Education sector stronger after surviving pandemic storm

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Education providers Kim Piper, Flora Smyth Zahra, Rupert Austin, Tim O'Brien and Lambis Petridis explain to Adrian O'Dowd what impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on their teaching, students and how they dealt with the disruption over the past 18 months.

Interview panel:

Interview Panel 1

Interview Panel 2

Key insights

  1. Universities have experienced significant disruption due to the lockdown rules introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. They moved to a 100% online teaching approach in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 and then a mixed approach of remote learning and face-to-face teaching
  3. Educational institutions have made a lot of effort to ensure the quality of education and training they provide to students has not been adversely affected by pandemic restrictions
  4. Changes forced on institutions have led them to blend the learning that happens in the clinical environment more closely with seminars, tutorials, online forums, and case discussions
  5. New ways of teaching such as greater use of virtual learning environments were well received by students who said they found it was more in-depth and some felt they were better prepared for clinical practice than they would have been otherwise
  6. Students have responded well to the new teaching methods and some new approaches have become permanent
  7. Institutions have gained new insight into the health and wellbeing of their students over the past 18 months and have sought to support staff, professionals, teachers, and trainees through the pandemic
  8. Students made it clear during the height of the pandemic that they wanted more flexible delivery of education and greater use of technology
  9. Educators believe the pandemic has led to them come up with new ways of delivering training which are better for students, have improved the resilience in the organisation and they are keen to improve accessibility to postgraduate education
  10. The pandemic has led to increased emphasis on the importance of simulation in dental education so institutions have invested more in providing 3D printed carries teeth, artificial endodontic teeth, and phantom head torsos
  11. Applications for dental places have remained buoyant despite Brexit and the pandemic although for some institutions, the international market beyond the EU has tended to be the main source of interest

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