It is certainly an interesting time to start a role as Associate Vice-President (AVP) for Blended and Flexible Learning!
There is no doubt that we have all had to adapt to new ways of working, studying and living. However, what is also becoming clear is that for some people the associated health risks and negative impact of this pandemic have been greater and could potentially last much longer.
Fostering the conditions for more open forms of scholarship at our University is a priority in the Research and Discovery theme of the Our Future strategy.
Wellbeing is a somewhat imprecise term, meaning different things to different people. Some perspectives focus on overall life satisfaction or the pursuit of happiness. There’s a wide range of perspectives, definitions and models available, but an agreed definition still eludes us.
At The University of Manchester we’re mainly not designing and providing wholly online programmes. We can make the online components higher-quality, with better production values, based on appropriate pedagogy for working with online learners – and our students are guiding us on how to do this. But we also believe passionately in an on-campus experience, and we miss the buzz of our campus full of students.
Key to how we deliver our Vision, are our Values. Especially when needing to make difficult decisions, how we deliver will be as important as what we deliver.
For the first time in my life I feel I could ask anyone if they have learned anything new in the past few weeks and the answer would be 100% “Yes”.
It is hard to find superlatives to describe the past few weeks. The COVID-19 emergency is an historic event and one has to go back exactly a century to the ‘flu pandemic post World War I to see anything like this on a global scale.
Andy Westwood sets out the not-insignificant challenges that the government now faces in deciding what it wants from universities after the pandemic.
We have lost a lot of freedoms in the past few weeks. But remember, we still have some control over our lives.