Report: Shocks and recovery in higher education

May 10, 2020
In a few short weeks, the Covid-19 pandemic has rocked the global higher education system.  The world is facing a huge downturn in economic activity and restrictions on international movement that will have significant ramifications on the sector. In this report we review the impact of past shocks on HEIs, their responses, long term impacts and the roads to recovery. 

It is important to remember, though, that this is not the first major crisis that the sector has experienced and recovered from. Universities have encountered world wars, devastating earthquakes and deep recessions. These events, and their social, economic and political aftermaths, have had far reaching impacts upon higher education. For institutions, they have led to both short-term measures and long-term changes in attitudes, organisation, policies and practice as they respond to the situation at hand.

At this chaotic time, taking pause to reflect upon what was learnt from these past shocks may yield some valuable lessons. This paper takes a lens to these past crises and analyses their impact upon universities and strategies for recovery that proved successful in order to forecast and draw lessons that can be applied today.

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