Becky Hartnup spoke to Khilona Radia about the benefits and limitations of online education, and the extent to which it can enable learning to continue through a pandemic. Khilona provides some suggestions for institutions and providers delivering online education in the current challenging circumstances.
Higher Education is going through a seismic change. Social, political, and economic disruption is increasing questions around the role of universities: research versus teaching, social mobility, contribution to the economy. Restrictions on international mobility have created huge logistical and financial problems for institutions increasingly depended on a global market. Campus closures made a major tactical pivot towards new technology absolutely necessary, even where there was a poor fit with an institution’s existing strategy and competencies.
The digital disruption of higher education has been a long time coming, but the events of 2020 have demanded a rapid, and in many cases radical response from institutions. However, some institutions anticipated the importance of technology enhanced or online learning. They have been able to leverage their skills and expertise. In this interview, David Bozward, innovator, educator and leader at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU), describes how he managed the transition to remote learning, shares recommendations on keeping standards high, and looks to the future.