Together we are stronger: a message from EAIE President Sabine Pendl

Together we are stronger: a message from EAIE President Sabine Pendl COVID-19

As the EAIE Board holds its official April 2020 meeting this week online, EAIE President Sabine Pendl sends a message of support to everyone working in international higher education. She also shares some of the EAIE’s upcoming online content and invites us to reflect on our experiences in these times of crisis.

Navigating these uncertain times is not easy, especially in our current environment of remote working. Juggling our personal and professional responsibilities is a balancing act. We need to support each other and know that we can turn to our families and colleagues for the personal, professional and emotional help we need. 

Connect digitally with your EAIE community

Remember, that if you are part of the EAIE, you have a global network to support you. Some of you have managed to transition successfully to working digitally, others are coping with the resources they have. Feelings of uncertainty are normal at this time and we are here to provide timely, relevant content and a platform to share your struggles and experiences.

To support you with insights and to help you get in touch with other professionals experiencing the challenges of turning their office online, we have launched our new EAIE Community Moment webcast. This weekly series offers an interactive online check-in, where our community can come together to discuss experiences, struggles and best practices with host, Laura Rumbley and a weekly special guest. We invite you to join us to explore how to best deal with these unusual times.

Adapt and learn from the experience

Despite the new challenges, we will come through this period together. This experience will, however, leave a lasting imprint on every aspect of our lives. We can use this as an opportunity to reflect on our practices and marvel at how radically they had to adapt to this new normal. We can look at this positively and ask ourselves, what have we learned in the process? Maintaining a more digital office space could be one of the developments. Online meetings could become even more mainstream in our sector, reducing greenhouse gases from international travel and positively impacting our work-life balance. I hope that we can continue to adapt to new ways of working, be more open to brave ideas and be more resilient when facing challenges.

I hope we can have these discussions face-to-face in October at the EAIE Conference in Barcelona. Until then, the upcoming Spring edition of our member magazine Forum, will be made freely available to the public, including non-members, in an effort to share far and wide the insights from this timely issue on digitalisation in higher education. The digital edition will be available from 20 April when we launch Forum Week, here on the EAIE blog.

I wish you good health and take care!

Sabine Pendl
University of Graz, AustriaSabine Pendl is President of the EAIE and Director of the Office of International Relations at the University of Graz, Austria.