COVID-19 and the New Normal: Re-imagining the Future of Higher Education

Shahzad, Khuram, Shaukat, Muhammad Rehan and Shafiya, Syeeda (2023) COVID-19 and the New Normal: Re-imagining the Future of Higher Education. In: Challenges and Reforms in Gulf Higher Education. Routledge, London, pp. 191-209. ISBN 9781003457299

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The COVID-19 pandemic emerged as an unknown risk and disrupted the delivery approaches of education globally. The outbreak exposed some glaring gaps in our education systems where the most vulnerable learners were hit hardest particularly due to the lack of access to the connectivity and devices required for online education. The disruption caused by the process instigated numerous learning losses and posed critical challenges to the students’ well-being. Although the learning process under ‘the new normal’ is resumed by opting several adjustments in handful of countries, however, a significant part of the educational community is still putting concerted efforts to regain the prior levels of performance. This chapter aims to draw an analysis of the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic on teaching and learning, particularly in the higher education institutions (HEIs) of the Gulf region. The opted research design is quantitative and the target population for the study are the students enrolled in the public and private HEIs. To enhance the relevance and specificity of the study, the data is collected from the HEIs of Oman where 214 students participated in the study. The participants were reached through the convenience sampling. The findings are based on the descriptive analysis of the collected data and the research provides some recommendations to mitigate the challenges faced by the higher education sector and presents a way-out to the recovery.

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