Towards a future education: key trends in the transformation of education in a pandemic

A new expert discussion was held on May 21 as part of a project of online discussions initiated by Moscow University on current issues of transforming society in a pandemic. The event at the алог Dialogue on the Present and the Future ’ was dedicated to the new look of the educational system, the trigger of rapid approach to which was the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opening the expert discussion, the rector of Moscow State University named after MV Lomonosov, the president of the Russian Union of Rectors V. A. Sadovnichy noted that he had just taken part in an online meeting with President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin, other heads of ministries and departments, during which its participants discussed exactly the same topic that was put in the title of the next “Dialogue …”

Introducing Zoya Zaitseva, the first speaker, Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Viktor Antonovich noted that Moscow University is very grateful to her for her cooperation, a lot of work to maintain an objective assessment of international and national educational systems. The second expert was the senior vice president of QS Ben Souter, his colleague from the Moscow State University was the head of the Department of Education Philosophy at the Philosophy Faculty of Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosova, member of the local ethics committee of the Medical Scientific and Educational Center E.V. Squirt.

According to Academician V.A.Sadovnichy, the pandemic has made great adjustments to the education system, scientific research, to the life of the whole world. Therefore, it is especially important now to try to answer the questions: “What will the society be like after the pandemic?”, “What will the education system be like in this society?” They tried to offer their solutions at all 620 universities in the country, whose representatives are members of the Russian Union of Rectors, which since March began active work on organizing education in the context of the spread of coronavirus infection. At the same time, the potential of domestic universities made it possible in just a few days to transfer 5 million students, 300 thousand professors and teachers to remote work.

Viktor Antonovich cited the results of a study among representatives of the faculty of universities. So, 96% of the respondents were able to successfully switch to the new format as a whole, 91% of the respondents consider the measures taken at universities in connection with the epidemic to be sufficient, but 67% of the teachers would not want all the training to be transferred online in the next semester. Academician Sadovnichy emphasized that the fact of personal communication cannot be removed from the university, this is consistent with human nature.

Commenting on the results of the meeting on the situation in the education system under the chairmanship of the head of state, Viktor Antonovich thanked for the allocation of additional budget places to universities, providing direct financial support to higher education in the amount of more than 40 billion rubles, supported the decisions made, including the abolition of the Unified State this year exam for high school graduates and the launch of this certification, starting on June 29, only for those who are going to enter universities. The rector of Moscow State University expressed his conviction that the solutions found, when receiving documents and additional interviews at universities will be remote, will allow the completion of the admission by the end of August, so that on September 1, freshmen could come to classrooms offline.

Viktor Antonovich separately focused on the work of domestic universities with foreign applicants. So, Moscow State University will invite them to a special open day, expects to launch new admission practices, including those involving selection not on the basis of exam results, but on the basis of a portfolio. This will allow as much as possible barrier-free admission of foreign students to our universities. The current system of online learning was not left without evaluation. Today, distance learning at Moscow State University is developing on the platform of the “University without Borders” platform, which, with its 2 thousand courses, more than 130 thousand users, already now reflects the current digitalization trends in higher education. According to academician V.A. Sadovnichy, the growth of these new trends will mean the expansion of the use of artificial intelligence systems, Big Data technologies in universities cloud computing. Elements of virtual reality will be actively introduced, when experiments will be done on equipment that is physically not in the place where the student lives and studies. Literally knocking on the door – the system of adaptive, personalized education begins to develop actively, in which the computer itself prompts a short way to solving students’ learning problems.

Speaking about the development in the current difficult situation of the olympiad movement, V.A. Sadovnichy noted that the Russian Union of Rectors is responsible for conducting 80 Olympiads for schoolchildren, in which at the initial stage 2 million secondary school students participate. Currently, work is underway, which will determine the thousands of winners who will have serious benefits when entering the country’s universities. Viktor Antonovich also expressed gratitude to student organizations that actively helped in all the processes of adjusting the life of universities in the new conditions, developed socially demanded volunteer practices.

A fundamental analysis of the reaction of higher education to a new virus, which Zoya Zaitseva performed in her speech, based on a large amount of empirical material, was devoted to the answer to the question “What does a pandemic crisis mean for the university community?” Stressing that her conclusions are generally consistent with the statements made by the rector of Moscow State University, QS regional director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia noted the growing concern about the impact of the epidemic on the daily life of higher education. So, if at the beginning of the pandemic the assessments of possible changes were very encouraging, then already in mid-March more than 60% of those surveyed in the higher education system replied that their curricula had seriously changed. At the same time, 2/3 of students would like to return to the standard of full-time format. Moreover, the older the respondents, the more noticeable this request. According to the expert, most students are not interested in clean online, and in-demand life on campuses, with their special atmosphere, is also in demand. Revealed expectations regarding the reduction in the cost of educational services are significant for universities, while reality will more likely contribute to the reverse movement caused by the need for costs for high-quality translation of study programs online.

QS Senior Vice President Ben Souter thanked Moscow University for inviting us to participate in the discussion and, in his speech, conducted a multivariate study of global changes in the life of world universities associated with the SARS-CoV2 pandemic. According to him, it is fundamentally significant that the university has always been perceived not only as a set of educational practices and a set of knowledge and competencies obtained on their basis. A university is also the right to enter its territory, the right to participate fully in the life of university corporations and communities concentrated there. In conditions of universal social distancing and quarantine measures, it is likely that now universities will be perceived in a different vein if they maintain their traditional approach to building the educational process. Already now, before the pandemic is over, it’s obvious that the digital periphery of education will become a more powerful and high-quality, more significant part of higher education. After overcoming the crisis, sustainable universities should show the ability to provide distance education services at a high substantive level. In addition, employers, students, and professors must finally recognize the new reality of distance education. Ben Souter noted that the time has come to “wake up”, as there is no choice between classical and distance education; we are talking about an absolutely complete reworking of the education model, which must take into account new forms, build a balance between them and classical formats, in which a “classical lecture” can soon die as a fact of the educational process. a more significant part of higher education. After overcoming the crisis, sustainable universities must show the ability to provide distance education services at a high substantive level. In addition, employers, students, and professors must finally recognize the new reality of distance education. Ben Souter noted that the time has come to “wake up”, as there is no choice between classical and distance education; we are talking about an absolutely complete reworking of the education model, which should take into account new forms, build a balance between them and classical formats, in which a “classical lecture” may soon die as a fact of the educational process. a more significant part of higher education. After overcoming the crisis, sustainable universities must show the ability to provide distance education services at a high substantive level. In addition, employers, students, and professors must finally recognize the new reality of distance education. Ben Souter noted that the time has come to “wake up”, as there is no choice between classical and distance education; we are talking about an absolutely complete reworking of the education model, which should take into account new forms, build a balance between them and classical formats, in which a “classical lecture” may soon die as a fact of the educational process. employers, students, and professors must finally recognize the new reality of distance education. Ben Souter noted that the time has come to “wake up”, as there is no choice between classical and distance education; we are talking about an absolutely complete reworking of the education model, which should take into account new forms, build a balance between them and classical formats, in which a “classical lecture” may soon die as a fact of the educational process. employers, students, and professors must finally recognize the new reality of distance education. Ben Souter noted that the time has come to “wake up”, as there is no choice between classical and distance education; we are talking about an absolutely complete reworking of the education model, which should take into account new forms, build a balance between them and classical formats, in which a “classical lecture” may soon die as a fact of the educational process.

Head of the Department of Philosophy of Education, Faculty of Philosophy, Moscow State University Lomonosova E.V. Bryzgalina joined the discussion from the perspective of the philosophy of education. At the beginning of her speech, she recalled that education stands on the four cornerstones, representing value, being a system and process of interaction between those who teach and learn, and, of course, a certain result. In talking about the future of education, the need to conduct a conversation not from practices, but from value. The essence of education, as training and education, depends on the value metric. And in a situation of fundamental uncertainty of the future, the time comes not of tactical decisions, but of strategic value choice. Understanding of this happened even before the pandemic, it only strengthened those trends that began to take shape before it. The current crisis may give a new attempt to answer the question of how national educational interests and trends towards globalization will be related. The expert also noted the strengthening of the request for the implementation of the concept of lifelong education, prototypes of future hybrid forms of online offline education breaking to the surface of reality, a paradigm of interaction along the teacher-student line, the expansion of education towards searching and maintaining a balance of efforts to form soft and hard skills. The answers to current challenges, the ways of creating a “post-pandemic education” lie in the possibilities of combining flexibility and decentralization in education, and the merging of new and old educational technologies. The expert also supported the need for a digital pedagogy discipline. how national educational interests and trends towards globalization will correlate. The expert also noted the strengthening of the request for the implementation of the concept of lifelong education, prototypes of future hybrid forms of online offline education breaking to the surface of reality, a paradigm of interaction along the teacher-student line, the expansion of education towards searching and maintaining a balance of efforts to form soft and hard skills. The answers to current challenges, the ways of creating a “post-pandemic education” lie in the possibilities of combining flexibility and decentralization in education, and the merging of new and old educational technologies. The expert also supported the need for a digital pedagogy discipline. how national educational interests and trends towards globalization will correlate. The expert also noted the strengthening of the request for the implementation of the concept of lifelong education, prototypes of future hybrid forms of online offline education breaking to the surface of reality, a paradigm of interaction along the teacher-student line, the expansion of education towards searching and maintaining a balance of efforts to form soft and hard skills. Answers to current challenges, the ways of forming a “post-pandemic education” lie in the possibilities of combining flexibility and decentralization in education, and the merging of new and old educational technologies. The expert also supported the need for a digital pedagogy discipline. The expert also noted the strengthening of the request for the implementation of the concept of lifelong education, prototypes of future hybrid forms of online offline education breaking to the surface of reality, a paradigm of interaction along the teacher-student line, the expansion of education towards searching and maintaining a balance of efforts to form soft and hard skills. The answers to current challenges, the ways of creating a “post-pandemic education” lie in the possibilities of combining flexibility and decentralization in education, and the merging of new and old educational technologies. The expert also supported the need for a digital pedagogy discipline. The expert also noted the strengthening of the request for the implementation of the concept of lifelong education, prototypes of future hybrid forms of online offline education breaking to the surface of reality, a paradigm of interaction along the teacher-student line, the expansion of education towards searching and maintaining a balance of efforts to form soft and hard skills. The answers to current challenges, the ways of creating a “post-pandemic education” lie in the possibilities of combining flexibility and decentralization in education, and the merging of new and old educational technologies. The expert also supported the need for a digital pedagogy discipline. expanding education towards searching and maintaining a balance of efforts to form soft and hard skills. Answers to current challenges, the ways of forming a “post-pandemic education” lie in the possibilities of combining flexibility and decentralization in education, and the merging of new and old educational technologies. The expert also supported the need for a digital pedagogy discipline. expanding education towards searching and maintaining a balance of efforts to form soft and hard skills. Answers to current challenges, the ways of forming a “post-pandemic education” lie in the possibilities of combining flexibility and decentralization in education, and the merging of new and old educational technologies. The expert also supported the need for a digital pedagogy discipline.

In the final part of the work of the next “Dialogue on the Present and the Future,” the rector of Moscow State University gave experts the opportunity to answer questions from students. Summing up the discussion, Viktor Antonovich emphasized that education is primarily communication, therefore, he once again advocated a reasonable combination of classical education approaches with digital formats, and also proposed to process and use the intellectual baggage generated during this meeting. In his opinion, it could be usefully used both in the practice of the Russian Union of Rectors and for solving other tasks related to the development of the education system.

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