The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to the HE sector. As a result, university and college leaders have had to respond to the initial ‘emergency’, plan for the next academic year or session, and for the delivery of teaching and learning online, at a scale unimaginable twelve-months ago. Furthermore, these reactive and proactive changes, looking both backwards to the previous academic session and forwards to the next, have had to be delivered at speed; not something we, or our governance, quality assurance, design and delivery, and accreditation processes are usually well equipped to deal with.
When and how we reopen our campuses has consumed a vast amount of resource, focusing on issues such as health and safety, recruitment and induction, the campus environment and its association with its environs, the design and delivery of learning and teaching, quality and quality assurance, and finance. The prominence of these issues, which are fundamental to our existence and raison d’être, often means issues of inclusion and equity are overlooked when the big picture is so demanding.
This report synthesises the discussions from the workshops series of the Socially Distanced Campuses and Education project.