Reconstructing Higher Education in the Post-COVID-19 Period: A Lesson from Zimbabwe Open University
Keywords:Reconstructing, Post-COVID-19, Curriculum Change and Innovation, Policy Tools
This study sought to determine potent policy tools which can be utilized as levers in reconstructing higher education landscapes that have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Three key participants were purposivelselected for the in-depth interviews of the study. The sample consisted of a former minister of Higher and Tertiary Education in Zimbabwe and two current Regional Directors of Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) from Harare and Bulawayo regions. The study utilized the qualitative case study research design and a literature review to collect data to address the research question. The concept of hard and soft policy instruments and the Intervention Taxonomy were utilized as conceptual guides in data collection and the interpretation of results. The study results reveal that serious resistance to curriculum change and innovation in higher education can be overcome through the effective use of policy instruments. Policy tools can be utilized effectively and efficaciously to scale implementation barriers such as entrenched elitist cultures and practices, which are characteristic of higher education landscapes. More precisely, the study discovered that prudent and innovative application of a mix of hard and soft policy tools or instruments could effect sustainable and durable change. In view of this, the study recommends the use of policy tools as key levers in transforming and reconstructing higher education curricula and systems worldwide.
Aina, T. A. (2010). Beyond reforms: The politics of higher education transformation in Africa. African Studies Review, 53 (1): 22 – 40.
Chombo, I. (2000). Higher education and technology in Zimbabwe: Meaningful development in the new millennium. The Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research, 12(3): 6-26.
Clark, B.R. (2005). Sustaining change in universities. Continuities in case studies and concepts. New York: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.
Crosier, D. (2007). Beyond Bologna. Challenges for European Higher Education. Mail and Guardian, October 2007.
Daniel, J. (1998). Mega-universities and knowledge media technology strategies for higher education. London: Kogan Paul.
Daniel, J. (2000). At the end of now. Global trends and their regional impacts. In Reddy, V. V. and S. Manjuluka (editors). The World of Open and Distance Learning. Viva Books: pp 451 – 461.
Donnely, R. Patrinos, H.A. & Gresham, J. (2021). The Impact of COVID 19 on Education- Recommendations and Orpportunities for Ukraine, ReliefWeb 2 April 2021. Accessed 0o 11 November 2021 at https://www.worldbank.org>opinion.
Dzwimbo, K. (2000). The African University in the 21st century: The quest for self-financing in the Zimbabwe Open University. The Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research, 12(3):96-112.
Fok, P.K., Kennedy, K. & Chan, J.K. (2010). Teachers, policymakers and project learning: The questionable use of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ policy instruments to influence the implementation of curriculum reform in Hong Kong. International Journal of Education and Policy Leadership, 5(6):1.
Fullan, M. & Quinn, J. (2020). Global Directors at New Pedagogies for Deep Learning. Reimagining education: From remote to hybrid learning. Posted on June 8 2020 at 10;00 am. Microsoft Education Blog.
Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change. 4th Edition. New York: Teachers’ College Press.
Hall, G. & Hord, S.M. 1984. Analysis of what change facilitators do. The Intervention Taxonomy Knowledge, Creation, Diffusion, Utilization, 5(3):275-292.
Hodges, C.; Moore, S.; Lockee, B. &Trust, T.; (2020). The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning. EDUCAUSE Review. Https: //er.educause.edu/articles/2020/3/the-difference-between-emergency-remote-teaching -and online-learning.
Jansen, J. (2007). The state and curriculum in the transition to socialism: The Zimbabwean experience. Journal of Comparative Educational Review, 35(1):76-91.
Jansen, J.D. (2002). Mergers in higher education: Lessons learned in transitional contexts. Pretoria: UNISA Press.
Khan, A.W. (2000). Distance education in the twenty first century. In: V. V. Reddy, & S. Manjuluka (eds). The world of open and distance learning. New Dehli: Viva Books.
Kinser, K. (2007). Innovation in higher education: A case study of Western Governors’ University. In: Kramer, M. 2007/2008. Journal of New directions in higher education, (137)144:15-26.
Kurasha, P. (2003). Access to tertiary education as a national strategy for development: The Zimbabwe Open University case. Regional Training Conference on Improving Tertiary Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Things that work, Accra. September 23 – 24.
Lewin, K. (1951). Force Field Analysis Theory. New York: Harper and Row.
Mahoso, T. (2013). ZOU’s vision of education for all. The Sunday Mail, November 25 to December 1, 2012: page D2.
Mahoso, T. (2012). Higher education on whose standards? The Sunday Mail In-depth. December 2 to 8.
Makhurane, P. (2000). Science and technology in the millennium. The Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research, 12(3):62-79.
Malada, N. & NetWare, F. (2007). The route to the knowledge economies: Varsities compete for top-end research skills. Mail and Guardian. October 7.
Marinon, G., Land Van’t H., & Jensen (2020). The Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education around the world, IAU Global Survey Report. France, Unesco House. International Association of Universities May 2020. ISBN 978-92-9002-212-I Accessed at https://www.emaraldgrouppublishing.com.
McDonnell, L.M. & Elmore, R.F. (1987). Getting the job done: Alternative policy instruments. Educational Evaluations and Policy Analysis, 9(2):133-152.
Moja, T. (2004). Policy Responses to Global Transformation by African Higher Education Systems in African universities in the twenty-first century. Dakar Council for the Development of Social Science Research, (1):21- 41.
Moorhead, G. & Griffin, R. (1995). Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Mswazie, J., Mudyahoto, T. & Gamira, G. (2013). Elitist notions and the emotions of primary school teaching in Zimbabwe: Pre-service teachers’ perspectives. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, 4 (1):148-156.
Mukeredzi, T. (2018). Furore as government stops popular STEM programme, 26 January 2018 Accessed 14 August 2021 at https://www.universityworldnewscom.
Nherera, C. (2000). The role of emerging universities in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research, 12(3):38-61.
Nworie, J. (2021). Beyond COVID-19: What’s Nextfor online Teaching and learning in Higher Education. Teaching and Learning. EDUCAUSE, Accessed 14 August 2021 at Https://er.educause.edu/articles/2021/5/beyond-covid-what-next-for-online.
Paterson, M. COVID-19 and Higher Education: Damage Done: Lessons learnt. AFRICA GLOBAL. Accessed 11 August 2021 at Https://www.univrsityworldnews.com/post-mobile.php?story=202102111034226.
Perry, W. (1976). Open University. A personal account by the 1st Vice Chancellor. Hertfordshire: The Open University Press.
Pfukka, C. & Matipano, J. (2006). The role of the Zimbabwe Open University in open and distance learning in Zimbabwe. Progression, 28(1 & 2):54-63.
Raj, U. & Khare, S. (2020). The Impact of COVID-19on the International Education System. In book The Impact of COVID 19 on the International Education System. Proud Pen. November 2020 DOI 10.51432/978-18381524-0-6_6.
Rashid, S. & Yadav S.S. (2020). Impact of Covid 19 Pandemic on Higher Education and Research. Indian Journal of Human Development 1-4. Sage: Institute for Human Development. DOI: 10.1177/0973703020946700.
Reddy, V.V. & Manjuluka, S. (2000). The world of open and distance learning. New Dehli: Viva Books Pvt Limited.
Said Gada Refaat El (2021). How did the COVID-19 Pandemic Affect Higher Education Learning Experiences? An Empirical Investigation of learners’ Academic Performance at a University in aDeveloping Country. Advances in Human -Computer Interaction, Vol.2021, Article ID6649524, 10 pages, 2021. https ://doi.org/.10.1155/2021/6649524.
Singh J. Steele K, & Singh L. (2021). Combining the Best of Online and Face to Face Learning: Hybrid and Blended Learning Approach for COVID-19, Post Vaccine and Post Pandemic World. Journal of Educational Technology Systems. Accessed at Https://doi.org/101177/00472395211047865.
Zeleza, P.T. & Olukoshi, A. (2004). Introduction: The struggle for African universities and knowledges. African universities in the twenty-first century. Dakar: Council for the Development of Social Science Research, (1):42-68.
ZOU on Thursday. (2012). Why Open and Distance Learning Model is good for you. The Herald, December 6, page B4.