#PHEresponse to COVID-19 | Interview with Ph.D. Petri Lempinen, Executive director of Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences

Arene is the Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences whose main goal is to protect the common interests of 24 Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland. We interviewed Ph.D. Petri Lempinen, the Executive director of the Rectors’ Conference in order to understand how the COVID-19 outbreak affected one of the most advanced education systems in Europe.

 

1.What measures have been taken in your country? Tell me how the higher education institutions handled a lockdown in the first days.

On the 13th of March, a Rectors’ meeting took place where we evaluated an existing situation in the country and decided that we need to take measures and start preparations to stop all the education activities. Later, the following Monday, the Government decided that all the education institutions should go on distance learning, all the schools and campuses should be closed, including RDI campuses. Currently, we can use a few laboratories and facilities if it is necessary to ensure that students who are about to graduate can finish the studies. Also, a critical RDI can continue, for instance, animal testing.

 

2. What was the biggest challenge for your members in the first days of the announced lockdown? How ARENE supported its members in that time?

Since we took a decision earlier than the government, it gave us a little bit of time for a preparation to work in a different mode. Also, the fact that we have an ongoing national development project which aims to develop a virtual campus was quite helpful in this period. Finally, 98 percent of the staff members have laptops so they are ready to switch to teleworking or smart working any time.

Talking about challenges, it mostly affected a healthcare sector because our students were not able to use simulation rooms.  Our organization has been very active throughout this period for its members and served as a platform of the exchange of information. Besides that, we organized periodical Rectors’ meetings, have a WhatsApp group where we exchange certain issues or good practices on the daily basis.

 

3. This period for UAS is particularly important due to the ongoing entrance exams. Did COVID-19 affect students’ selection procedures in the country?

Talking about foreign language study programs, international students have been prevented from participating in entrance examinations in Finland due to the closed borders. Therefore, it has been decided instead of entrance examinations to rely on applicants’ school performance and selection assignments.

When it comes to Finish/Swedish language study programs, UAS took a decision that the second joint universities of applied sciences entrance examinations this spring will be organised online. There were 92 000 applicants to the UAS by the end of the application period on 1 April. 75 000 of those sought admission in the joint application examinations.

The decision to organise the examinations online was taken in order to protect the health of applicants, staff and their families. There are no projections for the progress of the Corona pandemic and we are therefore unable to predict a safe future date for the entrance exam.

At the moment we expect to start without a delay, but when it comes to the international students we are not sure whether we will have any of them.

 

4. Part of your members’ studies are happening in the workplace. How are you dealing with that – postponing the placements?

The traineeships depend on the employers and the nature of their activities. One of our biggest sector-social and healthcare cancelled almost all the traineeships. At the same time they hired students who have finished 2/3 of their studies to fight the pandemic.

In other sectors, a lot of companies temporarily terminated their activities. At the moment there are around 400 000 thousand people who are temporarily out of work and this economic shock may crucially affect the whole labor market. So naturally, if there are no activities in the companies, there are no possibilities to have traineeships too.

It is quite probable that some students will face delays in graduation too. It is very difficult to find an alternative for the traineeships because we cannot use the campuses. But once they are open, we can organize some kind of the alternative traineeships, for instance in engineering, in the sector of culture, which was highly affected by the pandemic. At the same time, we need teachers to do so and the summer holidays are approaching.

5. Did universities receive any financial support from the government?

Universities have not received additional funding due to COVID-19 outbreak or restriction measures ordered by the government. Due to the labor market effects of the virus the Finnish government is planning to increase funding of continuous learning to provide learning opportunities for those who lose their jobs.

There is flexibility in using a student grant. But since the labor market is very much affected, students most probably will not be able to have summer jobs, and, therefore, it may affect their income and ability to sustain themselves throughout the year.

 

6. Are you aware of any social problems that students may face? i.e. online learning could be a challenge to socially underprivileged groups.

We have noticed that not all the students are ready to fully participate in the online learning. For those who had problems in learning before the crisis, this situation has not been helpful.

At the level of Rector’s conference we noted various risks, but universities are dealing with them individually, with the support of the Students’ Union.

 

7. What are your members’ expectation on the European Union?

Higher education in Finland is publicly funded, so we are not depended on the students’ tuition fees and, therefore, a risk to the system could be moderate.

Speaking about the European level, we believe that the structural funds, Horizon and Erasmus programs should be first finished before evaluating what support the European higher education system needs further. Currently, the expectations are related to economic and employment policies rather than education on the European level.

 

8. A lot of businesses are changing their activity models and concentrating to the industry related to tackling pandemic. Have you heard about any early business-university collaborations in this field?

Around 20 UAS opened up their services to support the ones who currently lost their jobs with skills learning and development. How useful it will be, it is still difficult to say. Other universities are offering to companies free services to write applications in order to receive money from government economic support programs. Our UAS also supported social healthcare sector by providing various materials and equipment to the hospitals.

 

9. What may be future arrangements and lessons from the current crisis? Do you think it will change a professional higher education sector?

I think that the crisis has shown that digital solutions are feasible and it will be used much more in the future. What we see nowadays, for instance online tools that we use for learning or hold the meetings are still quite primitive and are based on the idea to replicate the same things that we do in the campuses. In Finland we have an approach that this is not about the tools, but more about how do we use and analyse all the data that comes from the learning, and how we could use it to better identify learning and labour market needs.

In my view, when we will learn how to use different mobile applications and apply the same technological, psychological techniques that we use in the computer games, we can change the way how the learning environments could look like.

Our members expect that most of the future investment of the learning environments will be digital and not anymore on the campuses. It doesn’t mean that campuses will extinct, but there will be a much bigger variety of how we learn and work.

 

10. Would you like to add something:

Moral support and an ability to unite are very important in the times when nobody knows what it is coming. I think that our organisation was very helpful from the beginning by supporting its members and providing a platform of communications. 

#PHEresponse to COVID-19 | Interview with Dr. Jon Altuna Iraola, Academic Vice-Rector of Mondragon University in the Basque Country

Spain has been one of the most affected countries in Europe by the COVID-19 outbreak. Together with Dr. Altuna Iraola, Academic Vice-Rector of our member Mondragon University from the Basque Country, we discussed the impact of the lockdown on the different aspects of academic life and the University’s response to the challenge raised by the pandemic.

1. What is the current situation in your country and which measures were adopted by the government to stop the spread of COVID-19?

The situation is changing every now and then, but Spain is in a “State of alarm” from 14 March 2020. The Basque government, together with the Spanish government, initially closed all schools and universities and approved social distancing measures, which were quite strict compared to other countries. There is no possibility, for instance, to go out and do physical exercise, and for a couple of weeks all non-essential economic activity was prohibited.

2. Did Mondragon University take any precautionary measures before the government’s announcement of the lockdown?

There was no sign of the dimension of the outbreak in Spain until the end of February, but once it started, we knew it was just a matter of weeks for the virus to reach us too. For us, it was very important to coordinate our actions with the Basque Government and other universities in the region. Also, we have always waited for the health authorities to give us instructions on what had to be done to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

3. What is the general mood of your staff and students at the moment?

In the beginning, there was a very positive mood, both among students and among our staff. We knew that we had to overcome this situation and that we had to adapt ourselves to it very quickly. Then, during the following weeks, you could feel that the mood was getting tenser. The learning process was very intense and the students were feeling like they wanted to go back to face-to-face education, because they were missing the personal contact with their peers and partners. I think that the Easter holidays have been really good for them to take a breath and try to cope with what was coming up.

Meanwhile, jointly with the other Basque universities and the Basque Government, we decided to finish this academic year in remote learning.

4. You introduced the topic of remote learning, let’s dive into it deeper. How did the switch to online learning go? Do you have any good practices to share with our members?

Some of our faculties were experienced in remote learning, with 25% of their activities already taking place online, but some of them have never done that. To ensure a smooth switch to online learning, we decided to combine synchronous and asynchronous instructions in each course. Also, every morning a meeting is organised between the students and a tutor, who helps them make a recap of the schedule of the week and checks how they are doing. I believe this system works very well.

5. What about students’ assessments?

Assessments are probably a big issue for many universities, but for us it was a quite natural process. We already had in place a continuous assessment system and we don’t have to rely only on final exams. We already had many evidences on the students’ learning process and what we are doing now is just continuing to capture this variety of assessments. I believe people forget that the learning process it’s not only about summative assessment or marking, but it’s also about formative assessment. However, since the learning and teaching methodologies have been adapted to remote learning, this necessarily requires assessments also to be adapted to this new scenario.  

6. Mondragon University has a strong commitment to applied research jointly with the world of work. Has this been interrupted by the current situation?

Most research projects that we already had in place haven’t been affected that much. Our Ph.D. students were able to maintain parts of their research activities from home, even though some of them haven’t been able to carry out lab experiments or conduct research with equipment while strict confinement measures are in place. The transfer of knowledge with companies has been affected because companies had to stop all their activities, including the ones in collaboration with our university. In the next months, we will also probably see a bigger impact on the work of Ph.D. students with industry.

7. You talked about Mondragon University’s special relationship with the world of work and I know that you collaborate with more than 250 companies and institutions that offer students practical trainings. How are you dealing with placements? Are students able to continue?

Our policy on placements has been focused on establishing a conversation with the companies and on determining in which placements conditions were met so that the students could continue their work. We haven’t adopted a general rule, because we faced a different variety of situations. Some companies have decided that the students could continue their placements in remote mode from their houses. In other cases, like placements in secondary and vocational training schools, they had to be suspended. However, some of our students in this field have found creative ways to reshape and refocus their placements, offering, for example, their support to schools in the transition from face-to-face to online learning.

We expect that a high percentage of work-based learning activities might be recovered by the end of May. An important number of them will continue in remote mode and others will take place physically in the workplace if the necessary health and security conditions are met. For us, being a cooperative university strongly tied to the world of work, it is important to listen to the companies and organisations we work with, rather than take the decisions unilaterally.

8. Are you aware of any social problems that students may face? I.e. online learning could be a challenge to socially underprivileged groups.

All our students have a laptop – this has been a policy at our university. For those students who were not able to purchase one, we already had a financial support scheme that allows them to do so. Our faculties have also created online platforms where our students and staff could easily solve the issues related to e-learning together with our IT experts. Also, we have opened a university Open EdX platform, where trainings on synchronous e-learning, online assessments and so on, are available.

What we noticed is that there is an increasing problem related to many students’ families that are temporarily unemployed and unable to pay the fees. Since we already had in place a financial scheme to support families in financial difficulties, we decided to reshape it and adapt it to the current situation.

9. Has there been any engagement of the university and its students in supporting the local community? What do you think could be the role of Mondragon University in helping to overcome the crisis?

At the very beginning of the crisis, there was a call from the local governments inviting young people to volunteer for the civil service and we promoted this initiative among our students. The 3D printing facilities of our Faculty of Engineering are also producing quite an important number of face masks, which are delivered to local hospitals and supermarkets.

As for what might be the role of Mondragon University in overcoming this crisis, our first commitment is to send a reassuring message and invite our students and staff to follow the security measures, as much as we can. We need to be an example to society and we need to commit our students to engage much more with their community.

10. What do you think it’s the impact that the Coronavirus crisis will have on professional higher education?

We work closely with many businesses and companies that were strongly affected by the crisis and were forced to suspend their activities. For this reason, the impact of this crisis might be harder on professional higher education than on conventional research-based education. Managing the vast amount of students in placements and their different situations is also something that research-based universities don’t need to handle that much. Our activities are strongly oriented towards businesses and companies and they inevitably suffer when the economy is suffering. So I believe that the impact of the Coronavirus crisis will be higher on professional higher education in this sense.

11. Do you see this health crisis as an impulse for change in our sector?

That’s for sure; nothing will be the same in the higher education field after the COVID-19 crisis. I think that those institutions who do not take this as an opportunity to undergo digital transformation, will suffer a lot in the future years. We need to make new proposals in our educational model that are more flexible and adaptable for students. I also think that we need to give more importance to the personal development of students, balancing it with their professional development. It’s true that we need to offer our students the best training opportunities, but if we want them to be able to face this kind of situation in society in the future, we need them to be much more flexible, critical, cooperative and resilient.

11. Would you like to add something?

I believe this crisis will impact students’ mobility in every sense. From the very beginning, we have been monitoring the spread of the virus and we took the decision to bring all our students outside Europe back home. That was a complicated decision that we had to take based on student’s health coverage in order to guarantee their health and safety. But it’s true that mobility will be affected more than anything else and I think we should start taking into account what will happen to our international programmes in the near future.

#PHEresponse to COVID-19| Interview with Dr Joseph Ryan, the CEO of The Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) in Ireland

The second interview of our recently launched campaign #PHEresponse to COVID-19 is devoted to Ireland and Irish higher education system, and their challenges in the times of crisis.

We interviewed Dr Joseph Ryan, the CEO of our member, The Technological Higher Education Association (THEA), Ireland, who gave us an overview of how the sector has been addressing the main challenges caused by Coronavirus.

 

1.What measures have been taken in your country to stop the spread of Coronavirus?

Unlike some other European countries, we don’t use the term lockdown, but the government has introduced progressive restrictions and encouraged everyone to work at home and to allow movement only for urgent supplies or medical needs. In principle, we can shop, but most of the retailers are closed down. Police has recently been active on the streets and constantly check whether a person has a valid reason to be travelling.

 

2. What is the general mood of your members at the moment?

On the national level, I think that everyone in the country is confident in the advice and leadership. We are a bit like Danes, in times like this, we tend to comply with what we are asked to do if it is explained adequately. On the other hand, the government is aware that you can’t effectively imprison the whole population for too long.

At the institutional level, people were preparing in advance and have been extraordinarily innovative so far. For example, the community has shown that they can do online delivery in a whole variety of different ways.

 

3. You mentioned that people have great trust in national leadership. Could you tell us how the government has been supporting Ireland’s higher education sector in relation to the crisis?

Right after our Prime minister’s (Taoiseach) statement on COVID-19 on 12 of March, there was instituted a high-level government coordination group which has been looking at the issues related to post-secondary education and led by the Department of Education and Skills. This effectively is an interim governance oversight for the whole system.  The group included all our agencies, universities’ association, and ourselves – THEA. It doesn’t include the higher education providers directly; we speak on their behalf. Also, there are a series of dedicated working groups who look at the particular themes, i.e. there are operational teams working on the delivery, assessment, students’ care and aid to civil powers and especially the health service.  Those high-level groups meet every day and so far proved to be very helpful in managing the system.

Also, the government has been good in providing money and supports to students with a particular focus on equity and ensuring fair treatment for those with a disadvantaged background.

 

4. Let’s talk about institutions’ challenge to quickly switch to remote studies. Could you tell me what model of “online learning” your members mostly chose (real-time, combination ort etc)?

We have seen some very good practices implemented by our members: individual or peer to peer learning, live time classes, a combination of online activities. Our Learning and Teaching community of practice have excellent courses online, there are a lot of already existing digital resources, and some of the journals took an initiative to grant free access to the public. So there is a whole range of approaches which we haven’t had time to document, but once we will get through the crisis, there will be a lot of reflection on what did and what didn’t work.

 

5. In your opinion, how the current crisis will affect the length of the studies, graduation, date and the entrance of new students?

This topic has been one of the biggest debates that we had in the first week of the close down. We made a national commitment to complete and graduate this year in a timely fashion in order to start next year as close as possible on time. There are many complicated factors in that, for example, students with particular needs and how we can support them through the completion of the year. Secondly, there are real difficulties with some lab-based and practical-based programmes, especially in such as the practice-based arts.

The situation has also an impact on our State examinations. There is a question whether and when we can run them. If they are deferred or late, it means that the access to higher education is potentially delayed. At the moment, we are modelling a slightly different academic year for 2021, even if we start as late as November. In our modelling, we can give a full service to students, once we have a number of teaching weeks before Christmas. However, if we are forced through the crisis to delay the commencement of the next academic year to January, it gives us some serious additional and particular challenges.

 

6. Part of your members’ studies is happening in the workplace. How your members are dealing with that – postponing the placements? How do you see the continuity of applied research?

When our Prime minister announced the first closure, one of the first challenges centred on the students who are on placements and research students who have worked in the labs. Luckily, we managed to complete the vast majority of this stage before a further range of restrictions on the 27th of March. If we look into the future, it is very uncertain. Of course, some of the placements can be managed online, and some by proxy, but not everything.  And we may face supplementing some material in the workplace through next year.  

If we look at the research, we have students that are on the grants. Therefore, we have to act very quickly that they would be protected and the grants would be extended.  We are working closely with the government and the funding agencies in this.  

 

7. Are you aware of any social problems that students may face? i.e. online learning could be a challenge to socially underprivileged groups.

In Ireland, we have a fairly good integrated system but we don’t have an equal reach for the network capacity throughout the country. So we engaged with the major telecom companies to explore how they can help us in order to make sure that there is a dedicated focus on supporting students in their learning process. In terms of devices, not every household has sufficient devices. Here again, we liaised with big corporations to get additional devices that we can give out to certain students.

In terms of the particular support, institutions are dealing with students on a one to one basis.

 

8. Let’s talk about the post-crisis higher education world. How COVID-19 will affect professional higher education sector, in your opinion? Do you think that our sector will need to reconsider its modus operandi after the crisis? On another hand, do you see this health crisis as an impulse for a change?

My sense is that the world will never be the same again. I think that we will have a new model of blended learning in the future which we will need to concretely implement.  This experience has somewhat perversely shown that we have the confidence and capacity to deliver well remotely.  

If we look from the broader perspective, at the moment it is anticipated that some 25 per cent of our population may face unemployment as a result of this public health pandemic. And although we are moving towards economic hibernation, we still need to keep the link with companies, with employees, and give them public support hoping we can rescue as much activity as we can. I am afraid that this year we are likely to have graduates who will not have the same employment opportunities as their peers from previous years have enjoyed. Finally, there is a great fear that the countries will become more insular and here European cohesion becomes hugely important.

On the good side, I feel that the professional higher education sector has a key role in rebooting the economy. In my opinion, it won’t be just going back to business as normal but the market will become very particularly skills-focused because we will deal with different needs than the ones we had a few months ago. And professional higher education sector is well placed to address that.

 

9. Would you like something to add:

What we learn is that in times of crisis clear communication is crucial. People need to hear one consistent message that is informed and can be understandable to everyone. We work on that cohesively every day.  

#PHEresponse to COVID-19| Interview with Arend Hardorff, the Dean of the Hotelschool The Hague

EURASHE in response to COVID-19 decided to interview a few of its members to better understand how is the situation in their respective country, what challenges faces their institution or the sector and how the current health crisis could affect professional higher education in the future.

The hospitality sector is one of the most affected by the authority’s measures to prevent the Coronavirus outbreak. Last week we sat down and had an online chat with the Dean of the Hotelschool The Hague in the Netherlands, Mr Arend Hardorff to understand how their school and the sector is doing today.

 

1. What measures have been taken in the Netherlands in relation to COVID-19? 

In the Netherlands, we are under the so-called ‘intelligent’ lockdown. It means that shops are open (not only grocery shops), but people are asked to restrict themselves, not to group with more than three people and no events can take place. People are allowed to go to work but are advised to work from home. Myself and the Hotelschool The Hague staff and students are working from home from already four weeks.

 

2. The spread of the COVID19 and the implemented measures of social distancing affected single citizens and families. For the communities like a university, it’s a particularly challenging measure as institutions tend to gather and unite people rather than keep them apart. What is the general mood in your university at the moment?

If we look to our community of students and staff, there are people who are directly affected by the virus – they were sick but recovering or have family members who got sick. Luckily, nobody died but there is a general feeling that the virus is really close to us.

Another issue is a re-orientation of our activities – switching to distance learning. For a hospitality school, it’s all about human interaction and, of course, training students the right skills to work in this sector, meaning rightly assess people, react to situations. In that sense, a lot could go online but it’s never the same experience when students in our hotel and restaurants have their guests and can interact with them. In some extent, you can simulate these type of situations but never entirely.

 

3. Let’s talk about your switch to remote studies. What type of online learning you are using? How are you planning to hold students’ assessment?

Four weeks ago we had hardly anything online, our digital learning environment served only to complement physical classrooms. After the Government’s decision, we were in the 6th week of the third block of our academic year and we had 2 more weeks of teaching left that had to be converted into online. So, the School was closed in the very last weeks before students had to hand in assignments and learn for the exams. 

Since all the universities in the Netherlands took a decision themselves and decided to stay closed until 1 June, we know that also the last block of our studies, starting 28 April will also be largely online.  

When it comes to the assignments, oral exams and presentations take places online, even the graduation exams. What we did with sit-down exams that are normally held in campus, was to ask course teams to develop alternatives to them. Of course, every alternative takes more time than a sit-down exam but we are trying to ensure more time for students to take them and also more time to teachers to grade them.

 

4. Part of your studies is happening in the workplace. It is field-specific, for hospitality this meant substantial close down and decline. How are you dealing with that – postponing, cancelling the placements? 

In some sense we were lucky because the February intake going on placement  from February to July is usually smaller than the August intake.  This semester we had 185 students going on placements, 160 out of them were cancelled for various reasons-some hotels closed due to a small number or no guests, other students had to take a quick decision because their home countries’ borders were about to close and the question was can whether they can go to stay with their families.

From our side what we are trying to do in this situation is to make sure that everyone can finish their placements within the given period, replacing them with written assignments or other online activities.

 

5. How did this health crisis affect your students and staff? 

From the student’s point of view, we are lucky because everyone here owns a laptop, but slow or interrupted internet connection sometimes is a problem, especially connecting on various online communications platforms in big groups or doing online assessments. In order to help our students, we created more exams opportunities. Another issue is a stress factor-some students’ families are hit by Coronavirus and they are not able to handle the stress so we ask our teachers to be more flexible-our goal is to encourage students to keep on studying.

The situation is also stressful for the staff members, especially the ones who have children or have to share a small apartment and are also expected to teach at the same time. Some of my colleagues feel emotional and physical stress, so we encourage them to put education-to students first and let other things go. We also try to make them understand that we do not expect them to work 8 hours per day efficiently, but rather asking to concentrate on our priority-giving online classes.

 

6. Do you think the current situation will affect the length of an academic year? Are you planning to postpone the start of the newcomers?

The biggest goal of the universities in the Netherlands is to prevent any delay in studies, so we have to provide an alternative that gives an opportunity to keep on studying and graduate on time. It is also related to the financial reason, the longer you study, the more debts you build up. 

What we also feel that we are a part of the whole education pipeline: i.e. secondary schools’ students finish and want to go to higher education institutions, the same as for bachelor students who want to get their Master degree. Ourselves, we expect to be open in August.  Currently, we are holding online selection procedures, organising online recruitment days and are expecting to welcome new students on time.

 

7. Have you been in contact with your partners-companies and hotels? What is their view of the situation?

Except for Italy, all other EU countries are in a similar part of the curve at the moment and most of the hotels were closed 3-4 weeks ago. We keep contact with our partners but at the same time, we understand that they deal with major challenges at the moment. Hospitality industry has been hit harder than education, so in this sense, we are in a more comfortable situation than the companies we educate for. 

 

8. How, in your opinion, the COVID19 will affect the hospitality sector in general? Do you see it as an opportunity or rather a challenge which could cause a long term lasting damage?

We have already seen a lot of digitalization happening in the hotels before: automatic check-in, booking procedures and similar repetitive activities. This model was very often used as a solution for cheaper hotels to cut off staff costs. I think it will accelerate even further after this crisis too: not meeting staff in the hotel might mean not only lower costs but also hygienic, safe and secure environment. In that sense, I could see a change and the way how it will be presented.

 

9. Has there been any engagement of the school, students in assisting the community in tackling a pandemic? Do you have any examples?

In a broader sense, our students can go and work for example in one of the biggest hospital’s in Amsterdam Call center where they can provide people with information on the phone and this could be an alternative of their placement if they wish to do so, or take any other initiative in their community if it corresponds to their learning objectives. But we also see, that our students take initiatives to do something extra-curricular, so as an institution we are happy to provide them with the platform for communications and serve as a knowledge center.

I.e. one our student is doing research on which way the hospitality sector in Spain is helping out the hospitals to outsource a part of the activities which should normally take place in the hospitals and move them into the hotels, so that the hospitals can create more space for the intensive care patients.

 

10. How will COVID-19 affect professional higher education sector, in your opinion? Do you think our sector will need to reconsider its modus operandi after the crisis? 

On one hand, we sense how our students appreciate an opportunity to be on the campus-the studying starts in the classroom but community gatherings, building relations and having a social life continues beyond it.

But in some part of the studies, we can see that digital means are more effective i.e. if I teach a class of 60 students, for some of them I will be too fast, for others-too slow. So we see that students, as well as the staff, appreciate the extra features of digital learning. What we expect is that once we are back, we will use more often a hybrid learning model. i.e. we have students who have certain studying disabilities such as dyscalculia or dyslexia and physically there are limits of what you can cater to the individual needs, while if you have online materials available is much easier to create a sort of the menu in a combination of what can be physically available and what you can do digitally.

 

11. Would you like to add something?

I’ve worked at the Hotelschool The Hague for more than 1,5 years and I really enjoy it, and it is such a strange feeling that I cannot experience now everything what our school is about-nice smells coming from our restaurants, having a friendly chat at the reception, interacting with staff and students. At the same time, I see a lot of positivity and appreciation towards each other and a lot of people feel closer to each other than they normally are.