COVID's Lessons for Global Higher Education

COVID's Lessons for Global Higher Education

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of college students around the world, with both short- and long-term impacts for racial justice and equity, a report from the Lumina Foundation finds. According to the report, COVID's Lessons for Global Higher Education: Coping with the Present while Building a More Equitable Future (executive summary, 12 pages, PDF), the abrupt closure of campuses and switch to online education has exacerbated educational disparities, with low-income students, girls and women, students from minority groups, and those with special needs hit especially hard and students from disadvantaged groups in poorer countries facing greater difficulties. Possible long-term effects of the pandemic include lower levels of learning due to lack of technology, inadequate Internet access, and insufficient online education coaching; mental health issues; weakened financial prospects for many institutions of higher education; and reduced research capacity, with a disproportionate impact on women researchers. The report offers policy recommendations for mitigating such impacts, including the need for government relief packages that preserve higher education jobs and provide emergency student financial aid; public funding for short-term training programs that are more accessible for low-income and minority students; professional support for instructors struggling to adapt to remote learning; and comprehensive support for vulnerable students encompassing financial, technological, educational, and health needs.