Challenges for Higher Education in Crisis Stricken Times – The Effects of Covid-19 in Preparing Universities for Future
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This viewpoint analyses the status and transformation of Higher Education institutions during unpredicted great challenges such as the current Covid-19, which disrupted most of the economies on the planet. The changes facing Higher Education are not new, transformation has been seen in different areas, but shifts are expected to be deeper and faster after the pandemic. We show how the Higher Education institutions can resist and transform during the pandemic and we also discuss how these institutions can come out of the recession stronger and become capable of achieving long-term sustainability. For that aim, a leaner and more effective institution system with modified flexible policies that contribute to society and, at the same time, are mission-driven, is expected to be achieved. Universities in their recovery efforts must look far ahead and should not miss the opportunity to reassess their usefulness to society, nor to refocus their sense of purpose. We suggest that institutions of Higher Education play a more important role in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and contribute decisively to the several SDGs. In addition, we argue that the strategic direction of universities must be focused on stakeholder responsibility principles known as Environmental, Social, and Governance – ESG. Finally, we argue that the governance dimension is particularly critical for Higher Education institutions if they want to achieve long-term efficiency, sustainability and purpose.
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