Fulbright Transatlantic Roundtable: Reimagining Strategy: While COVID-19 Reshapes Higher Education, How Should International Exchanges Navigate The New Normal?


Under its Fulbright Transatlantic Roundtable series, the Fulbright Finland Foundation is organizing an online panel discussion to address and discuss the immediate and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on international higher education and more specifically international exchanges. An expert panel opens up the Roundtable with introductory statements focused on specific angles of the topic and then participants join in the conversation with questions and comments.  This 1,5-hour Roundtable is an invitation-only event.  

Reimagining Strategy: While COVID-19 Reshapes Higher Education, How Should International Exchanges Navigate The New Normal?

Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 16.00 Helsinki (9 am Washington/New York)

Science is the only solution out of the COVID-19 pandemic. International collaboration is equally imperative both in finding solutions and in managing the global crisis. The current pandemic dramatically demonstrates how interconnected we all are, and further underlines the importance of international collaboration and exchanges. As COVID-19 reshapes higher education worldwide, the internationalization of higher education and research, study abroad mobility, exchanges, and international research collaboration are dramatically impacted. The immediate effects are likely to lead to permanent changes in our field. In analyzing the present situation, what will the “new normal” look like? How can we put these experiences and scenarios into a wider perspective that informs our strategic planning and helps us navigate the future? 

A collage of head shots of four speakers of the Transatlantic Roundtable: Allan Goodman, John Lucas, Julie E. Taylor, and Birgitta Vuorinen

See the panelists' bios.

Watch Recording:

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Roundtable program:

15:55 Webinar opens for participants

16:00-16:05 Welcome and introduction
Terhi Mölsä, CEO, Fulbright Finland Foundation  

16:05-16:15 Crisis and their impact on the past and present of higher education and international exchanges: The COVID-19 pandemic in a global long-term analytical perspective. 
Dr. Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO, Institute of International Education

What lessons have we learned in the past that are of significance in today’s context? How has our field evolved through previous major crises, and is there something we can learn from these past developments as we try to predict the future and the implications of the current pandemic on higher education exchanges? What is distinctly different about the current situation that may present particular challenges for higher education systems in the context of internationalization and international exchanges?
16:15-16:25 How are study abroad and global student exchange consortia responding in the short- and long-term? 
Dr. John Lucas, President and CEO, ISEP 

How are study abroad and student exchanges consortia weathering the storm? What is the situation analysis from their point of view and what does that mean for their member institutions and the mobility they manage in the short and long term? 
16:25-16:35 Online, in-person, or hybrid? What are U.S. universities planning for 2020-2021, and what does that mean for international students and scholars? 
Dr. Julie E. Taylor, Director of Academic Relations for Fulbright, Institute of International Education

What are the impacts of COVID-19 on U.S. campuses to date and how are U.S. universities responding? Online or on campus -- what are U.S. institutions’ plans for the academic year 2020-21, and what does that mean for international education and exchanges? Can recent survey results provide a broader perspective to help inform stakeholders and the public? And what are the things to watch right now?
16:35-16:45 How will Finland respond?
Birgitta Vuorinen, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland 

Will the Finnish government and Finnish universities continue to emphasize and invest in the internationalization of higher education and research? How will these efforts need to be different post-COVID-19? What are the envisioned impacts of the pandemic on the global competition for international talent and how should Finland and Finnish HEIs navigate this new environment? Is this the time to fundamentally rethink international mobility? Will universities shift their emphasis or make the future hybrid? And how can universities strategically plan their responses to those changes yet to come?
16:45-17:30 Q&A and discussion
Facilitator: Dr. Leasa Weimer, Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives, Fulbright Finland Foundation

The discussion will be kicked off by Dr. Piia Björn, Vice Rector, University of Turku; Chair, Fulbright Finland Foundation Board of Directors.

Selected Resources on the Topic of the Roundtable