How universities are adapting their strategies in response to Covid-19

Thanks to the pandemic, universities everywhere are struggling to manage enrolments, conduct  efficient online learning and assessments, manage the expectations of international students and  to train staff to teach at top standards everyday.  

Here are some ways in which admissions are impacted and how colleges are responding to them. 

1. Remote Learning is here to stay 

Some new options have emerged that make it possible for students to avoid delaying their college courses, yet stay safe in their home countries. For example, the Northern Consortium (NCUK), provides pathways for international students to study abroad in the UK, Australia, the US and Canada, is looking to offer more flexible solutions for students and institutions. Students who pass NCUK’s foundation year, which guarantees them a place at one of NCUK’s partner universities, may be able to study the first year of their degree remotely in their home country before relocating to the institution for their final years. Click here to find out more! https://www.ncuk.ac.uk/

2. Gearing up to teach online 

In some cases, universities have switched to completely online formats while in others, they follow a hybrid approach. Parents and students alike will agree this is a heavily compromised situation when it comes to learning. Not to mention the loss of the entire ‘University experience’!!! Thousands of dollars in tuition fees and your teenager is still at home! Colleges are still struggling to help their staff create interactive and engaging study material and lesson plans online. Real-time training is still not a part of the offering at many universities

3. Reduced / waived application fees & extending   deadlines

One way of alleviating financial pressure on students is to waive application fees. Kent State University in Ohio is doing exactly this as well as postponing its application deadline from May 1 to June 1. Other universities are following suit, with the University of Akron extending its deadline to June 1, waiving application fees, and automatically considering all students who apply by June 1 for their scholarship programs. If more universities followed the same principles, they would perhaps stem the drain of international students who are deferring acceptances by the dozen, leading to drops in enrolment.

The University of Utah has since moved its decision day to June 1. Other schools offering an  extended admissions period include George Mason University in Northern Virginia, Oregon State  University and Williams College in Massachusetts. This will give students some much needed time  to prepare for their applications. 

A post-pandemic world 

We all hope that the pandemic will not last forever and that colleges will not need to continue with  these measures. However, going forward, some of these paradigm changes will continue and  universities who have adapted now will reap huge benefits in a post-pandemic world.

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