How is the global education landscape changing?

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Issue 17: 2 June 2020
Every week, HEADlines brings you the latest news, stories and commentaries
in education and healthcare. This week, get insights on the latest developments
in education.  
Roadblocks to higher education after COVID-19

As COVID-19 spreads, many universities were forced to shutter their campuses and residential facilities. This left students—local and international—stranded and scrambling to return home. As these institutions remain closed, often without clear timelines for reopening, the once aggressive push to internationalise higher education hangs precariously in the balance.

Chinese students have been a large consumer of international higher education pre-COVID-19. With uncertain global health conditions, a slowing economy and volatile international relations, they might instead choose to study in the many prestigious universities back home, creating a "post-China" world for universities in English-speaking countries.

The U.S. might run into a reversal of "brain gain" if travel bans continue, and if more international students look towards home universities to continue their education. Currently, its universities attract a significant number of international students, many of whom continue to stay in the U.S. after their graduation. 

Summer internships have also fallen prey to the pandemic; many companies have cancelled internship programmes or rescinded offers. Students whose courses require a minimum number of internship hours might see their graduations delayed, while many others lose out on the networking opportunities and industry know-hows that these internships could have provided. 

As countries apprehensively emerge from lockdowns and look to restart society, it is imperative that we develop more robust, agile and responsive higher education systems. This will be discussed in a special issue of Higher Education in Southeast Asia and Beyond (HESB) coming out this week. HESB issue 8 will take a deep dive into how universities and institutions are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our “COVID-19 What Next…?” webinar series will also focus on this topic on 17 June 2020. Follow us on our social media platforms for updates!
Education in the Spotlight
By finding ways to continue learning through the pandemic, the education system will be better equipped for a future marked by severe weather emergencies.
In an analysis of middle school and high school textbooks, the authors found that descriptions of climate change were superficial and contained errors; some did not discuss the topic at all.
Critical, versatile thinking is essential to overcome challenges such as the pandemic.
As we think about learning in our long-term context of uncertainty during and after COVID-19, we must educate for unknowable futures.
Resources will be needed to ensure that systems are prepared to accelerate progress once schools can safely reopen.
The author offers a few tips to deal with the constant stream of numbers and statistics coming across our screens.

That's all for the week!
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