Global insights of studying online in a pandemic

In May, together with three other universities, we participated in an event “You’re on Mute”, our second global webinar centred around the future of education in a Covid-recovery world. This was organised following the success of the first webinar which took place in November 2020.

By sharing our findings with our wider partnership network, we hope that you can take value from our learnings for the benefit of your own communities. 

Global webinar one: Taking higher education online during the Covid pandemic

In the first global webinar, students and staff from the University of Glasgow; the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, India; and the University of Sydney, Australia focused on the experience of taking higher education online during the Covid pandemic.  

Academics from across the globe shared their experiences of shifting the university curriculum from a face-to-face model to an online model. The students spoke about the reality of studying at home. Students from India cited the [un]levelling of the playing field for students from different socio-economic backgrounds with poor internet access and loss of peer support as examples. Students from Glasgow quoted Charles Dickens: “It was the worst of times, it was the best of times”. And students from Sydney enjoyed the ability to learn alongside their peers while online.

Global webinar two: the student voice

In the second global webinar, the student voice session was designed to be a reflective account by students from the University of Glasgow; Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan; and the University of Sydney. In student-staff discussions, students shared their experiences of learning and studying in an online environment during the global pandemic.

We heard in the breakout sessions about the positive and negative aspects of personal experiences and areas of practice which could be improved.

What did we learn?

The May webinar focused on providing insight in three key areas based on student experience:

  • What have we learned?
  • What do we leave behind?
  • What next?