COVID-19 pandemic is changing the lives of people all over the world. It is changing the way we work, the way we learn, and the way we live. Naturally, the pandemic also has its effects on the Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE) Alliance.
YUFE aims at building a young, student-centered, non-elitist, open, and inclusive European University. One of its key components will be the physical, blended, and virtual mobility of students and staff. Restrictions on movement and gathering enforced all over Europe at this moment emphasizes the importance of online education opportunities. Rather than mainly focusing on the time after COVID-19 – when physical mobility will be possible again – the YUFE Alliance has decided to put increased emphasis on its Virtual Campus. This online platform will virtually connect citizens, students, and staff all over Europe. The hope is to reap the benefits of this already shortly and further strengthen the online resources that all academic institutions in YUFE have already put in place since they have had to move their classes online swiftly. Through these combined efforts, YUFE is determined to reach its goal of having the first YUFE students starting in the AY 2020/2021.
The daily work towards our European University is guided by the needs and interests of students and staff, as much as possible. In consultation with the YUFE partners, students, governments and other European University alliances, we try to formulate accessible solutions and answers to the many questions people have. There are no ‘manuals’ or ‘guidelines’ that we can fall back on in this exceptional situation. It is challenging working together across borders without being able to meet face-to-face for such an extended period of time. However, the commitment of everyone working on YUFE is shining through, with an abundance of virtual meetings, which allows us to move forward in a coordinated and efficient way. This, with the unique sense of community students and staff generate are allowing us to build activities and solutions we hope to share with you in the upcoming months.