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Higher education changes for 2020/2021


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So Cambridge has said no face-to-face lectures for the next academic year. Cal State, McGill and no doubt plenty of others are going to be at least starting the year that way. Etc. Financially, universities are going to find themselves turned upside down and given a good hard shake. For languages teaching, semesters and years abroad just become somewhat trickier.


Those of you studying or teaching in higher education, or due to start this year, what changes is your institution looking at making? How long-lasting do you expect these changes to be? Are your bosses panicking and desperately trying to think of mitigation measures, or treating this as an opportunity to get a head-start on what would have been a natural shift online over coming years anyway?

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I would dispute that there's a "natural shift online".... many students are making it very clear at the moment that they consider 100% online a diminished offering, with no campus experience, which for many is a very large part of what being at uni/college is about. 


Certainly there's a discussion to be had there about whether you should be paying full fees if you don't get to benefit from all the other aspects of university life.


I've worked in institutions that offer F2F, fully online, and blended (mixed) qualifications, and the drop-out/non-completion rate for fully online is very high indeed. Students generally find it much harder to be motivated and focused when they have to do it all from off-site, typically at home.  Even the UK Open University, one of the pioneers of distance learning, runs (or ran) Summer Schools and similar events where all the remote learners get together F2F for some socialising.


My hunch is that Cambridge, Manchester et al are in the midst of a massive damage-limitation exercise to avoid losing billions in lost fees from overseas students who are unable or unwilling to study abroad 2020-21.  It's a huge chunk of the economy in the UK, Australia, USA and Canada and it looks like vanishing almost overnight.

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39 minutes ago, mungouk said:

I would dispute that there's a "natural shift online".

You're probably right. I feel like there are more online / distance courses available, but they're probably new offerings, rather than established degrees moving online. 

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There was a new Chinese language undergraduate course that was meant to be opening at Bath beginning this September, which now appears to have been shelved sadly. Hopefully its just a temporary damage control decision. I'm interested to see what the situation will be with the T&I course that I took last year, I mean I was the only domestic student in the whole class...

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