COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND POSSIBLE TRENDS INTO THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: A REVIEW
COVID-19 virus pandemic resulted to abrupt closure of higher education institutions globally as a strategy to manage its spread. This has extensively impacted on the core functions of higher education which include teaching, research and community service. Through a desktop review of relevant literature, the study explored the impacts, mitigation measures adopted, emerging challenges and the future of higher education in the context of COVID-19. The pandemic disrupted the academic calendar, research activities, displaced students, and there has been loss in revenue streams and human resources. It is likely to affect sustainability of local and international higher education. Higher education institutions responded by leveraging the use Information Communication technology (ICT) to minimize disruptions. Challenges experienced include unreliable internet connectivity and ICT infrastructure, equity in access to remote teaching and learning, staff and students’ readiness, assessment of learning, resource constraints, delivery of field and practical courses and quality assurance in emergency remote teaching and learning. The impacts, responses and challenges have been manifested with gaps and inequalities between learners, institutions and countries. The study envisions widescale uptake of blended delivery of academic programmes, capacity building for staff and students on online pedagogy and a holistic quality assurance framework that infuses achievement of desired learning outcomes with Maslow Hierarchy of needs. Greater emphasis will be placed on the entrepreneurial university, institutional mergers and strategic planning for disasters.
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