COVID-19 second wave: 84% US HEIs predict early Fall 2020 term end

COVID-19 second wave: 84% US HEIs predict early Fall 2020 term end

84% of US HEIs anticipate that there may be an early end to the Fall 2020 semester due to the possibility of a COVID-19 second wave.

In terms of anticipated changes to the academic calendar for Fall 2020, as much as 84% of US institutions expect that they will have to end the semester early, due to a second wave of Coronavirus infections.

Many institutions, despite the fact that they are beginning to re-open, are remaining cautious and planning for a COVID-19 second wave by Winter 2020.

These findings came as part of an IIE study, which consists of a series of reports entitled the COVID-19 Snapshot Survey Series, aiming to assess the impact that COVID-19 will have on U.S. Higher Education Campuses and the responsive measures that these institutions plan to undertake.

The latest report by Mirka Martel Ph.D. focused on ‘New Realities for Global Student Mobility in Summer and Fall 2020’.

92% of US HEIs plan teaching mode change for Fall 2020 due to COVID-19

An overwhelming majority (92%) of US higher education institutions are planning to undertake a different approach to their mode of teaching for the Fall 2020 semester.

87% of institutions plan to provide a hybrid model of in-person and virtual teaching, while 5% will teach their students via virtual instruction only.

In terms of the numbers of international student applications for the academic year 2020/21, roughly half of institutions have noted a drop in numbers compared to that of last year.

Meanwhile, 85% of institutions expect a decline in U.S. study abroad students for the upcoming academic year.

94% of US institutions to make face coverings compulsory for Fall 2020

Other changes that will be made by these institutions to prepare their campuses for the return of students after the peak of the COVID-19 global pandemic include a wide variety of on-campus safety measures.

These include making face coverings compulsory for all students (being enforced by 94% of respondent institutions), restrictions on on-campus events (89% of institutions), reduced class sizes (77%), and the introduction of isolation spaces for campus residents who test positive for COVID-19 (67%).

For the Summer 2020 term, US institutions undertook a range of responsive measures. These included cancelling all on-campus events (enforced by 76% of respondent institutions), cancelling international travel for staff and faculty (86%) and cancelling international travel for students (71%).

Enrolled international students who were unable to attend their campus to study in person for the Summer term were not compensated by the institutions as much as you would perhaps expect.

Compensation measures that were implemented by the institutions included, enrolment in alternative online classes (offered by 58% of institutions) deferment to Fall 2020 (40%), deferment to Spring 2021 or beyond (39%) and refunds were by far the least popular option, being offered by just 10% of institutions. 

The support initiatives that have been made available to affected international students who are on campus for the summer term include guidance regarding student visas (provided by 78% of institutions), increased communications on health and wellbeing (72%) and allowing students to stay in dorms or alternative housing (57%).

However, of the respondent institutions, just 60% offered a statement of support to their students.

Pic: Tonik

Josephine Walbank - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.

Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.

You can reach her at josephine@globaleducationtimes.org

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