By Rohit Manglik, CEO, EduGorilla
Education is no exception to the pervasive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has also temporarily jolted the study abroad plans of students due to restrictions in international air travel and suspension of the classroom model of teaching. As India enters Unlock 3.0, the restarting of the Indian economy is an encouraging development that will revive overseas education albeit with some introspection and restructuring. An educations.com survey highlighted that only 5.4% of prospective students planned to cancel their future study plans amid COVID-19.
E-Learning to become mainstream– Many Ivy League universities host some of their best courses on online portals like Coursera for students who do not prefer conventional degrees. The coming years might see many top universities shifting courses to an entirely online mode. However, to say that online education will replace the classroom model would be an exaggeration. Going forward, we foresee the hybrid education- a mix of classroom and online model to become the norm rather than the exception.
Focus on STEM courses: The demand for STEM courses is expected to be marginally impacted in the short-term. The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the significance of science, technology and innovation to tackle exigencies and navigate through uncertainty. It has given a fillip to the healthcare sector and highlighted its pervasive impact not only on the health of the global population but also its ramifications on economic development.
Content and not the technology to take centre stage: Digital communication has reinforced the significance of compelling content in keeping the target audience engaged. Today’s youth have a variety of digital media to choose from to access content; obviously, those media offering superior content will take over the rest. However, technology will be a catalyst in facilitating this transition.
Examination system and pedagogy might change: COVID-19 will prompt a rethink of the existing examination structure with more universities mulling to shift to a digital mode of examination. Also, the emotional distress during the lockdown his likely to fuel the demand for courses focussing on holistic education such as mental health, personalized guidance and experiential learning.
Short-term courses to witness higher influx than two-year programmes and above: The COVID-19 has given a fillip to short-term courses due to their skilling and reskilling potential to hedge the career against economic uncertainties. Also, as more consumers look at education from a ‘value for money proposition’ amidst curtailed spending, short-term courses are better placed than conventional degrees as a cost-effective solution.
COVID-19 can be regarded as an inflection phase for the overseas education sector prompting stakeholders to rethink, reassess and re-innovate.