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What's in the relief bill for universities?

The most recent COVID-19 relief bill will give higher education institutions nearly $23 billion, but the funding falls almost $100 billion shy of what some policy experts say those institutions need to recover. Thomas Harnisch, vice president of government relations for the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, told EdScoop the funding will do little to ensure the long-term welfare of higher education. “The overall funding levels to institutions and states to deal with the pandemic were insufficient,” he said. “It’s really unprecedented, the financial stress that institutions are under with losses in auxiliary revenues, increased student need, unanticipated expenses and state budget cuts. And while it’s important that this bill passed, it doesn’t go far enough.” Betsy Foresman reports.

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How one university is training its health care students virtually

The pandemic has limited students’ access to hands-on learning experiences, but ECPI University, a technical college in Charleston, South Carolina, has developed new simulation software that helps its health care students practice clinical skills. The software, called eHospital, allows students to practice medical procedures in a virtual setting and helps prepare them for careers in the health care industry. And while the simulation has helped students to continue learning remotely during the pandemic, eHospital will continue to be an important educational tool even after in-person classes resume, Erica Jones-Foster, director of educational technology and innovation at ECPI University, told EdScoop. Betsy has the details.

Boston U. to pilot, research state's new contact tracing app

Boston University was recently selected by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to assist in research and development of a new digital contact-tracing initiative. The university will join the Bedford-based nonprofit Mitre to test a COVID-19 contact-tracing application on its campus of 35,000 students and 10,000 employees. According to state procurement documents, the university and its partner are tasked with studying how the technology works, whether it effectively complements the state’s existing contact-tracing efforts, whether residents will be receptive to the app and whether it would reduce spread of the disease. Colin Wood has more.

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