Higher Education and Science in the Age of ‘New Normality’

On Monday, May 4th, 2020, the University of Rijeka organized an online conference of the International Scientific Council (ISC) of the University of Rijeka. The conference started at 5 PM, and during a two-hour discussion, the members of the ISC discussed ‘Higher Education and Science in the Age of ‘New Normality”. The moderator was Madam Rector Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Ph.D., with the assistance of Prof. Saša Zelenika, Ph.D., Rector’s Assistant for International Cooperation and Strategic Partnerships.

We are glad that our initiative has been welcomed and recognized by all members of the International Scientific Council, namely Prof. Ivan Đikić, M.D., Ph.D., Prof. Željko Ivezić, Ph.D., Prof. Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela, Ph.D., Prof. Danica Kragić Jensfelt, Ph.D., Prof. Igor Mezić, Ph.D., Prof. Art. Vedran Mimica, Prof. Nenad Mišćević, Ph.D., Prof. Dražen Prelec, Ph.D., and Prof. Igor Žutić, Ph.D., who all joined the discussion via Zoom.

The COVID-19 pandemic radically affects not only our academic work and life but also our daily lives. At the University of Rijeka, as well as at other world universities, distance learning became a norm, while scientific activities are, where possible, conducted at home, and business activities are reduced to those necessary.

To actively contribute to reflecting on the consequences that a COVID-19 pandemic and a halt in almost all activities will have on our work in the short term, i.e. by the end of the academic year, as well as over the next few years in which we will try to compensate all the missed, as well as on the long-term consequences for the whole society and the high education and science, this conference aimed at providing expert views, advice, and recommendations from the perspectives of the various scientific disciplines and environments in which the members of our International Scientific Council operate.

The conference was attended by over 80 people in the (virtual) audience, members of the UNIRI Senate, professors emeritus, and we were extremely pleased to have distinguished guests join the conference, namely Mr. Vojko Obersnel, City of Rijeka Mayor, Mr. Mladen Pejković, President of the Council of the University of Rijeka, and Mr. Boris Popović, President of the Competitiveness Council of the Urban Agglomeration of Rijeka.

More details about the online conference can be found on the website of the Jutarnji list Daily, in the article by journalist Tanja Rudež.

The full video of the conference is available at the following link.