Coronavirus – Seizing Opportunities

Festival of Changes and  Innovation

The coronavirus pandemic has touched the lives of everyone on earth. Here at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, we have spent many weeks and months doing our best to overcome the challenges it has brought. Often we were forced to meet these challenges at a moment’s notice and as a result our summer semester has been dominated by new experiences.

The ongoing crisis has taught us many lessons and led to a renewed focus in many areas, acting as a magnifying glass of sorts. We are in the midst of gathering invaluable new perspectives and insight, particularly regarding digital teaching, but also in work from home and our daily work practices in general. Where is the best place to unravel and examine new ideas? A university. It is here that we find the many prerequisites for successfully engaging with new ideas, thinking innovatively, and planning the next steps towards their fruition.

Crises like the coronavirus pandemic are, of course, dismaying, but in them and their challenges we also sense new opportunities emerging. We can feel these mixed emotions acutely in our studies and our teaching; in an essential part of our core responsibilities. Right now, these responsibilities cannot be met in the way we are accustomed or that they require. We, like many others, were caught relatively unprepared for the sudden change of teaching – from face-to-face to digital – that the crisis demanded. Our current efforts, however, offer the chance to change that for future. Digital ideas and new teaching formats can contribute to reshaping our understanding of education – forging something more cutting-edge, interesting and effective – perhaps producing even greater freedom for future ideas.

Against this backdrop I would like to invite you to a Festival of Changes and Innovation, where we can contribute and share our positive experiences over the past months and shape the idea of a new future together. Since mid-March, each and every one of us has undoubtedly established new ideas and work methods for themselves or their team. These ideas have the potential to improve many aspects of our lives, making our studies, teaching, research or work in general easier and more effective.

Our goal must be to learn from the coronavirus pandemic. For the continued development of our institution we must ensure that all positive changes, adjustment and moments – born of the necessity to overcome this crisis – are not lost, but preserved for the future.

So I call upon the entire Rhine-Waal community to share their experiences with others: let us be a part of your personal triumphs, achievements and new practices through text submission, videos, audio recording, sketchnotes and more. We in the Executive Board will gather your submissions and make them available to the public so that everyone can learn and benefit from them.

Please direct your submissions to: changes@hochschule-rhein-waal.de 

We look forward to your contributions.

Dr. Oliver Grütjen

President of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences