The COVID-19 pandemic: a catalyst for creativity and collaboration for online learning and work-based higher education systems and processes

Tashmin Khamis, Azra Naseem, Anil Khamis, Pammla Petrucka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to focus on work-based problems catalysed by the COVID-19 global pandemic, based on a case study of a multi-continental, multi-campus university distributed across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Pakistan. Higher education institutions (HEIs) in developing countries lacked pre-existing infrastructure to support online education and/or policy and regulatory frameworks during the pandemic. The university's programmes in Pakistan and East Africa provide lessons to other developing countries' HEIs. The university's focus on teaching and learning and staff development has had a transformational organisational effect. Design/methodology/approach: Case study with participatory approaches aimed at co-production of responsive systems and co-creation of effective curriculum and faculty training is used. Findings: Systems and processes developed across the university in the effort to ensure educational continuity. From the disruption to all educational programmes and the disarray of regulatory bodies' responses, collaboration emerged as a key driver of positive change. The findings reiterate the value of trust and provision of opportunities for those with the requisite competencies to lead in a participatory and distributive manner whilst addressing limited human and financial resources. The findings reflect on previous work respecting organisational change recast in the digital age. Originality/value: This paper reflects the authors' work in real-time as they led and managed changes encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper will be of value to management and leadership cadres, particularly in developing contexts, responsible for recovery and sustainability of the higher education sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-196
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Work-Applied Management
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Developing countries
  • East Africa
  • Higher education
  • Online education
  • Pakistan

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