23 April 2020

COVID-19: A new beginning


The coronavirus outbreak has brought major changes to higher international education worldwide including UCPH. The immediate crisis management is over, but while there is still many unknowns, new times are dawning.

The coronavirus outbreak has had a major impact on our personal and professional lives. Normally, we would be 25 staff together managing around 2,000 inbound and outbound students for the coming autumn semester as well as running our various projects.

As the virus spread, UCPH closed down in a matter of days and in the weeks after, we transformed into an online university; each working from our separate homes and with the focus of keeping our projects going and assisting our students navigate the information about course changes, travelling and health instructions.

Necessity is the mother of invention

The dust has settled and while uncertainties about international mobility remain and isolation from colleagues and students can be challenging, the past weeks have also brought positive experiences.

Maintaining a close dialogue with our international partners, we have kept each other up to date and staff across UCPH have come together quickly to assist any affected students. We have all discovered that while meeting physically does have great qualities, classes, projects and meetings can take place and run well online.

The past weeks have forced us to think and work differently and opened our eyes to online teaching, meetings and project management. It’s only some 10 years ago that MOOCs were deemed to be the disrupter of traditional brick-and-mortar universities that would force universities to move online. However, under the COVID-19 crisis, with its new teaching styles, virtual exchanges, video conferences and online university partner meetings, the online presence has come closer to becoming an integrated part of our future activities.

Back to (a new) normal

At this point, we do not know when we are allowed back in our offices, but when we are, we will certainly bring along new perspectives on how working and studying online can supplement our existing international activities at UCPH in meaningful ways.

By Anne Bruun, Acting Director of International Education

Front photo by Getty Images