From canceling classes and exams to emptying dorms, higher education institutes around the world are facing increasing uncertainty. Education sector needs a digital revolution.
There is no denying that as every field requires digital revolution universities also need it as universities often function as small cities, complete with their own civic infrastructure. They are also major drivers of the local and regional economy, directly supporting dozens of professional roles and indirectly supporting hundreds more.
That is why a major disruption is particularly complicated for educational institutes and has left many universities scrambling with an uncertain future.
An expensive expansion in online teaching is progressing at a slower pace than expected, with at times ambiguous and past-due requirements from education regulators effectively grounding progress.
Beyond expensive software licenses, privacy concerns surrounding tools like Zoom, ensuring connectivity, and most importantly transforming instructional methods from the classroom setting to a virtual one are creating unexpected hurdles.
In order to get ahead of the events, educational institutes need to react skillfully and strategically. In addition to essential project management and communications roles, it is imperative for senior leadership to have access to epidemiological expertise.
It is also imperative for universities to implement measures based on equity — many students may not have the required devices or connectivity to complete online coursework. Measures to address potential disruption and threats to completion of programs need to be evaluated and put in place.
This can be supported by accepting project-based learning and collaborative training to complete credit hours. Furthermore, simplifying degree requirements can also go a long way in not just facilitating students, but also preparing universities for future cohorts.