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May’s industry round-ups

Opinion: 10 Predictions for Higher Education’s Future 

Inside Higher Ed, 26 May

This piece claims that post-COVID, American colleges will maintain an online presence and many institutions will seek to transform many of their degree programs into permanent online offerings. It also predicts that there will be massive online competition and in five years, there will be more than 50 major online universities, many of them powered by partnerships with major corporations. It also puts forward that tech companies will dominate the education market and universities will increasingly partner with brands such as Google. 


Editorial reporting: Little role for universities in Australian recovery plans

THE, 26 May

Australia’s government has made vocational training a centrepiece of its efforts to reboot the post-pandemic economy. The “JobMaker agenda”, heralded by prime minister Scott Morrison on 26 May, aims to ensure Australians are “better trained for the jobs businesses are looking to create”. Morrison also claimed that businesses will be given more say in helping shape educational courses. A major aspect of the plan involves enacting unrealised skills reforms recommended in a 2019 report by Steven Joyce, a former New Zealand tertiary education minister.


Editorial reporting: Cambridge University moves lectures online until next year

Study International, 22 May

Cambridge has become the first UK university to set out measures for the full 2020-21 academic year, announcing that it will move all “face-to-face lectures” online for the duration. The university will also be developing plans for smaller teaching groups to take place in person, if it “conforms to social-distancing requirements”. 


Editorial reporting:Young workers most likely to have lost jobs during Covid-19 crisis

The Guardian, 19 May

A new report from the Resolution Foundation has found that under 25s have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 economic fall out. The report found that 23% of employees aged 18-24 had been furloughed and a further 9% had lost their jobs completely. By comparison, among the least affected age group – 15% of those aged between 35 and 44 had been furloughed or lost their jobs. Young people were also the most likely to have had their pay cut, with 35% earning less than they did at the start of the crisis and 9% earning more. The UK Government is now coming under pressure to provide back-to-work support for young people. 


Opinion piece: eLearning is (still) the best and safest option for closing the digital divide

Ed Technology, 19 May

This piece argues that there is a newfound urgency for IT training and workforce development in digital skills as more professionals and businesses are working from home. It suggests that online training and skills development can allow people – no matter what their role or organisation – to keep up with the most critical areas of their job or area of study and ensure that they have the right skill-level to participate competently in the (virtual) workforce. It suggests that the IT skills gap will not just disappear because of this pandemic, but in fact, it may widen due to widespread opportunity loss. It claims that online training, whether self- or instructor-led, has always been a powerful tool for upskilling and helping people develop their skills.


Editorial reporting: UK: Russell Group lays out roadmap for international success 

The PIE News,19 May

The UK Government is being urged to fast track the UK post study work visa into law and extend it by six months, in order for the country to maintain its competitive edge in the international student market. Representing 24 UK universities, the Russell Group is calling for continued student visa reform and a joint international marketing campaign to promote study in the country. Universities UK International has also called for an increased budget for the country’s ‘Study UK‘ marketing campaign.


Opinion piece: Why 2020 will be online education’s biggest year 

Forbes, 19 May

In this piece, Enrique Dans lays out some of the most important things to consider in order to successfully transition to online learning. Firstly, he talks about the necessity of teaching the teachers: because ‘while online teaching tools are relatively simple to use, not all teachers are motivated enough to make the effort to adapt their classes to the new environment.’ He goes on to speak about infrastructure: highlighting that teaching online ‘is not something that can be done with a bad connection or a computer balanced on your knees.’ He also stresses the importance of conceptualizing the teaching model: ‘teaching online is not simply reenacting a classroom session in front of a webcam. It requires rethinking teaching methods by understanding and taking advantage of the possibilities of certain tools.’


New research: Landmark report on the last decade of UK postgraduate education provides an indication of what is to come after Covid-19

HEPI, 14 May 

According to a landmark report by The Higher Education Policy Institute, postgraduate education has risen 16% since the recession. The analysis considers how postgraduate education was affected by the great recession of 2008, when many people sought to gain more education in the face of economic challenges and when those who already had postgraduate qualifications fared better than others in the labour market. Key findings include: 65% of new postgraduates are studying for Master’s degrees, Business & Administrative Studies is the most popular discipline (20%), and 60% of new postgraduate students at UK institutions come from the UK.


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