The experiment with online education prompted by coronavirus-induced restrictions will lead to a permanent change in teaching-learning activities, Vice Provost for International Affairs at Harvard University Mark Elliott said on Friday. The change, however, is not going to affect all parts of the market and there will still be a place for a classroom or a seminar, he said.
Delivering a lecture on the future of higher education, Prof Elliot said, “The enormous experiment with online education prompted by the pandemic will lead to a permanent change that will reform the system and more people will agree to take part in long-distance education ventures now that we have been baptized while dealing with fire over last five months.”
“The trend shift also made us realized that work we have been doing in this area in last several years seems to have been preparatory in nature than aiming at meeting the larger requirements in online learning but the change is not going to affect all parts of the market, there will still be a place for a classroom or a seminar…the educational modalities will continue to diversify,” he said.
The lecture was organized by the US Embassy here in association with the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).
Prof Elliott said though the number of international scholars is going to go down, there will be a rebound stage but with different trends.
“The number of international students and scholars is gonna go down in the coming year. Travel is almost impossible right now in many parts of the world and it will continue to be that way for quite some time. It can be a while till there is rebound in a total number of international students but when that rebound comes it’s quite possible that some of the trends that we have begun to adapt will be permanent,” he said.
Research collaborations will continue and “even if people cannot travel, conferences which were canceled are coming back in alternative forms or hybrid forms, smaller-scale symposia and workshops, people have adapted to changes and we see it as a larger change on the horizon,” he added.
Schools and colleges are closed in various parts of the world in view of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which has infected over 1.93 crore people across the globe and claimed over 7 lakh lives.