progress.

Source: https://theboar.org/2020/05/russell-group-proposals-improve-position-international-student-market/.

Online exams expensive have limitations: Higher education panel

The Times Of India | Isha Jain | May 28, 2020

A higher education committee institute by UP Governor Anandiben Patel in her capacity as a chancellor of state university has found that holding online exams can burden universities financially. On contrary the committee gave its support to online evaluation said it will increase the quality of education.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/online-exams-expensive-have-limitations-higher-education-panel/articleshow/76062791.cms

10 Predictions for Higher Education’s Future

INSIDE HIGHER ED | John Kroger| May 26, 2020

Most experts predict we will not have a vaccine for COVID-19 until mid-2021, more than a year from now. In the meantime, the American higher education community is going to be turned upside down, and the educational effects will last long after the virus has been brought under control.

  1. Colleges and universities will try to open, but it will be challenging.
  2. Revenue will go way down, and costs way up.
  3. Colleges will maintain a major online presence.
  4. The nation will debate the value of in-person education.
  5. There will be massive online competition and consolidation.
  6. There will be an existential crisis and many closures.
  7. No federal bailout.
    Despite the financial devastation, there will be no bailout of higher education, because our schools, unlike airlines or banks, lack the political clout needed to mobilize sufficient support. Congress is highly skeptical about the efficiency of the sector and concerned about high tuition; Republicans despise “tenured radicals”; our polling numbers for public approval are low.
  8. More corporations will enter the market
  9. Greater inequality will result.
    The market will fragment into two segments. A reduced number of institutions will offer traditional residential education to wealthy or gifted students, who will benefit personally and professionally from the experience. Everyone else will be shuttled into weaker online or partially online programs, many part-time. Graduates of traditional programs will have a major leg up in employment markets, fueling increased inequality.
  10. A new ubiquitous learning platform will emerge
    As more learning moves online, expect a major effort to develop and deploy a Facebook for learning, a ubiquitous and highly personal site, powered by AI, that curates individual learning opportunities and documents outcomes. Many are trying to develop that platform now; the winner will make billions of dollars.

Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/leadership-higher-education/10-predictions-higher-education%E2%80%99s-future

6 ways a drop in international students could set back US higher education

THE CONVERSATION | May 26, 2020

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer and fewer international students were coming to study in the United States. The no of enrollment US colleges and universities were getting during 2015-16 had fallen by 10%.
This trend will undoubtedly accelerate in the fall of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The American Council on Education predicts that overall international enrollment for the next academic year will decline by as much as 25%. As an international education professional, I foresee six major ways that the expected steep decline in international enrollment will change U.S. higher education and the economy.

  1. Higher tuition
  2. A weaker economy
    While a decline in international enrollment will financially hurt American colleges and universities, it will also decrease the profits of local businesses and the tax revenues of state and local governments.
  3. Less innovation
    One of the strongest factors that influence future international scientific cooperation is having students study in different countries. This ability to collaborate across borders is critical to addressing the world’s greatest challenges, from combating climate change to eliminating COVID-19.
  4. Job losses
    As international enrollment declines, U.S. employers will have a harder time filling jobs. This may lead companies to look for talent in other countries – or possibly relocate jobs abroad.
  5. Less exposure to diversity
    When students interact with people from cultures other than their own, it enhances their ability to think more critically. It also reduces prejudice.
  6. Less US influence
    While more than 300 current and former world leaders were at one time international students in the U.S., other nations are making concerted efforts to catch up. If there are fewer students from other countries studying in the U.S., it will lessen the ability of the United States to touch the hearts and minds of future world leaders.

Source: https://theconversation.com/6-ways-a-drop-in-international-students-could-set-back-us-higher-education-138927

College Leaders Talk about Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Crisis

Williams College President Maud Mandel, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President James Birge, Berkshire Community College Ellen Kennedy and Bard College were joined at Simon's Rock Provost John Weinstein for the discussion on the topic "Higher Education During COVID-19,"and presented their views as the moderator Jonathan Butler asked the panel to talk about the lessons that their industry might take away from the pandemic.

Kennedy and Weinstein agreed that remote learning forced by the closure of their physical campuses has demonstrated that some students may perform differently outside of a traditional classroom. The introvert students who cannot open up during in-person class room are presenting themselves during remote online classrooms. This is also a opportunity for the faculty to capture their thoughts. So after coming back to in-person class the student can present their thoughts too. They agree to the importance to provide students for financial aid to support them to have access to hardware for remote learning.
This remote working has many good impacts for environment and can provide ample time to figure out the flaws in in-person classrooms.

Source: https://www.iberkshires.com/story/62307/College-Leaders-Talk-about-Lessons-Learned-from-COVID-19-Crisis.html

Universities Wales response to a report on Covid-19 and the Higher Education Sector in Wales

India Education Diaries | India Education Diary Bureau Admin | May 25, 2020

In response to a report from the Wales Governance Centre which details the financial risks facing universities in Wales as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, a University Wales spokesperson said: “We know that universities are proportionately more important to the economy of Wales than elsewhere in the UK, generating £5bn of output and nearly 50,000 jobs, and any significant shrinking of the sector would have knock-on impacts for jobs, regional economics, local communities and students .Wales’ universities are also making important contributions to support the national effort in response to COVID-19, and will have a vital role to play in the Wales’ recovery from this crisis.”

As highlighted by this report, there are substantial financial risks facing universities in Wales as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Welsh Government and UK Government must take urgent action to provide support to ensure universities are able to weather these very serious challenges, and to protect students, maintain research, and retain our capacity to drive the recovery of the economy and communities.

Source: https://indiaeducationdiary.in/universities-wales-response-to-a-report-on-covid-19-and-the-higher-education-sector-in-wales/

College Presidents Say Fall Opening Likely

Inside Higher Ed | May 25, 2020

More than half of college presidents (53 percent) said it was “very likely” their institutions would resume in-person courses this fall, and another 31 percent said it was “somewhat likely,” according to a survey of 310 presidents conducted by the American Council on Education.

Of the 230 presidents in the survey whose institutions offer on-campus housing, 51 percent said it was “very likely” their campuses would resume in-person housing operations at some point in the fall semester, and 40 percent said it was “somewhat likely.”

Source: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/05/25/live-updates-latest-news-coronavirus-and-higher-education

College Leaders Talk about Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Crisis

IBERKSHIRES.COM | Stephen Dravis | May 25, 2020

Williams College President Maud Mandel, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President James Birge, Berkshire Community College Ellen Kennedy and Bard College were joined at Simon's Rock Provost John Weinstein for the discussion on the topic "Higher Education During COVID-19,"and presented their views as the moderator Jonathan Butler asked the panel to talk about the lessons that their industry might take away from the pandemic.

Kennedy and Weinstein agreed that remote learning forced by the closure of their physical campuses has demonstrated that some students may perform differently outside of a traditional classroom. The introvert students who cannot open up during in-person class room are presenting themselves during remote online classrooms. This is also a opportunity for the faculty to capture their thoughts. So after coming back to in-person class the student can present their thoughts too. They agree to the importance to provide students for financial aid to support them to have access to hardware for remote learning.
This remote working has many good impacts for environment and can provide ample time to figure out the flaws in in-person classrooms.

Source: https://www.iberkshires.com/story/62307/College-Leaders-Talk-about-Lessons-Learned-from-COVID-19-Crisis.html

COVID-19 patients not infectious after 11 days, finds Singapore study

E TIMES Entertainment News | Bloomberg | May 24, 2020

On the basis of a study of 73 patents in the city-state, a joint research paper by Singapore’s National Centre for Infectious Diseases and the Academy of Medicine, Singapore stated that the virus “could not be isolated or cultured after day 11 of illness” and the positive test “does not equate to infectiousness or viable virus,”. Which means Covid-19 patients are no longer infectious after 11 days of getting sick even though some may still test positive.

Country’s patient discharge criteria are currently based on negative test results rather than infectiousness.
Singapore’s strategy on managing Covid-19 patients is guided by the latest local and international clinical scientific evidence, and the Ministry of Health will evaluate if the latest evidence can be incorporated into its patient clinical management plan, according to a report by the Straits Times.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/covid-19-patients-not-infectious-after-11-days-finds-singapore-study/articleshow/75936084.cms

Can Higher Education Get America Back To Work?

Forbes | Paul LeBlanc | May 24, 2020

The single most important job higher education will be asked to do over the next few years will be getting Americans back to work.

Focus on what students can do with what they know. Higher education mostly concerns itself with knowledge making (research and scholarship) and conveyance (publishing and teaching). The focus must now shift to what students can actually do with what they know. Our survey respondents seek skills, employers think about jobs in terms of skills, and higher education must embrace skills or competencies as the real measure of learning, not the credit hour.

Get really good at assessment. In a skills focused program, that means performance-based assessment. Higher education, which is generally poor at sound assessment practices, only does good performance based assessment in areas where our lives depend on a graduate’s demonstrated ability to do what we say they can.

Deliver learning in smaller bundles of skills. We need to offer smaller packages of skills focused learning that carry some form of recognition and that stack along a pathway that eventually leads to a degree. While two and four year degrees will remain important milestones, we need more granularity in program offerings and credentials for those who need to urgently re-skill in order to rejoin the workforce.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulleblanc/2020/05/24/can-higher-education-get-america-back-to-work/#79ca2217a97d

Equity in higher education essential for California’s strong economic recovery

CALLMATTERS | Monica Lozano | May 24, 2020

According to a national survey from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, More than half of the adults who have lost income were already living in poverty. As California re-opens its economy, equity must be a focus. Higher education has always been key to socioeconomic mobility. Now, more than ever, increasing college access and success will be essential to ensuring that California can recover and emerge stronger.

The state must continue to build on those advances. Even with fewer resources, California can leverage these priorities:

  1. Make transfers easy and seamless.
  2. Increase student support services.
  3. Be flexible with financial aid requirements.
  4. Strengthen partnerships that align education and labor needs.

Source: https://calmatters.org/commentary/equity-in-higher-education-essential-for-californias-strong-economic-recovery/

What India’s performance in the Impact Rankings tells us?

UNIVERSITY WORLD NEWS | Anand Kulkarni | May 23, 2020

This article focuses on India’s performance in the recently released Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2020, which measure a university’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals according to the broad criteria of outreach, research and stewardship.

India and the Impact Rankings
Compared to 2019 when India had 2.8% of ranked institutions in the Impact Rankings (13 out of 467), in 2020 this has reached 3.4% (26 out of 767). The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, India has also advanced, but to a lesser extent, from 49 institutions out of a total of 1,258 (3.9%) to 56 institutions out of a total of 1,397 (just over 4%). The World University Rankings place more emphasis on research compared to Impact Rankings, while Impact Rankings reflect factors such as community outreach.

As Angel Calderon points out, more than 30% of institutions included in the Impact Rankings are not ranked in the THE World University Rankings.

However, the improvement in both rankings for India, when allied with its emerging strong position in the Global Innovation rankings – it ranked 52nd in the world out of 129 countries, including seventh position for graduates in science and engineering, 15th for research expenditure by globally listed companies and 23rd for industry and university collaboration – suggests that India is becoming a player in the global knowledge economy.

From clean water to general environmental performance
India performs poorly – it ranks 177 out of 180 countries – on the global Environmental Performance Index, which is a comprehensive ranking encompassing environmental health and eco-system vitality.

Other observations
One half of ranked India institutions are private ones. This reflects greater private provision of higher education in India as well as arguably new approaches and perspectives to teaching and learning.
Reflective of the World University Rankings is the relative paucity of the ‘next tier’ of ranked institutions.

Source: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200522093621435

Notre Dame vs. Princeton: Two very different approaches on when and how to reopen college during COVID-19

The Washington Post | Valerie Strauss | May 22, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published newly updated guidance on how colleges and universities can openly safely.

Some colleges and universities are planning to reopen campuses in the fall with varying protective measures to try to prevent the spread of covid-19 while some other school leaders say it’s too soon to make a decision.

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, a former governor of Indiana, was the first higher-education leader who announced to campus reopening and rather than surrendering to the situation to tackle it aggressively and creatively. Since then many other colleges are also in support to him and decided to reopen too.

One of the most recent major universities to do so was the University Of Notre Dame, whose president, John I. Jenkins, announced that students would come to campus and start classes early, Aug. 10, and finish the semester just before Thanksgiving (26th November).

Jenkins prepared to institute a comprehensive testing protocol, and to isolate those who test positive and quarantine those students who have been in close contact. They will continue the testing, contact tracing and quarantining protocol throughout the semester, acting aggressively to isolate those with the virus and quarantine any who have been in close contact. They will also institute a number of other health and safety measures.

Princeton University President Chris Eisgruber says they can’t decide to reopen thoughtlessly. He said “To bring back our undergraduates, we need to be confident of our ability to mitigate the health risks not only to them, but also to the faculty and staff who instruct and support them, and to the surrounding community.”

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2020/05/22/notre-dame-vs-princeton-two-very-different-approaches-when-how-reopen-college-during-covid-19/

Canada extends flexible rules for post-graduate work permits through end of year

ICEF MONITOR | May 20, 2020

International students planning to begin studies in Canada this summer and fall are now permitted to complete up to 50% of their programmes online if restrictions prevent them from travelling from their home countries

The future of technical education is going to be different from what it is today amid COVID-19 crisis. The unprecedented outbreak of Coronavirus has caused extreme The future of technical education amid COVID-19: Insights from Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE

Source: https://monitor.icef.com/2020/05/canada-extends-flexible-rules-for-post-graduate-work-permits-through-end-of-year/

Looming crisis could widen investment gap in higher education, EUA report says

Science | Business | May 19, 2020

Based on its analysis of policy decisions taken in Europe in the past decade, the EUA report warns of “large, long-lasting” negative effects on higher education systems, especially in countries which cut budgets for universities and research in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Cuts in public funding for universities and research agencies were meant to be temporary but some countries in Europe were not able to come back to pre-crisis funding levels fast enough, further widening the performance gap between higher education systems.

As COVID-19 pandemic likely to cause a global recession, “Universities must prepare for operational and financial difficulties in the coming few years,” European University Association (EUA) that calls on national and European policy makers to come up with new strategies to prevent the coronavirus crisis from further widening east-west disparities and to priorities research and innovation in new financial rescue packages, to avoid reproducing the effects of the 2008 crisis.

Cambridge University: All lectures to be online-only until summer of 2021

BBC News | May 19, 2020

During Covid-19 Pandemic Given that it is likely that social distancing will continue to be required, the university has decided there will be no face-to-face lectures during the next academic year. Lectures will continue to be made available online which has been applicable since March and exams are being carried out virtually .It may be possible to host smaller teaching groups in person, as long as this conforms to social distancing requirements. Cambridge University will review the decision if advice on social distancing changes.

A similar move has been taken by the University of Manchester too. The university watchdog said students applying for university places in England must be told with "absolute clarity" how courses will be taught - before they make choices for the autumn.

California community college chancellor endorses going online-only this fall

CALLMATTERS |Mikhail Zinshteyn| May 18, 2020

The chancellor of California’s largest college system, Eloy Ortiz Oakley said he believes online instruction will be the best course of action this fall. As He advocates for the online-teaching methods will be the best option during this pandemic, he also admitted that this transition to online method from traditional face-to-face method is difficult yet their colleges have made amazing effort to continue to engage the students. Oakley also cautioned against the cut down the funding depending on student outcomes and advised to be united to protect all the colleges instead.

Higher Education at the COVID-19 Crossroads

Forbes | Henry Chesbrough| May 18, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is placing many universities under extreme budget pressure, owing to the loss of high-margin international students. And, if schools cannot open on campus this fall, many may be forced to discount their tuition to students. Some observers think it likely that many universities will be forced to close, as a result of these pressures.

The longer term picture is not much better. Higher education costs have been rising at an unsustainable rate for decades. The rate of increase in the tuition fee has been much higher than inflation. The Covid-19 pandemic is merely accelerating a reckoning in higher education, a reckoning that has been coming for quite some time.

The reasons of this higher fee can draw attentions to following points:
As most often most faculty, also have home offices for work, which is a reason campus office utilization is low. So this very expensive campus asset, real estate, is woefully underutilized.
With the growth of the Internet, many of the traditional reference materials faculty need for their research are just a few clicks away.

Another area of the university that is overdue for a rethink is the bundling of research with teaching. The modern university bundles these two functions together. Digital also will have a role to play. It is already clear that Covid-19 has created a permanent shift towards digital instruction in the university. The tools to engage students online are only going to get better over time, and faculty are going to improve in how best to use digital instruction methods. The status quo is unsustainable, even after the Covid-19 crisis passes. The university desperately needs ways to reset its spending, without sacrificing its core mission and values. Unbundling research from teaching, disconnecting faculty from dedicated offices, and embracing digital technology together provide a new basis for a more affordable, sustainable education.

Colleges Are Deluding Themselves

The Atlantic | Michael J. Sorrell | President of Paul Quinn College | May15, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is the direst crisis we have ever faced. The current health emergency makes striking the right balance all the more difficult—and multiplies the damage any missteps could cause. Leaders at many high-profile colleges and universities have announced plans to welcome students back to their classrooms, residence halls, and playing fields in the fall—with some modifications to allow for greater social distancing. But rushing to reopen our society and our schools is a mistake that will ultimately result in hundreds of thousands of citizens falling sick and worse. We should not let our own financial and reputational worries cloud our judgment about matters of life and death.

Many schools literally cannot afford an online-only existence; students would not want to pay the same amount for such an experience, but charging them less would lead to bankruptcy for some institutions. The good news is that higher education will get through this crisis. By adjusting our expectations and addressing our fears, we will provide room for a new model of realistic leadership. The freedom that accompanies this moment will provide space for necessary innovation.

Higher education institutions can tie up with Highway, MSME Ministry for specific projects’

The Hindu | Published on May 15, 2020

In a meeting with higher education authorities organized by FICCI, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, Encourages the Higher education institutions tie-ups with the Ministries of Road Transport and Highways and Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for research in the area of road safety, to conduct road safety audits and traffic studies on various stretches of highways. Highway Ministry has set a target to build highways with ₹15 lakh crore in the next two years, for which Road Ministry will soon tie-up with two IITs for developing areas of civil engineering. He asked universities to think of ways to focus on improving quality of education, creating jobs for students while lowering the burden of high fees.

COVID-19: 4 negative impacts and 4 opportunities created for education

India Today |May 12, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on education - both negative and positive. What exactly are the risks and opportunities brought about by Coronavirus?

4 negative impacts of Covid-19 on education

  1. Sluggish cross-border movement of students
    It is becoming clearer that this cross-border movement of students will take a beating at least for the next two to three years and will lead to a major financial risk for universities in these countries who are already under financial pressure.
  2. Passive learning by students
    The sudden shift to online learning without any planning -- especially in countries like India where the backbone for online learning was not ready and the curriculum was not designed for such a format -- has created the risk of most of our students becoming passive learners and they seem to be losing interest due to low levels of attention span. This will create a digital divide.
  3. Unprepared teachers for online education
    There is a risk that in such a situation, learning outcomes may not be achieved and it may be only resulting in engaging the students.
  4. Changing format of student recruitment
    The risk of losing students is so high that they will need to re-look at their admission practices, admission criteria and the overall recruitment process itself which will include, new methods of outreach and application process itself.

positive changes in education due to Covid-19

  1. Rise in Blended Learning
    New ways of delivery and assessments of learning outcomes will have to be adopted which opens immense opportunities for a major transformation in the area of curriculum development and pedagogy.
  2. Learning management systems to be the new norm
    A great opportunity will open up for those companies that have been developing and strengthening learning management systems for use by universities and colleges.
  3. Improvement in learning material
    Since blended learning will be the new format of learning there will be a push to find new ways to design and deliver quality content especially due to the fact that the use of learning management systems will bring about more openness and transparency in academics.
  4. Rise in collaborative work
    Faculty members/ teachers can deliver online courses to even students from competing institutions. Collaborations can also happen among faculty/teachers across the nation to benefit from each other.

Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/covid-19-4-negative-impacts-and-4-opportunities-created-for-education-1677206-2020-05-12

How COVID-19 is driving a long-overdue revolution in education

World Economic Forum | Salah-Eddine Kandri | Global Head of Education, IFC| May 12, 2020

  • The pandemic has forced universities to bring their courses online.
  • This is just one step along the road to a new educational paradigm, however.
  • We can expect a new model to emerge once COVID-19 has passed.

The pandemic that has shuttered economies around the world has also battered education systems in developing and developed countries. Some 1.5 billion students — close to 90% of all primary, secondary and tertiary learners in the world — are no longer able to physically go to school. While each level of education faces its unique challenges, it is the higher education segment that may end up, by necessity, triggering a learning revolution.

The real challenge lies for the institutions in which they have enrolled. Can traditional, campus-based universities adapt by choosing the right technologies and approaches for educating and engaging their students?

Right now, video-conferencing apps like Zoom and Webex are throwing universities a lifeline. However, lecturers are still struggling to maintain the same depth of engagement with students they could have in a classroom setting. The appetite from students for online offerings will likely grow because of COVID-19. As painful and stressful a time as this is, it may fashion a long overdue and welcome rebirth of our education systems.

The Coming Disruption Scott Galloway predicts a handful of elite cyborg universities will soon monopolize higher education.

INTELLIGENCER | James D. Walsh | May 11, 2020

Galloway, a Silicon Valley runaway who teaches marketing at NYU Stern School of Business, believes the pandemic has greased the wheels for big tech’s entrée into higher education. The post-pandemic future, he says, will entail partnerships between the largest tech companies in the world and elite universities. MIT@Google. iStanford. HarvardxFacebook. According to Galloway, these partnerships will allow universities to expand enrollment dramatically by offering hybrid online-offline degrees, the affordability and value of which will seismically alter the landscape of higher education.

MIT, Amherst, Dartmouth — they all have the money to not sacrifice any standards. At the same time, their trustees aren’t going to want them running inefficient businesses, where they have to dip into their endowment every year. Endowments are supposed to be for big, bold projects that result in additional cash appreciation.

National skill network

INTELLIGENCER | James D. Walsh | May 11, 2020

Galloway, a Silicon Valley runaway who teaches marketing at NYU Stern School of Business, believes the pandemic has greased the wheels for big tech’s entrée into higher education. The post-pandemic future, he says, will entail partnerships between the largest tech companies in the world and elite universities. MIT@Google. iStanford. HarvardxFacebook. According to Galloway, these partnerships will allow universities to expand enrollment dramatically by offering hybrid online-offline degrees, the affordability and value of which will seismically alter the landscape of higher education.

MIT, Amherst, Dartmouth — they all have the money to not sacrifice any standards. At the same time, their trustees aren’t going to want them running inefficient businesses, where they have to dip into their endowment every year. Endowments are supposed to be for big, bold projects that result in additional cash appreciation.

National skill network

Pratyusha Tripathy | May 6, 2020

  • Higher education institutions were closed even before the nationwide lockdown as a caution to the situation. Nearly 70% of the curriculum was completed and 30% was remaining.
  • To complete remaining curriculum institutions have decided to go online. The institutes which already had the infrastructure for online education started off smoothly. The real challenge was faced by those institutions which were not prepared with the required infrastructure for online learning.
  • Students have also enrolled on SWAYAM to continue their learning. SWAYAM platform is enriched with a number of engineering and management courses and more than a lakh students were enrolled in different courses.
  • Enhancement in Learning with Improvement In Skills (ELIS) portal has been designed by AICTE in order to foster digital learning and support the student community across the country. AICTE has devised online scrutiny of documents and online institute inspections using Microsoft team without physical visits for giving approvals to new colleges.
  • Online workshops by AICTE

  • Workshops for faculty on universal human values and three week student induction program for the first year students: These workshops covered all the life skills such as Leadership, communication along with the human core values that are important to cope with the crisis and will be important for the future as well.
  • Workshops on various technical skills and soft skills which will be in demand: These workshops covered various emerging technical skills that are going to become all the more important post COVID such as AI, IoT, AR, VR, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Robotics, 3D Printing, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, and Data Analysis.
  • Workshops for preparing the faculty for AICTE’s examination reforms: These workshops are about the significance of examination reform, why, what and how.
  • Certification courses to ensure better employability amid COVID-19
    Platform called National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) numerous products/courses for students offered by startups and other big companies. The platform contains 30 courses offered by 15 different companies with a fee ranging from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 45000. As the courses are being provided by startups, they can’t be entirely free. So MHRD and AICTE came up with an innovative idea of enlisting good products through a three stage process first one being blind review.

Source: https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/future-of-technical-education-amid-covid-19/

How COVID- 19 Can Reinvent Higher Education

QS WOW NEWS | Cameron Mirza | MENA Director for Nottingham Trent University | May 5, 2020

Higher education has been significantly disrupted as millions of students around the world are now studying remotely as campuses shut down in an attempt to help contain the virus. It’s a potential funding crisis for many private Universities. The impact of the current situation will have a profound impact on universities around the region in many ways and will force institutions to rethink their operating models, strategies, and fundamentally how higher education will be delivered.

It will also create opportunities; imagine if you are taught by the best subject matter faculty regardless of where they or you are in the world? Or the fact that learning is no longer bound by traditional semesters, credit hours, or having to spend hours traveling to a class, time wasted. We are now in an era where it is all possible due to technology.

Universities should be looking to AI to do the heavy lifting of faculty to free up time to allow them to focus on the actual job of teaching and doing research. AI’s potential to change the way teachers teach and students learn, helping maximize student success and prepare them for the future. Collective intelligence tools will be available to save teachers time with tasks like grading papers so teachers can spend more time with students. AI can help identify struggling students through behavioral cues and give them a nudge in the right direction. Universities can even use AI to offer a truly personalized learning experience, overcoming one of the biggest limitations of our current education model.

Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education

Dr. DNS Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, Ansal University| April 29, 2020

The national lockdown and the ascending health crisis were striking the education of the students as well, with their universities being shut and their syllabi stranded, until the industry decided to initiate a revolution instead. The switch to online education has been ensuring that students suffer no loss of studies and their progress is being tracked simultaneously with timely evaluation. Providing AI-enabled learning by universities as they offer diverse courses in association with other collaborations is only making the country envision a new tomorrow based on educational reforms. In fact, some of the universities are also offering courses related to the fourth industrial revolution, which will stimulate the minds of the students and inspire them to bring a change in their respective fields. Uncertain times call for stronger measures and the education industry has been stepping up to take some. The pandemic has been working as a catalyst for the educational institutions to grow and opt for platforms and techniques, they haven’t used before.

Source: https://www.highereducationdigest.com/impact-of-covid-19-on-higher-education/

Measuring COVID-19’s impact on higher education

ICEF MONITOR | April 15, 2020

  • The financial impact of the pandemic is being felt now by higher education institutions around the world
  • As the pandemic continues this quarter, the effects are mounting in terms of both immediate budget impacts and forecasts for the coming year
  • Most institutions are projecting declines in both domestic and international student numbers, with combined tuition shortfalls running into the tens of billions of dollars

Source: https://monitor.icef.com/2020/04/measuring-covid-19s-impact-on-higher-education/

Degrees of Separation

INSIDE HIGHER ED | Elizabeth Redden | April 14, 2020

As colleges grapple with the question of whether and when it will be safe to resume in-person instruction, a newly published working paper analyzing course enrollment patterns at Cornell University found that nearly all students are connected via a shared classmate.

"These results suggest caution in reopening colleges and universities for face-to-face instruction in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Weeden and Cornwell wrote in their working paper.
In their working paper, Weeden and Cornwell note limitations of the study, including the fact that the data are reflective of just one university and that "course enrollment networks do not capture the many ways that students are connected outside of the classroom through advisors, friends, parties, athletics and other extra-curricular activities, or living situations."

“Most obviously, two students who are co-enrolled in a large lecture course may never come in close physical proximity to each other. Similarly, classes, particularly large ones, rarely achieve full attendance. Future work should consider factors such as physical space within a classroom or attendance rates to fine-tune estimates of how course enrollment networks may pattern the diffusion of a virus, a rumor, an idea, or anything else that can be transmitted through direct or indirect social contact on a college campus.”