Official reactions from the regulatory bodies have not grappled with some of the more critical questions raised by the closure of higher education institutions. The decision taken with the first Covid-19 close-down order in March 2020 to shut all institutions of learning was accompanied by statements like 'teaching can continue online', and 'teachers can teach from their homes' without any assessment about the viability of such solutions. The emblematic picture of Veveonah Mosibin, an 18-year-old Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) atop a tree to get connected to the Internet still lingers our minds. We are nine months down the road from the first decision but there is still no clear understanding of the impact of the closedown on HE institutions, students or teachers. Only in November did we see an attempt by the Ministry to survey the scale of the problem.
Our ideas on the impact of Covid-19 on HE processes may be expressed through 3 broad questions that we intend to raise at the conference.
First, what has the pandemic done to higher education in the last 9 months? Students may have missed up to 3 semesters. Has anyone surveyed the ruptures?
The second question is - has there been any official solutions to the effect of the ruptures on the institutions, students and future cohorts standing in line for higher education? Or have institutions developed their own solutions?
Finally, what are the long term implications of the events of this year for the future of higher education?
Covid-19: Impact on Higher Education in Malaysia
(Proposed) date: 9 Jan. 2021
Type of conference: Web conference through Zoom