COVID-19 SERIES: 5 tips for educational institutions to adapt and thrive after coronavirus recovery

To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an everlasting impact on the education sector is to state the obvious, and to an extent, a bit redundant now. Enough has been written about how the coronavirus pandemic has caused disruptions and ramifications in almost every sector.

The focus should now be on preparing ourselves for life post-COVID-19 (hopefully soon). This is high time for educational institutions, across the globe, to keep a keen eye on their market, which is bracing for multiple disruptions over the next decade. Introducing radical changes to the existing education system is no more a choice but an absolute must – after all, we are in a situation where 72% of the students have been affected by the current situation globally. 

We, Classe365, are closely tracking the education sector and how it’s coping during these unprecedented times. Based on various studies and research we have done internally and based on the information gathered from external sources, we have been writing our take on the current situation through our COVID-19 series. This is the fourth blog in this series and is the Part – II to the earlier blog ‘3 Major Ways COVID-19 Pandemic Could Change Education Sector Forever’.  

In this blog, we provide 5 tips for educational institutions to adapt and thrive in the post-COVID-19 world.

 Make tech-driven solutions central to your growth strategy 

In the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, technology was seen just as a temporary fix. But this perception has completely changed over the last two months. Now, several educational institutions consider technology as central to their growth strategy.

According to a survey conducted by Holon IQ, around 25% of various institutions (that took part in the survey) called technology as primary to their growth strategy. A report based on the survey also indicated that the organizations, that were initially reluctant to shift to adopt technology-driven solutions, have now realized the importance and have heavily invested in ed-tech.

This necessarily is not a bad trend as various studies indicate that the institutions, that offer technology-driven solutions, will recover better and quicker from the disruptions caused by COVID-19. In fact, Holon IQ’s study states that a third of the organizations that provide technology solutions to education were expecting to be “better-off” due to the pandemic. 

Adopt blended learning approach – online education is here to stay

Through the years, e-learning has become very popular. But there has always been a lingering feeling in everyone’s mind – on whether online learning has what it takes to be as effective as face-to-face learning. But countering this perception, the World Economic Forum had recently published an article in which it has mentioned that “online learning has been shown to increase retention of information and take less time.” The article further indicated that online learning is here to stay.

It should be noted that several online learning platforms have suggested that they have seen a visible rise in the number of users since COVID-19. Some even witnessed a 200% increase in the number of new students. Considering these factors, it is clear that educational institutions must adopt blended learning, an approach that combines online learning with traditional classroom learning.

(Recommended Read: 5 Online education tips for institutions, students while social distancing due to coronavirus outbreak)

Data-driven approach essential for institutions to avoid a decrease in enrolment

Be it schools, universities, academies, or training centers, every type of educational institution is set to see a significant decrease in enrolment – at least in the immediate future.

Several news articles suggest that universities across the world are at the risk of incurring huge losses due to the uncertainty over international education. At a time like this, adopting a data-driven solution and smart implementation of customer relationship management (CRM) could be a pragmatic approach for the educational institutions to adopt a sensitive strategy and maintain a healthy enrolment rate. CRM and data-driven solutions could help the administration identify potential new students, help them understand the situation, allay fears, address misconceptions, and explain how well the institution is equipped to thrive during these challenging times.  

Be ready to face multiple disruptions in the market over the next 10 years

Educationists are expecting multiple disruptions to their market until 2030. This makes it very important for institutions to keep a close track of changes in the market and be well equipped to withstand the disruptions. Coming back to the Holon IQ’s survey, as much as 85% of the participants were expecting disruption to their part of the education market due to COVID-19, out of which 57% were expecting it in the next 24 months. Other than this, around 12% were expecting a disruption by 2020.

To adapt to such disruptions, coming up with just a single solution would not be sufficient. Administrations must adopt multiple approaches — including the ones that are tech-driven and data-driven. Aside from this, refining these approaches and inventing new approaches time and again is also essential. 

Introduce courses aimed at professionals looking to upskill and reskill

A staggering number of job losses is expected across the world due to the COVID-19 situation. This means the working professionals would be looking to upskill and reskill themselves to become more employable in a weak job market. Introducing courses aimed for professionals during such times could work wonders for academies and training institutes.

Even in a recently published article in The Sydney Morning Herald, it was mentioned that institutions were “billing themselves as key to Australia’s economic recovery” as they expected more people wishing to upskill during this period.

But institutions would have to be very sensitive and earnest with its approach in this regard. Introduction of course which is only opportunistic and isn’t of high quality could severely damage an institution’s reputation. 

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