Universities must prioritise students for the sake of the future
University leaders and administrators tackling the coronavirus crisis can be forgiven for feeling like they’re trying to put out a prairie fire. There are so many issues requiring immediate funds and attention. Time-sensitive research projects are falling behind, and staff are suffering technology fatigue and struggling with the responsibilities of working at home while caring for their families. Meanwhile, an economic downturn is likely to wither higher education budgets across Europe.
In this situation, students’ concerns can easily fall by the wayside. After all, students are generally young, tech-savvy, and tend to have fewer family responsibilities, especially at bachelor level. So, to senior academics, it may seem that missing out on a few months of learning is not such a big deal. But the student body is facing an unprecedented crisis—and if universities are not careful, they may end up losing their most vital resource.