Skip to main content
Laptop with connections icons header

Resources to support you during the COVID-19 pandemic

If you're looking for guidance on EDI, governance, teaching and learning, student success, leadership and management or organisational development to support you during the Covid-19 pandemic, we've collated all of our resources for higher education institutions and staff here.

Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, Advance HE has published blogs of advice and guidance from different perspectives across the sector, as well as hosted webinars tackling many of the issues that have surfaced during these difficult and challenging times. Additionally we ran a project to support the challenge of the 'socially distanced campus'.

We have collated all our resources below and colour coded them according to their theme. The key can be found to the right.

Themes Key
3px purple line

Creating Socially Distanced Campuses and Education project

In response to member needs we launched a rapid, generative project to collaboratively explore with the sector Creating Socially Distanced Campuses and Education. The project welcomed representatives from Advance HE member institutions from across the globe. This article explains the context for the project.

Five reports plus a capstone report have now been published following the project.

Read the reports

“Our member institutions and sector stakeholders have confirmed that one of the big questions for higher education institutions is ‘when we open our campuses, HOW are we going to do that?’ The forces for doing so are great, the uncertainties around how to do so are extraordinary, and the risks involved are profound.”

Alison Johns

Chief Executive

Advance HE

3px purple line


Our series of member benefit Covid-19 response webinars featured perspectives from across the globe. Recordings of the webinars can be accessed below by all colleagues at Advance HE member institutions. 


Practising Safer Flex? Why structured flexibility might be the solution for effective learning in a post-pandemic world

30 July 2020

There is increasing acceptance of the value of delivering flexible learning in the context of a global pandemic. In addressing the crisis, the Sector has clearly made a momentous shift concerning how learning will be operationalised for the foreseeable future. Yet, whether we know as a sector what ‘optimum’ flexibility looks like can be contested. Using key principles underpinning the recently-published Flexible Learning Guide (as part of the Essential frameworks for enhancing student success) this webinar argues that certain elements can be designed into a flexible learning approach which enables maximal student engagement, regardless of shifting context.

The webinar highlights some innovative exemplars of structured flexibility from practice and considers whether there is further evidence of emerging ‘success stories’ just waiting to be shared (for example, those that go beyond the optimising of ‘choice’ as the sole arbiter of flexibility). To address these aspects with webinar participants, four key questions will be posed, concerning:

  • What does a successful structured flexibility approach need to contain?
  • What are the implications for practitioners?
  • How can structured flexibility be sustained successfully in a volatile higher education context?
  • How are claims of successful flexibility being evidenced and evaluated?
Advance HE Member Benefits Logo WO 370-260

Higher Education Leadership in the Pandemic Age – from crisis to connected campus

14 July 2020

Higher Education Leadership in the Pandemic Age is not necessarily taking on a new dimension, but it is dialing-up a key set of leadership approaches in a way that is markedly more focused and magnified. The five faces of transformational leadership that have come to the fore in the discussions, interactions and collective learning that has made up the large-scale Creating Socially Distanced Campuses and Education (SDCE) project are as follows:

  • crisis leadership
  • courageous leadership
  • compassionate leadership
  • collaborative leadership
  • creative leadership.

The online workshops at the heart of the SDCE project which took place in May 2020, and were attended by participants from the UK and around the World, senior colleagues with responsibility for planning, leading and managing educational programmes, enabled Advance HE to produce for the sector a series of Leadership Intelligence Reports. This webinar features the last of these, the Capstone Report, which focuses on leadership itself with links to three other over-arching themes: communication, partnership, and wellbeing. The journey from crisis to connected campus is the story of HE leadership that we are currently seeing unfold.

Advance HE Member Benefits Logo WO 370-260

Learning spaces and beyond: connected learning while physical distancing

8 July 2020

On campus teaching is critically dependent on physical locations - laboratories, art and design studios, and theatres, whilst the student experience is affected by the social spaces, the libraries, and access to computer suites and maker spaces - how can we effectively deliver authentic, participatory and connected learning experiences for students who are unable to return to campus due to on-going or intermittent travel or health restrictions?

Advance HE Member Benefits Logo WO 370-260

Covid-19 response series - Safe(r) for staff? Equality implications for ‘re-opening’ university and college campuses in the age of COVID-19

8 July 2020

As many institutions plan to ‘re-open*’ physical campuses to some degree in the next academic year, this webinar aims to explore some of the equality challenges this presents for particular groups of staff. Building on sector discussion of the student experience, our panel discussion and Q&A will prompt reflection on the range of staff -  academic, professional, support – and their diverse needs in regards to ‘safety’: not only in terms of physical health, but also any issues of harassment, belonging, and precarity.

Advance HE Member Benefits Logo WO 370-260

Beyond fire-fighting – developing resilient higher education

28 April 2020

In this webinar we joined Kate Lindsay, Head of Digital Education at the University College of Estate Management, with particular interests in critical digital pedagogy and inclusive practice and Ale Armellini, Director of the Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education at the University of Northampton, with a mission to redesign all of Northampton’s programmes for active blended learning. Together we will explore models of online pedagogy and consider how to create active online learning and some practical approaches to mitigate against the critical points of failure inherent in higher education.

Advance HE Member Benefits Logo WO 370-260

Emergency remote teaching (ERT): What have we learnt?

21 April 2020

We were joined by David White (University of the Arts, London), Eva Wong and Theresa Kwong (Hong Kong Baptist University) and Professor Torrey Trust (University of Massachusetts Amherst) for a webinar with the aim of encouraging participants to firstly reflect on how they responded to the crisis. This session was chaired by Advance HE’s Dr Kay Hack, Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching).

Advance HE Member Benefits Logo WO 370-260

Moving Assessment On-Line: Key Principles for Inclusion, Pedagogy and Practice

9 April 2020

During this member only webinar, speakers Professor David CarlessDr Geoff Stoakes and Jess Moody lead a conversation around the challenges the HE sector is facing during the current COVID-19 climate. There is a requirement for universities to make major changes to their teaching, assessment and support provision, a number of which will be considered during the webinar.

Advance HE Member Benefits Logo WO 370-260

In the past 60 days - Lessons from China's HE sector

1 April 2020

On April 1, we hosted a member benefit question and answer based webinar with Xia Li (Lisa) and her colleagues at Nankai University, Tianjin, China as they answer questions around their experience of the COVID-19 pandemic in China and their university’s response to moving to remote teaching.

Advance HE Member Benefits Logo WO 370-260
3px purple line


Below is a collation of blogs we've  published during the pandemic:

Resilient organisations and higher education – it’s all about purpose, context and value systems

22 September 2020

In the fifth in the series of blogs and events exploring ‘Developing sustainable resilience in higher education’ – our member benefit theme for September 2020 – Kim Ansell, Advance HE Senior Advisor and Managing Consultant, explores organisational resilience through the lens of integrated thinking.
Read more

Equality implications for ‘re-opening’ HE campuses in the COVID era

22 September 2020

Advance HE published perspectives and discussion from our expert panel of academics and practitioners. In July 2020, Advance HE convened a webinar for membership institutions on the topic of EDI, ‘safety’ and the ‘re-opening’ of campuses. The webinar complemented our ‘Creating Socially Distanced Campus and Education project’. The Safe(r) for Staff? Equality implications for ‘re-opening’ HE campuses in the Covid era report is a summary of the webinar and identifies the key themes which emerged, making recommendation.
Read more

Learning under lockdown and beyond: experiences from an Australian university

18 September 2020

Kay Colthorpe, from the The University of Queensland, shares ‘lockdown lessons’ via a letter to colleagues.
Read more

The art of the resilient teaching team

16 September 2020

"Are your colleagues bugging you? It could be a good thing in building a resilient teaching team" the fourth in the series of blogs and events exploring ‘Developing sustainable resilience in higher education’ – our member benefit theme for September 2020 – Dr Kay Hack, Advance HE Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching), explores collective resilience.
Read more

Exceptional transitions into higher education

15 September 2020

Advance HE published, ‘An exceptional transition to higher education: induction of new and returning students during the ‘new normal’ year.’ This advice and guidance is a short, practical, summary of the key points to address for successful induction and a reminder of the common pressure points and concerns that students will experience throughout their journey to, though, and on from higher education.
Read more

Digitised Story Telling to embed Sustainability Development Goals in higher education

14 September 2020

Following their presentation at STEM Conference 2020, Dr Soum Chowdhury and Dr Sian Joel-Edgar explain how their research has developed through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Read more

From Being to Resilience: Being Prepared for What We Can’t Predict

11 September 2020

In the third in the series of blogs and events exploring ‘Developing sustainable resilience in higher education’ – our member benefit theme for September 2020 – Cindy Vallance, Advance HE Assistant Director, Knowledge, Innovation and Delivery, showcases living examples of resilience.
Read more

It’s a brave new (educational) world

8 September 2020

Dr Nigel Francis, with Dr David Smith and Professor Ian Turner, ask what has been learnt and what are the longer-term implications following the adaptations of moving lectures online, reimagining assessments and replacing practical classes with dry lab alternatives as a result of Covid-19.
Read more

Who’s in control in a world of algorithms?

7 September 2020

Andy Youell writes about the scale and complexity of modern datasets and the algorithms that work with them presents some unique challenges for governance and assurance. He says that there are three key areas that any governance framework should focus on.
Read more

Resilience and inclusion

3 September 2020

In the second in the series of blogs and events exploring ‘Developing sustainable resilience in higher education’ – our member benefit theme for September 2020 – Clare Pavitt, Advance HE Principal Adviser (EDI), Knowledge, Innovation and Delivery, discusses ‘Inclusion and resilience’.
Read more

Leading Virtual and Disconnected Teams: how to go on being good at what matters

2 September 2020

Doug Parkin, Principal Adviser for Leadership and Management at Advance HE, looks ahead to the launch of our new online programme, Leading Virtual and Disconnected Teams (LVDT), tailored for the times in which we find ourselves since the advent of Covid-19. When it comes to leadership in this strange new world, the key challenge is ‘How to go on being good at what matters?’.
Read more

Strategic leadership for challenging global times

27 August 2020

Lisa Sofianos and Alastair Work, programme directors for our Strategic Leadership Programme, share how its ninth iteration will be delivered online during the global coronavirus pandemic.
Read more

Designing and delivering digital teaching post-Covid

26 August 2020

Our New to Digital Teaching programme builds confidence to successfully deliver effective courses in a safe and nurturing environment.
Read more

Developing Sustainable Resilience in Higher Education

21 August

Doug Parkin, Principal Adviser for Leadership and Management at Advance HE, introduces our member benefit theme for September 2020, Developing Sustainable Resilience in Higher Education. Never more relevant for colleagues working in higher education as we progress through the challenges, traumas and adversity brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, this initiative will explore individual, team and organisational resilience.
Read more

New guide poses questions for universities to support disabled students during pandemic

12 August 2020

A new guide designed to help disabled students ask their university the right questions about reasonable adjustments due to coronavirus restrictions is published today.
Read more

Teaching postgraduate students during the COVID-19 pandemic: The experience of a Global Health department in a UK university

7 Aug 2020

Anne Gatuguta and Sarah Marshall (pictured right and left), lecturers in Global Health at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, reflect on their experience, incorporating insights gained from feedback provided by their students. They share 10 elements that ‘worked for them’ and hope others find these useful.
Read more

Coronavirus and the entrepreneurial university

5 Aug 2020

In March 2020, Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, claimed, “Universities will be changed for ever by the coronavirus….” Six months later it remains unclear exactly how they will change and what changes will take place. Here Professor David A Kirby examines how universities could become more entrepreneurial as a result of the pandemic.
Read more

Using Microsoft OneNote to deliver lectures online

24 Jul 2020

Andrew Smerdon from the Lancaster University Management School explains how he has used Microsoft OneNote to resolve the conundrum of the ‘sleeping student’ and deliver lectures on line in a manner that replicates the traditional facilities available in lecture theatres.
Read more

Covid can create paradigm shift for female leaders

23 Jul 2020

The 12th cohort of Advance HE’s Senior Women’s Leadership Development Programme had to be postponed due to Covid-19. In two introductory webinars for delegates, Barbara Bassa explains how the pandemic could facilitate numerous opportunities for women leaders in HE.
Read more

Making practical-based subjects work online

20 Jul 2020

Tim Hinchcliffe explores the seemingly impossible world of taking practical based subjects and making them work in an online space. He argues that by slowing decision making, we create space to challenge assumptions that block meaningful learning design.
Read more

Higher Education – Who Belongs Here? Inclusive leadership and belonging in a post-pandemic world

16 Jul 2020

Cindy Vallance, Advance HE Assistant Director of Knowledge, Innovation and Delivery, sets the scene for Advance HE’s Global Perspectives webinar: Higher Education – ‘Who Belongs Here?’ on 22 July.
Read more

How are new graduates exposed to Covid-19’s impact?

15 Jul 2020

As a cohort of new graduates enter the labour market, we invited Richard Hewitt, Director of Higher Education at Emsi UK, to look at where graduates are most exposed to the economic consequences to COVID-19 as they enter the labour market.
Read more

How to prioritise the digital wellbeing of our staff and students as we respond to the Covid-19 situation

14 Jul 2020

Following Advance HE’s Teaching and Learning Conference, panellist Mari-Cruz Garcia expands on her belief that universities across the globe must work together as we navigate through aftermath of Covid-19.
Read more

Placements post Covid-19 – time for re-evaluation?

13 Jul 2020

In light of Covid-19, face-to-face placements across the HE sector were suspended. In response, Dr Lisa Taylor, School of Health Sciences, UEA, implemented a novel Peer Enhanced e-Placement (PEEP). Evaluation unearthed valuable employability learning relevant for all disciplines.
Read more

We didn’t see it coming…

13 Jul 2020

Two recent PhD graduates from the University of Leeds, Dr Kautsar Ramli and Dr Savita Verma, share their personal reflections of the impact of Covid-19 in their immediate post-PhD period.
Read more

Equality considerations and staff safety: the ‘re-opening’ of campuses

30 Jun 2020

As many institutions plan to ‘re-open’ physical campuses to some degree in the next academic year, the upcoming 'Safe(r) for staff? Equality implications for ‘re-opening’ university and college campuses in the age of Covid-19' webinar on 8 July aims to explore some of the equality challenges this presents for particular groups of staff.
Read more

Rethinking Higher Education for a post-pandemic world

23 Jun 2020

The rapid switch to online teaching and assessment in March exposed the strengths and weaknesses of the global higher education sector. In the recent LTHE tweetchat Dr Kay Hack, Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching) considered whether the global pandemic has provided the impetus to rethink higher education provision for the better and asks what changes can we enact to ensure that HE emerges stronger from the crisis?
Read more

Connected leadership in a disconnected world

17 Jun 2020

Doug Parkin, Principal Adviser for Leadership and Management at Advance HE, reflects on the model of Connected Leadership that underpins the long established Preparing for Senior Strategic Leadership programme and its strong relevance for leaders and leadership amidst the rapidly unfolding Covid-19 crisis.
Read more

Helping you face new realities

28 May 2020

Lisa Sofianos discusses leadership in a crisis and avoiding ‘yesterday's logic’.
Read more

Lessons from China for online support and assessment

27 May 2020

Charlie Reis, an educational developer at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU), shares his thoughts on the challenges of suddenly shifting to online teaching for an entire semester, supporting staff in preparing online assessments and how XJTLU supported students during the pandemic.
Read more

Strategy: doing the right things for the right reasons

21 May 2020

Doug Parkin discusses strategy in response to the rapidly unfolding Covid-19 crisis and its impact on higher education.
Read more

#DryLabsRealScience – together stronger

18 May 2020

Dr Nigel Francis, with Dr David Smith and Professor Ian Turner, on collaborating for lab provision in an era of social distancing.
Read more

Valuing diverse knowledges in higher education: a post-Covid proposition

18 May 2020

Hilary Noone argues that people-centred approaches, where everyone’s contribution is welcome, valued and acknowledged, can and should be implemented in the ‘new normal’ and will give institutions the competitive edge in post-Covid sectoral emergence.
Read more

From inertia to contagion towards immunity: keeping ‘race’ on the UK university agenda post-COVID-19

15 May 2020

As Covid-19 continues to change the way we all work, Dave Thomas and Marcia Wilson explain why universities have to ensure Race Equality progress is not lost amid the furore once some form of normality returns.
Read more

Best laid plans? Ambitions for student access and participation in the new reality

14 May 2020

As the sector responds to rapid change, Jess Moody, Senior Adviser at Advance HE, asks how institutions can hold on to a vision of equitable student access, participation and success.
Read more

The Digital Literacy Myth: not all are natives

7 May 2020

Following on from their presentation at last year's Teaching and Learning Conference in Newcastle, Peter Wolstencroft and Xue Zhou from Coventry University, reflect on their research that looks at the gap between the assumption that students are ‘digital natives’ and the reality that many, in particular those from either an international or widening participation background, need additional support to ensure that they get the best out of higher education in the UK.
Read more

Leading through coronavirus – choices and the stuff that doesn’t change

6 May 2020

In the 2nd blog of the series, Jo Chaffer explores how our strategic foundations enable course-corrections, choice and maybe even a sense of calm amongst the uncertainty.
Read more

“The way we work will never go back to the way it was.”

5 May 2020

In his keynote speech at our first ever online Surveys and Insights Conference last week, Dr Paul Redmond from The University of Liverpool discusses the impact of Covid-19, generational differences and the challenges that universities have in engaging the millennial generation.
Read more

Socially distanced on campus education: the next big question

04 May 2020

Doug Parkin with introduction by Alison Johns, Advance HE CEO, is written in response to the rapidly unfolding Covid-19 crisis and its impact on Higher Education.
Read more

Lessons learned so far from the move to online governance

28 April 2020

Aaron Porter, Associate Director (Governance), at Advance HE shares some useful tips to help support online governance and meetings during the COVID-19 crisis.
Read more

Flexible learning comes of age

27 April 2020

With the launch of Flexible Learning: a guide to the Advance HE Framework, author Stella Jones-Devitt, Director of Learning and Professor of Critical Pedagogy at Staffordshire University discusses how the demand for thinking and acting flexibly has never been greater.
Read more

From emergency remote teaching to resilient systems for higher education

17 April 2020

Ahead of two member benefit webinars on 21 and 28 April, Kay Hack, Principal Adviser at Advance HE, explores how HE can use the current crisis to transform remote teaching from an emergency response to a resilient teaching system for the future.
Read more

Supporting resilience in difficult times - new report on executive mentoring

16 April 2020

Advance HE’s report, Mentoring for Senior Executive Leadership in Higher Education: Potential and Possibilities, is published for members today. Here, Dr. Carmelina Lawton Smith of the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies at Oxford Brookes University explains how mentoring can be a valuable support to HE leaders in these challenging times.
Read more

Is necessity the mother of invention?

9 April 2020

Doug Parkin, Principal Adviser for Leadership and Management at Advance HE, shares his reflections on the rapidly unfolding COVID-19 crisis and and its impact on higher education.
Read more

Considering assessment in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic

8 April 2020

A new webinar hosted by Advance HE is set to address some of the pedagogic challenges we are all now facing in higher education, focusing on assessment and feedback.
Read more

Leading through coronavirus: strategy, sweet spots and shifting to sustaining

6 April 2020

Jo Chaffer presents the first blogpost in her multi-part series supporting strategic thinking and action for higher education leadership through the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Read more

Designing learning and teaching online: the role of discussion forums

1 April 2020

Slobodan Tomic, Ellen Roberts and Jane Lund of the University of York discuss the need for universities to redesign their teaching practices for the shift online during the COVID-19 pandemic and offers tips on how this can be done effectively.
Read more

Ten top tips for using Zoom for programme delivery

30 March 2020

To help you feel more prepared for the transition to online delivery, Doug Parkin shares his ten top tips for using the video conferencing app Zoom.
Read more

Emotionally intelligent leadership in a time of crisis: fear and reassurance

27 March 2020

Doug Parkin, Principal Adviser for Leadership and Management, Advance HE, reflects on emotionally intelligent leadership amidst the backdrop of the rapidly unfolding COVID-19 crisis and its impact on higher education.
Read more

In the past 60 days…

26 March 2020

Xia Li (Lisa) of Nankai University, Tianjin, China, details her experience of the Covid-19 pandemic in China and her university’s response to moving to remote teaching. On 1 April at 10am BST we will be running a live Q&A for members with our colleagues from Nankai, to see what the higher education sector around the globe can learn from our Chinese colleagues.
Read more

Igniting a spark in dark times

25 March 2020

In advance of our member benefit webinar on Friday 27 March, Kathy Wright, Assistant Director, Knowledge, Innovation and Delivery at Advance HE, reflected on the need for imagination and creativity to give hope and nourishment at a time of uncertainty.
Read more

The online student experience: more than learning online

25 March 2020

Following her talk at the Advance HE STEM conference in Manchester and with universities rapidly shifting teaching online due to Covid-19, Rachel Hilliam, Senior Lecturer in Statistics at the Open University, shares her thoughts on how to create an online learning community.
Read more

Inclusive responses for difficult times - minority and marginalised groups

23 March 2020

Current government advice on restricting social interaction between people is likely to have a particular impact on students and staff from minority groups and may leave them more vulnerable to loneliness and isolation.
Read more

Inclusive responses for difficult times - harassment and hate crime

22 March 2020

Sadly, some people have already experienced hate crime, harassment and hostility linked to perceptions about aspects of their identity and Covid-19. As the pandemic develops this is likely to increase. Higher education institutions can prepare for this.
Read more

Home working and childcare: considerations for your family’s Cobra meeting

21 March 2020

Ellen Pugh, Senior Adviser at Advance HE, explores how to navigate the challenging situation of working at home and home schooling your children.
Read more

Inclusive responses for difficult times - caring responsibilities

21 March 2020

With school closures and increased commitments in relation to the care of older people, more staff and students are likely to need to manage both work and study and caring commitments. Higher education institutions can consider offering support.
Read more

Inclusive responses for difficult times - mental health and wellbeing

20 March 2020

It is likely that students and staff will be feeling more anxious during this time. Increased demand may come both from those with pre-existing health conditions or mental health difficulties which might be exacerbated during the current period of strain and uncertainty, as well as those newly seeking or in need of support during this emergency. Higher education institutions can prepare for this.
Read more

Getting through getting your learning online

18 March 2020

With coronavirus forcing universities into rapid, wholesale moves to online platforms, lots of academics are about to face a difficult period for their teaching. Simon Usherwood offers some suggestions about how to manage your way through.
Read more

Learning in the time of Covid-19

16 March 2020

As universities start closing learning spaces and cancelling face-to-face teaching, Dr Kay Hack, Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching) spoke with students about their experiences and concerns as their education is disrupted. Here she reflects on what we can and should be doing to minimise damage to well-being and learning during this public health emergency.
Read the blog
3px purple line

Join the conversation in Advance HE Connect

We are conscious that many people will be working with online learning and assessment and we want to offer as much support as possible. The Learning and Teaching Network, on Advance HE Connect, our online network dedicated to HE, is our hub for this and we will be posting resources and be available to answer questions or host discussions.

In the resource area you will find a file with online resources which might be useful to you and others. If you would like to post anything please do so on the live feed and use the tags to help the content to be searchable. If you are not yet a member of Advance HE Connect, it is open to all with 22,000 sector colleagues already coming together to share, connect and collaborate.

Join the network
Advance HE Connect