I recently led a research team that interviewed presidents, vice-chancellors and directors of national universities from around the world, in an attempt to enhance understanding of presidents’ roles in leading through Covid-19.
Exchanges with Asian universities and the movement of Asian students to study in Western countries have for a long time been taken as a given. However, this is starting to change as more Asian universities build reputations to match their international peers.
The pedagogical approach to learning, teacher-centred learning, the sage on the stage – call it what you will, things aren’t looking good for this particular learning model going forward.
The future looks very likely indeed to include a pandemic-induced move toward a new hybrid era that mixes online and in-person study. Furthermore, the spoon-fed style of learning is not best suited to prospective PhD candidates, future researchers or adult learners looking to develop their career through study.
Most of the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region has suffered from political and economic instability, paralleled by diminishing borders across the globe due to digitalisation and connectivity. These trends, accelerated by Covid-19, are motivating students in MENA universities to seek collaboration with institutions in more economically stable countries, particularly in the West, in order to access international experiences involving innovation and economic growth.
Artificial intelligence is full of potential and has been trumpeted as our saviour, the way forward, the answer to all the world’s ills and the future of learning. But this is not the true picture. Yes, AI has much to offer in education, but it’s not the be all and end all.
We are in a climate emergency. On this Earth Day 2021, we must acknowledge that we can’t wait for higher education to return to “normal” before we get our students involved in restoring our planet. We must work towards the “new normal” which means taking full advantage of online resources.
The course I teach, relating to forestry, has a strong focus on balancing conservation and sustainable development. I come from a background focused on integrating these two seemingly irreconcilable paradigms from an integrated landscape approach perspective.
We think of landscapes as systems whereby everything is connected in some way. The SDGs provide a fantastic framework to think about such an approach. No single SDG can be dealt with in isolation as they are all equally connected in some way; thus, only by addressing them all can true sustainable development be achieved.
The prospect of a transition to technology-based learning had been on the higher education horizon for some time but the trend was slow in coming until the pandemic accelerated its arrival to breakneck speed.
Higher education providers have put virtual teaching, learning and assessment in place so students can continue studying safely at home. Now we need to move beyond emergency measures such as recorded lectures and think about how to better engage students digitally to improve their satisfaction with online learning.