South Africa: Rethinking the University Experience - Can Undergraduate International Exchange Programmes Go Virtual?

analysis

International exchange programmes are expensive and often only benefit 2% of the student population. With the global pandemic, educators and institutions have had to come up with creative ways to take the learning experience online. Now, they attempt to push the boundaries of digital education with virtual exchange programmes in the hopes of becoming more inclusive.

The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the number of undergraduate students travelling internationally for a part or the entirety of their degrees.

These international experiences can be rich, even life-changing, providing exposure to new ways of thinking and to new ways of living. However, the impact of this travel on the environment is seldom explicitly addressed.

Data from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) indicates that the greenhouse gas emissions generated by student mobility are equivalent to those of entire countries such as Croatia and Tunisia.

The impact on the environment is not the only challenge of undergraduate student mobility: while some students are on exchange programmes or scholarships, the majority pays exorbitant fees.

Those without scholarships or private wealth simply do not have the opportunity to participate in such programmes.

"Student mobility must be one of the...

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.