Postgraduate education will be the queen of online training for the post Covid-19 stage.
It is impossible to foresee all the ways in which undergraduate and graduate education will unfold now no more in 2021.
But what we are sure of is that after the coronavirus pandemic and the return to the so-called new normality (a term that I do not subscribe), the educational model for postgraduate studies will be almost entirely distance learning.
We question the expression “new normality
First of all, I will clarify why I have certain reservations about using the expression “new normality”.
Because I believe that we cannot achieve a situation equal to the one that prevailed before the pandemic.
Everything will have changed, they are new scenarios, new rules of social behavior and also a new economy.
For this reason, in itself, the panorama will be normal as that existed prior to Covid, but different adjusted to coordinates of also different variables that predetermine very different scenarios.
I think that talking about a “new normality” lets confuse people, because there is this illusion that nothing has changed, including, for example, the way in which you do your job. And this will not be so.
Digital classes in graduate studies will be a definite change for 2021 and 2022, as this will allow students to generate a more friendly scheme with their personal time.
On a global scale, both universities and business schools are implementing hybrid education models for when the epidemiological traffic light allows it, but in the case of specialty studies, for example, a master’s degree in financial management or another in human resources management, the online modality is the one with the greatest boom.
The distance education scheme allows students to take academic instructions with teachers and colleagues from other regions of a country, even with students from abroad. This alone widens the variety of access to new specialties, at the same time, which generates an enrichment of the future interaction of postgraduate students due to the contribution generated by the exchange of information, experiences and cultures.
But we must not fool ourselves: all these changes will require between 6 and 12 months for any institution, because it requires an economic investment to acquire equipment and infrastructure.
What we do know is that in most of the countries around us, after the pandemic broke out, the youngest high school and university students emotionally resented the abandonment of face-to-face classes, however the opposite happened with the students postgraduate courses, since it allows them to have more time in their personal life.
In this sense, that is why it is important to promote a hybrid model in the postgraduate educational sector, although it will be necessary to determine what percentage of classes will be distance and face-to-face, with the addition that in some programs a choice of distribution between face-to-face and online can be left to taste and need of the candidate.
But in general terms, at least 70% we foresee digital for masters and adult education, when in undergraduate training the model that we foresee is going to be at least 70% face-to-face because that is how the students will need it.
It is evident that there is a variable that is not being addressed with the seriousness that the situation requires: we are referring to the complicated economic situation for the many business schools that are facing a financial impact in the short term, especially since the amount will decrease of students seeking to study a postgraduate specialty, because the general economic situation of a great downturn in the growth of the economy will have affected during these months (between the 2nd semester of 2020 and the first of 2021) with the closure of companies and job losses, which will influence many families to be able to maintain a pace of postgraduate studies as could be done prior to Covid-19.
This is an issue that you do not know to what extent it may affect, because of the European funds already allocated for Spain to face the consequences of Covid-19 and rapidly stimulate economic growth, this does not imply that it has immediate positive consequences for the training sector of postgraduate.
For this reason, it is important to maintain the financial health of educational entities and appeal to creativity with the proposal of very attractive programs with the facilities of doing it not in person, in order to be able to make this transition in the best possible way, both for institutions and for graduate students.
But we must point out that even though this context is not very favorable in the short term, times of crisis are also of opportunity.