Opening The Doors For Foreign Faculty With The Help Of Online Education

Learning from foreign faculty with the comforts of home

2020 has been a challenging year for the human race for reasons more than one. The education sector has gone through a massive transformation as the outbreak of a global pandemic has led to the closure of schools, colleges and universities. From conducting lessons to conducting exams online, everything has changed to suit the times of “the new normal”. Teachers, students and parents all over the world are trying their best to adjust to the entire concept of remote education. Under the prevailing pandemic situation, enforcement of lockdown or closure of educational institutions has not led to the complete halt of education, but rather helped all stakeholders adapt to the new challenges in an unprecedented way. All academic activities including admissions, classes, webinars, exams and campusing are going online in a full-fledged manner.

The new scenario into which we have been forced has taught us a lot, particularly for institutions that have infrastructural and manpower limitations. Teachers and learners are no longer restricted by institutional or geographical boundaries and have unlimited opportunities for collaboration and access to various online resources. One of the major benefits of online education is that it has made it possible to bring foreign faculty members in “virtual classrooms” to interact with students irrespective of their geographic location.

Studying in a foreign university/ college is expensive. Though several scholarships are offered to meritorious students, the competition is extremely high and paying for healthcare, hostel fees, travel fees and covering other basic requirements is not as easy as it may sound.  The advent of online education has made it easier and possible for foreign faculties to teach the students via webinars, special classes, guest lectures, etc. in a very affordable way. Students can easily learn from foreign professors from the comfort of their homes. Since online education is relatively a new process, a natural question that arises in the minds of both students and parents is whether it is as effective as classroom education. Of course, there are some definite advantages. When students are attending a class of an international professor via an online platform, they will get the same quality of knowledge that an on-site student is getting. The students can also connect with the professors on various social media platforms/ through emails to get their queries solved or discuss a particular topic related to the subject. From the point of view of the institutions, it opens up great opportunities by allowing foreign professors to conduct classes in areas where local expertise is not available. Also, it allows students to have access to modern virtual learning tools and also makes the whole process of gaining and sharing knowledge more interesting. The process immensely helps in improving the quality of the faculty members who get exposed to the state-of-the-art and modern methods in the teaching-learning process.

The sudden shift to online education is indeed a golden opportunity for educational institutions to open their doors to foreign faculty members. Institutions can organize guest lecture sessions or conduct webinars on relevant topics with foreign faculty members, where the students can get a global perspective in their academic field.  This process will give students access to the international pedagogy and curriculum in a cost-effective manner, and help them get ready for the highly competitive international job market that awaits them. The geographic boundaries are fast disappearing, let us make the most of it.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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