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Covid19 and the impact on global higher education 16 april 2020

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Covid19 and the impact on global higher education 16 april 2020

  1. 1. THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON GLOBAL HIGHER EDUCATION Dirk Van Damme OECD/EDU
  2. 2. SOME BASICS ON THE GLOBAL COVID-19 PANDEMIC 2
  3. 3. • Timing, spread, intensity, etc. of the pandemic vary a lot among countries – Impact very uneven – Post-pandemic recovery will also be very uneven – Precise impact of confinement policies still unclear, but early adopters (Australia, Austria, Norway, Denmark) seem to enjoy some benefit – Some late adopters (US, UK, etc.) seem to be suffering, others (Sweden, Netherlands) are still to be seen – Statistics only partially reliable and not very comparable 3 The COVID-19 pandemic: what to expect?
  4. 4. 4 The COVID-19 pandemic: what to expect?
  5. 5. • Timing, spread, intensity, etc. of the pandemic vary a lot among countries • Some worrisome signs add to uncertainties – A second and third wave of infections to be expected – New mutations might increase the infectiousness and mortality of the virus – Immunity after infection seems to be limited (people reported with second infection) 5 The COVID-19 pandemic: what to expect?
  6. 6. • Timing, spread, intensity, etc. of the pandemic vary a lot among countries • Some worrisome signs ad to uncertainties • Some positive views in need of confirmation – Very rapid progress on development of drugs and vaccine – Because of underreporting of cases, ‘infection fatality ratio’ could actually be much lower than the assumed 1 to 2%; according to recent study even as low as 1 in 270 – Calculating surplus deaths leads to different evaluation 6 The COVID-19 pandemic: what to expect?
  7. 7. • After initial confusion and contrasting policy options (isolation, testing, confinement, ‘herd immunity’) now emerging consensus on best policy mix • Diverging policy options in early stages now determine rate of infection, hospitalization and death toll • Large-scale testing seems to be hardest bottleneck, but will be solved soon with new, quicker, cheaper, reliable tests • Policy coordination both within and between countries is very weak 7 Health policy responses
  8. 8. • Many countries are working on various exit scenarios, but these prove to be more difficult than introducing measures • Capacity of the health care system to absorb and treat patients with severe symptoms is critical factor • Difficult political discussion on the economic cost of surplus deaths as part of balancing economy and health • Exit will be stepwise, extending over a long time span, following an ‘accordion-type’ pattern 8 Exit strategies
  9. 9. • Impact of COVID-19 and containment measures on economic output will be enormous, bigger than the 2008 financial crisis • Estimates of GDP loss around 2% per month of containment • Real risk of global recession • Service sector heavily hit • Unemployment impact still difficult to assess • How fast will economy catch up? 9 Economic impact is enormous
  10. 10. 10 Economic impact is enormous
  11. 11. • Severe blow to globalisation: production, supply chains, trade, multilateralism, travel, tourism,… – International student mobility and mobility of research staff shrinking dramatically • Nationalist/protectionist tendencies very powerful, with probably long-lasting effects, even after the crisis – Seemingly strong multilateral frameworks and organisations (EU, Euro-zone) are put to a very severe stress-test • The rise of China in the global arena gets a serious setback – Attempts to cover up, suspicion of failing laboratory security, suspicion of serious underreporting, silencing researchers and doctors, etc. leads to dramatic decrease in international trust 11 Global impact will be severe and long-lasting
  12. 12. • Huge negative impact on equity: both crisis, policy measures and consequences amplify inequalities • Confinement very hard for families living in poverty, poor housing conditions, bad health and other vulnerabilities • Psychological impact on individuals still unknown, but probably severe mental health impact, stress in households, increase in child abuse and intra-family violence 12 Social, personal, well-being
  13. 13. IMPACT ON UNIVERSITIES 13
  14. 14. • Estimate that 20,000 HEIs closed down, affecting learning opportunities of 200,000+ students worldwide • Impressive switch to distance education, online learning, e- learning, and mixed-modes educational delivery. • Very negative impact on equity: disadvantaged students particularly hit • Disruption in assessments and end-of-year examinations disrupts study progression, graduation, learning trajectories, etc. • Increased flexibility as part of institutional responses 14 Immediate disruption in education
  15. 15. • As stream of international students is drying up, institutions dependent on fee-paying students will suffer very much – Mainly UK (£6.9bn), Australia, NZ – But also impact on European countries: NL, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, France • Indirect impact because of fiscal crisis – US public universities immediately – Many other countries when recession will unfold • Compensation by stimulus packages still unclear 15 Financial impact
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  17. 17. • Immediate measures taken by universities: laying-off staff on temporary contracts – Often young, promising research staff – Disinvesting in young researchers will have severe impact on longer-term research potential by cutting off their talent pipeline 17 Staff
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  19. 19. • Overall student enrolment will increase – Like in any crisis, students are postponing graduation to avoid entering a labour market in crisis – Many students will not be able to finalize important parts of the curriculum (field research, internships, etc.) needed for graduation – Enrolment in universities is a better option than being unemployed • Higher education students are perceived to be high-risk contaminators • In many European countries, looming prospects of stagnating or declining public funding with increased student enrolment and teaching work load 19 Students
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  21. 21. • Huge drop in Chinese student enrolment • Asian students look to regional opportunities (Korea, Malaysia, Singapore) instead of US, UK or Europe • Restrictions on travel, immigration, visa etc. will remain in place for a long time, cutting off student mobility • Admission procedures seriously disrupted • Also intra-European mobility will be affected 21 International students
  22. 22. • Capacity of many institutions to replace face-to-face delivery by various models of distance education should be praised • Yet, many mistakes are made. Need for comprehensive evaluation of real-world experiments. • Need to consider long-term integration of e-learning in multimodal delivery; the ‘old normal’ will not come back • Still, lot of work to be done in assessment, evaluation, study career guidance, etc. 22 Teaching and learning
  23. 23. • The COVID-19 pandemic will reinforce hierarchies in the global higher education landscape… – Institutions with large endowments or other financial buffers will be more resilient than vulnerable ones • …but will also shake up the familiar landscape – Losers: US, UK, Australia – Winners: Europe (Germany, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland) – Uncertain: Asian universities 23 Impact on global landscape
  24. 24. • UK: after Brexit, uncertainty about access to EU research funding, COVID-19 is another heavy blow – Huge losses because of departure of fee-paying international st – Beyond the Russell Group, many universities will suffer, not only financially, but also in quality • US: economic recession, political instability – With many states in dire budgetary conditions, many public universities will suffer – Top private research universities will cope, but lower-ranked for- profits will also suffer – Top research labs dependant on Asian PhD and post-docs 24 Impact on global landscape: outlooks
  25. 25. • Germany & Nordic countries (incl NL?): – Effective containment and mitigation strategies, reopening of schools and universities pretty soon – Stable public funding, excellent research policies, well- functioning labour markets, minimal impact of economic recession – Continuous rise of universities in global rankings will be confirmed and reinforced 25 Impact on global landscape: outlooks
  26. 26. Thank you! dirk.vandamme@oecd.org www.oecd.org/edu www.oecd.org/coronavirus twitter @VanDammeEDU 26

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