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COVID-19 impacts on virtual exchange around the world




global learning during COVID-19, impacts of COVID-19 on VE, VE opportunities and challenges, digital equity, inclusion, access


The COVID-19 pandemic has simultaneously created both opportunities and challenges for the emerging field of virtual exchange: On one hand, institutional administrators and funding organisations saw virtual exchange as the solution to global learning needs while physical travel was restricted and traditional mobility programmes were suspended. On the other hand, instructors felt overwhelmed by transitioning all of their teaching online, and without physical access to their educational institutions, many students and instructors lacked reliable internet connections or safe places to engage in learning, not to mention the financial burdens of the pandemic. 

This moderated panel discussion which took place during the IVEC 2020 conference invited diverse perspectives to explore the impacts of the pandemic on virtual exchange in various contexts around the world. Central to the discussion were issues of equity, inclusion and justice: Is virtual exchange truly a more accessible and equitable form of global learning, as it is often promoted to be? 

In this video contribution, Eva Haug moderates the conversation between Maha Bali, Paulo Goes, and Anita Patankar around the following questions.
* How is virtual exchange a solution to global learning during COVID-19? 
* What have been the two to three most relevant impacts of the pandemic on virtual exchange activity at your institution, in your country, or region of the world?
* How can we as a field of practitioners maintain and sustain the current momentum and interest in VE in a post-COVID-19 world?
* Can intercultural exchange be apolitical? 
* If an institution is in a position of power or privilege, how can they create space in virtual exchange for institutions that are less represented? 

The video recording is accessible on: (CC BY-NC-NC).

Author Biographies

Maha Bali, American University in Cairo

Maha Bali is an Associate Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning and Teaching at the American University in Cairo. She is an open and connected educator, with research and teaching interests in open education, critical digital pedagogy and intercultural learning. She is the co-founder of Virtually Connecting, and an editor at the journal Hybrid Pedagogy.

She has blogged for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Prof Hacker, DMLCentral blogs and Al-Fanar media. She also has her own blog and Tweets at @bali_maha

Paulo Goes, Federal University of Pernambuco

Paulo Goes is Associate Professor, Department of Clinical and Preventive Dentistry, Olinda Medical School at the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil. He has an MSc in Pediatric Dentistry (UFPE) and PhD in epidemiology and public health from University of London. Paulo Goes was Vice-Provost for undergraduate studies at the Federal University of Pernambuco (2015-2019). Together with the Vice-Provost for international affairs, he coordinated the Collaborative Online International Learning initiative at UFPE.

Eva Haug, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Eva Haug is Educational Adviser for Internationalisation of the curriculum and COIL at Amsterdam UAS. The focus of the AUAS is on Internationalisation at Home (IaH), which includes COIL as a tool to facilitate cross cultural learning. Eva is a Steering Group member of the Expert Community IaH of the EAIE. As Senior Lecturer in intercultural competence she trains students and lecturers to work in multicultural and virtual teams. She has been teaching university students for over 20 years and has eight plus years of COIL experience. Eva provides professional development for COIL at universities in Europe, South Africa, Latin America, and the US.

Anita Patankar, Symbiosis International University

Anita Patankar is Director of the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts and has been involved in the field of education for over 37 years. Since setting up India's first four-year liberal arts programme, she has focused on developing faculty competencies for inclusive, democratic, and innovative learning processes, and the nurturing of a deep acceptance among all stakeholders of the long-term benefits of internationalisation of higher education. At present she serves on the board of trustees of ECONET, an NGO dedicated to the welfare of tribal and disadvantaged populations, is the Deputy Director of the Symbiosis Centre for International Education, and is a founding member of the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities.





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