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The Coronavirus Wrecks Higher Learning Plans

The Coronavirus Wrecks Higher Learning Plans

A sub-microscopic bug has blindsided the world and with it the global education system. Discussing the pros and cons of on-site, remote and fully independent online higher learning is touchy as tens of thousands fight for their lives, millions are infected and billions are scared. But the situation does change explosively. It does affect nearly every student in the world, none more than those at the very start. It pushes millions to make a decision: do I and we stick to our plan or do we begin exploring different paths for the coming year or two? Most of all, Online Business Academy wishes everyone to remain healthy and safe. Then, it wishes everyone to achieve their plans and ambitions. Finally, we offer an option of safe, flexible, and affordable studies to anyone who may need it.

The novel coronavirus and Covid-19, the disease it can cause in humans, has shot up the year 2020 for people across the globe. Since the start of the year, the pandemic has claimed nearly 750,000 lives worldwide, with more than 21 million confirmed infections, but it is far from over. The rapidly spreading disease has ebbed here and there, only to return with a vengeance. That threatened to knock out the health system even in most developed countries and forced governments into lockdowns. And that pushed the economy virtually everywhere into recession.

Schools Restart is a Critical Point

Now a potential watershed moment is approaching fast: the return of students to classrooms. As late as mid-August, it was impossible to generalize how schools and universities plan to start the 2020/21 school year. A survey of around 3,000 U.S. institutions of higher learning published by the Chronicle of Higher Education in late July illustrates the uncertainty.

The survey packed a multitude of possible models into seven categories: hybrid (partly online, partly in person), fully in-person, fully online, primarily online with some courses in person, primarily in person with some courses online, other and to be determined.

Most of the schools, 26 percent, were yet to decide on the model. The second option, 25 percent, was primarily online, then 21 percent planning to hold classes primarily in person. In 5 percent of the schools, classes will start fully online and in 2.5 percent fully in person. Going deeper, more two-year colleges were likely to move more classes online than those with four-year programs. But it is nearly certain that the volatile situation will force change on the go, at with the in-person classes.

Stakes are High, Uncertainty Even Higher

And the situation will remain volatile at least until a reliable vaccine becomes widely available. Outbreaks will remain a threat in spite of efforts many U.S. universities embarked to make campuses safer, Reuters reported on August 11.

The situation is even more menacing for international students. They face not only the disease but also complications, delays, and massive financial loss. And international students may even lose their visas if their schools switch from in-person to remote teaching. Yes, it is true: according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement decision from July 6, foreign students must take most of their courses in person. It remains unclear what will happen if their university moves online.

So, there are many threats to a student, especially foreign and especially a freshman. A possible path for them to protect their education, time, and finances is to take a hiatus and wait for the pandemic out. Also, there is fully online or remote studying. Many universities are expanding their programs to allow this.

Previously, the key deciding factors were affordability, the coming year, probably two, factors in the pandemic. The longer-term effect on the pandemic on higher education and the growth of remote learning will, however, become clearer much later.

Go Ahead? Take a Year Off? Go Online?

The acute questions, however, torment people now, this summer. Will the scheduled study plan stand? The risk of chaos is huge, as abc NEWS reported last week. Is an investment into travel and housing at risk because of health protocol uncertainties? Is studying safe? And so on. The answers presently simply aren’t on the table.

One possible path is to take a year off. No investment, no risk, just a loss of a year. Another is to replace an in-person program with remote studying. It can be done with the originally targeted institution or a different one. A different institution would in that case need to meet the academic standards, to allow an eventual return to the original path. Of course, the price also plays a role.

Online Studying Can Save the Year(s)

The Online Business Academy offers fully-online study programs that may provide a solution to many for the coming two or three volatile years.

It offers qualifications from Level 4 to Level 7. The first is the equivalent of a completed first year in college, the last of a Master’s Degree. Levels 4 and 5 are available in Business Management and in IT & Computing. Those study programs can replace the first two years of studies at a university. The program complies with major standards and ensures the possibility of transfer to other institutions.

With a completed Level 5, the equivalent of two years of classical studying, a student may also opt for a top-up and earn a Bachelor’s Degree with another institution. It is the same with Level 6 and a possibility to achieve a Master’s Degree.

The programs are affordable, even with the cost of travel, housing, and commuting disregarded. Levels 4 and 5 costs 2,500 euros each or 3,000 in a package. Level 6 is also 2,500 euros, while the top-up, leading to the qualification and Bachelor’s, costs 5,000 euros. Added, that comes to 5,500 – 7,500 euros for Level 6 or 7,500-10,000 euros for a Master’s with a Level 6 in the bag.

That is the equivalent of three years of studying at home, away from the tumult of crowded institutions. At that point, the student is in a position to apply for work or continue studying. And at that point, the coronavirus will hopefully be a news reference alongside SARS, MERS, and other scourges of the past.

Feel free to explore Online Business Academy study programs, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach us via email