Education During COVID-19 and Beyond: Commentary on the Secretary-General’s Policy Brief

The impact of COVID-19 is causing unprecedented disruption to higher education everywhere. Within a matter of days or weeks, campuses around the world fell silent as countries went into lockdown in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus. Universities were required to develop rapid and creative responses that enabled them to continue to deliver teaching and learning when no staff or students could access a physical campus. An immediate, practical challenge for campus-based universities was to mobilize and assist teachers in designing and implementing alternative assessment arrangements and learning support at scale for specific cohorts that did not depend on face-to-face delivery.

This involved deploying on- and off-site facilities and technologies, and identifying and prioritizing student engagement activities that could be best facilitated by affordable and available software solutions. It also relied heavily on the creativity, empathy and judgement of individual teachers, who were themselves coping with considerable

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