On the 17th of March 2020, UNESCO IITE participated in the round table “Higher Education in Emergency” hosted by the Institute of Education of the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE). The event was organized to discuss the global trends in transition of educational systems to online forms of education and the readiness of countries to such measures.
Mr. Tao Zhan, IITE Director, joined his colleagues from Russia, China and the USA to discuss the difficulties that the education systems of these countries face during the COVID-19 outbreak:
The current situation is a global test for our education systems, and we have no option but to take this test. As it is very difficult to find a better moment for our collaborative actions due to one common and distinctive interest, we need to act quickly and altogether.
Moderated by Mr. Isak Froumin, the Head of the Institute of Education of HSE, the round-table discussion gathered the following speakers to share their visions on the current challenges for higher education:
- Zhu Xudong – Dean of the Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University
- Wang Xiaoxiao – General Secretary of the Scientific Research Center for Online Education of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, Head of the Department of MOOCs and Blended Learning, Tsinghua University
- Liu Shuhua – Vice Director of Research Center for International Education, Associate Professor in College of Education, Zhejiang University
- Sergey Bykov – Director of the Digital Transformation Center, HSE University
- Evgenia Kulik – Director of the eLearning Office, Director of eLearning Development Centre, HSE
- Ivan Karlov – Head of the Laboratory of Digital Transformation of Education, HSE
- Alexander Sidorkin – Dean of the College of Education, California State University
- Igor Chirikov – SERU Director and Senior Researcher, Center for Studies in Higher Education, Berkley, University of California
In their presentations speakers from Beijing Normal University, Tsinghua University and Zhejiang University highlighted the challenges that their universities had experienced while implementing new educational technologies. Each university listed their undertaken actions and the first results of post-hoc analysis to consider.
From their perspective, colleagues from Russian and American universities shared their insights on the ongoing transition and outlined their recommendations. The following ideas were highlighted by most of the experts:
- The teaching staff needs at least a week to prepare for the transition.
- The use of only minimum and already-mastered tools can facilitate the process.
- At the moment, the priority is to provide safety rather than quality.
The full recording of the round-table “Higher Education in Emergency” in Russian is available at YouTube. Please download the presentations delivered by experts from Beijing Normal University, Tsinghua University and Zhejiang University for more information.