According to the Hurun Report, online education is among the fastest growing sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic. It may be worth $ 61 billion this year. The closure of Italian university campuses, and also other countries, required the migration of courses from the classroom to the digital environment. And although at first the consequences of the measure appeared to be somewhat uncertain, education professionals are beginning to wonder if the future may have already become the present.
Two years ago, the Times Higher Education surveyed leaders at major global universities. At the time, all 200 participants, from 45 countries on six continents, were categorical: higher education online would never correspond to reality. Nowdays, Mergermarket identified online education as one of several expanding niches.
Right after China, Italy was hit hard by the sanitary emergency and economic crisis. Every year, Milan receives hundreds of students, Italian and foreign, who seek to enter the fashion world through the main entrance: the world’s capital of fashion. Since February 24, all Milanese schools and universities are closed, and activities are being carried out exclusively online. But if we think about fashion, e-learning can be challenging.
The future has already become the present
Thinking about this unprecedented scenario, we talked with three important Italian fashion academies to better understand what they are doing in order to go on with the lessons. According to the director of Milano Fashion Institute (a consortium formed by Bocconi, Cattolica and Politecnico di Milano), Nicola Guerini, “the future, particularly in the higher education, will be based on stronger and deeper interconnections between traditional teaching, carried out in person, together with the potential of digital teaching, that will empower one another”, said him.
Born with the aim to connect the labor market demands and the personal aspirations of those who want to follow a career in the fashion field, Accademia del Lusso has always been multidisciplinary. The university director, Alex Lotito, didn’t wait for the government measures to be implemented in order to start acting to make sure they would be immediately able to successfully respond to the situation. “We are very satisfied with the outcome of the online lessons, the school has made available to our students, and to our teachers, the necessary technology to follow the academic program without any interruption or need to postpone exams and graduations”, completed him.
But the fashion course also requires practical classes, laboratories, so that students can work on their creativity. And to do so, Accademia del Lusso had to adapt the lessons to this new teaching format. Each student works from home with their own materials and lessons are planned to be very interactive through project development and step-by-step tasks: “patternmaking lessons were developed at a scale of 1:2, with a camera set up high showing the process the teacher was using to create a paper pattern, with students repeating the steps in real time”, said Alex.
With a creative and practical approach, NABA leads students to find and develop their creativity since 1980. Known for the great technical skills courses, the university was already familiar with online lessons platforms. So, they managed to quickly organize remote classes and are currently planning the next steps. According to the epidemiologist at the Università di Pisa, Pierluigi Lopalco, the restrictive measures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic will remain at least until summer. For that reason, NABA’s Fashion Design course Director, Colomba Leddi, told us that they will complete this semester’s courses and related exams entirely online. “Some laboratory contents will be integrated with extra classes made available to our students during the summer and September. The next academic year should start normally!”, completed her.