EURIE Summit: SGroup Panel

SGroup was very well represented at the EURIE Summit, with a panel on ‘Responsible International Higher Education 2021 - transformative digical modes for sustainable glocal engagement’. The session took place virtually on 3 March, with more than 30 participants and a positive feedback from the audience. It was chaired by the SGroup President, Arnim Heinemann (University of Bayreuth), with Agata Mannino (University of Trieste) and Anthony Manning (University of Kent) as speakers.

As moderator, Arnim Heinemann introduced the topic of sustainability in higher education, contextualizing the SGroup Think Tank Academy focus for 2021 in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Moreover, speakers shared their expectations with regard to the overall global HE development, challenges and opportunities of digitalization and glocal engagement. Anthony Manning mentioned the possibilities of sustainable HE funding after the UK leaving Erasmus, and Agata Mannino highlighted the role of European University Alliances in strengthening sustainability of higher education.

Additionally, the audience took part in the discussion, by answering a few questions in real time:

  • 100% of the respondents expected the work culture in HE to develop mostly in a well-balanced hybrid format beyond 2021;
  • As far as higher education mobility is concerned, 90% of the audience considered that it would develop in a hybrid format in the future, while 7% believed it would assume a typically physical format, and 3% thought it will be mostly virtual;
  • With respect to the last interactive question, “How well prepared is your HEI to achieve UN SDGs in a comprehensive/holistic way?” 80% of the respondents took the view that their institutions were somehow prepared, while 15% thought their universities were well prepared and 5% not prepared at all.

Wrapping up the discussion, Arnim Heinemann mentioned that the time frame for planning sustainable global HE development should be aiming at a continuous development with milestones starting today, with a long-term perspective on the top strategic level.