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In the past period, the Youth Educational Forum has been working on the analysis of the changes in higher education caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic – “Critical Attempts of Higher Education Institutions for Digitalization in the Academic 19/20”.

The purpose of this analysis is to answer the question of how the COVID- 19 pandemic affects higher education in the Republic of North Macedonia, i.e. what are the novelties and problems faced by higher education institutions, and to briefly show a comparative picture of how countries deal with the pandemic.

The document shows a chronological overview of the measures taken by the competent institutions in order to deal with the COVID- 19 pandemic and smooth continuation of classes. The document first shows the changes in higher education during the pandemic, and further explains in detail the steps taken by higher education institutions in the field of conducting online teaching as well as in the field of examinations and student assessment. In addition, a brief comparative analysis of the situation in higher education around the world has been made, which covers the aspects of the teaching process, taking exams and their evaluation.

The Youth Educational Forum is an organization that has been analyzing the situation in higher education for many years, primarily focusing on the quality of education. They have made the following recommendations for the competent institutions:

  • Digitalization is a key factor: a greater and more efficient approach is needed to digitize the higher education process by providing quality and two-way teaching, digital practical teaching, online access to educational resources, literature and materials, readiness to conduct online exams, and online administrative assistance.
  • Using a number of different ways to conduct exams and assessments. Universities should have the freedom to decide on the manner and method of conducting exams and assessments (e.g. oral or written exam, preparation of papers and essays, solving of tasks, conducting analysis and research, etc.).
  • In such situations in the future, the material for taking mid-term exams and final exams should correspond to the real situation. When creating and conducting the exams, the knowledge required of the students should reflect the scope of the material learned through online teaching, as well as the availability of the exam materials.
  • To enable extended examinations after the expiration of the regular deadlines of three regular exam sessions, but also for the exam sessions to last longer in order to provide a lower frequency of students in one term, which would provide greater protection against transmission of the virus.

The analysis shows the situation with higher education in the period from the beginning of March to mid-April 2020 and can serve as a basis for further monitoring of the situation in higher education in post-crisis conditions. The analysis was prepared by Vangjel Gjorgjiev and Petar Barlakovski, members of the Program for Research, Analysis and Creating Youth and Educational Policies at the Youth Educational Forum.

The entire analysis with all the recommendations of the YEF and the conclusion can be found on the following link: “Critical attempts by higher education institutions for digitalization in the academic year 19/20”


8 June 2020