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. Although at first, the consequences of the measure appeared to be somewhat uncertain, education professionals are now wondering 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. Nowadays, Mergermarket identified online education as one of several expanding niches.
Right after China, the health emergency and economic crisis hit Italy hard. Every year, Milan receives hundreds of students, Italian and foreigners, 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. Academies are carrying out activities 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 representatives of three important Italian fashion universities to better understand how they are facing the situation. According to the director of Milano Fashion Institute (a consortium formed by Bocconi, Cattolica, and Politecnico di Milano). Nicola Guerini says “stronger and deeper interconnections between traditional education and the potential of digital education will define the structures of academic activities in the future. It will empower one another”, explains Guerini.
New ways to work on creativity
Accademia del Lusso has always been multidisciplinary. The university director, Alex Lotito, didn’t wait for the government measures to start acting. “We are very satisfied with the outcome of the online lessons. The school provided 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”, says 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 a new teaching format. Each student works from home with their materials. Lessons are very interactive with project development and step-by-step tasks. “Patternmaking lessons were developed at a scale of 1:2. A camera set up high shows the process the teacher was using to create a paper pattern. Students repeat the steps in real-time”, says Lotito.
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. 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 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. “We are going to integrate some laboratory contents with extra class activities available to our students during the summer and September. The next academic year should start normally!”, explains Leddi.