Achievements and challenges for Higher Education during the COVID-19 pandemic: A rapid review of media in Africa
Sonn, Inge K.
Du Plessis, Marieta
Van Vuuren, Carel D. Jansen
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The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic struck globally and has affected higher education institutions (HEIs) and their operations, indirectly impacting the progress of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 achieved thus far. This article addresses HEIs achievements and challenges experienced in the wake of the pandemic. Online news media reports played a facilitative role in providing information to the HEI communities. A rapid review exploring online news media messages relating to higher education at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa was utilised. Narrative synthesis was used to analyse the data. The results highlight HEIs achievements, which aim to ensure that all students receive the same level of education and provision in terms of devices and mental health support. However, challenges were also experienced at HEIs and include students feeling uncertainty and fear regarding completing their education. Furthermore, the results also show that not all students received the same level of education due to contextual factors, thus deepening the existing social disparities in Africa. The pandemic provides an opportunity for HEIs to embed the components of global citizenship education into the curriculum and to work in an innovative way to promote Sustainable Development Goal 4.