Dr. Waltraud Kreutz-Gers
Chancellor of Johannes Gutenberg University MainzCopyright: © JANA Kay
Universities Have Got Through the Pandemic Well So Far
Overall, universities have got through the pandemic well so far. The extensive discontinuation of in-person teaching from the 2020 summer semester, the switch to virtual teaching with priority given to practical classes and exams in compliance with certain regulations, and the limited but continued research activities have all had a noticeable impact on everyday university life, but unlike many areas of the economy and society, they have not been affected to a significant extent. In any case, thanks to remote working and hygiene regulations, no considerable problems have arisen in the administration of the university operations that have been changed in this way.
What remains from these experiences for the future? Meetings that need to be scheduled at short notice can be held faster in the future if they are organized virtually. Time saved by not having to travel is considered a personal benefit, not to mention more environmentally friendly too. Wherever work permits, remote working will continue to be facilitated to a greater extent in the future, with consequences for self-organization and management behavior, including workplace design. However, personal interactions will always be indispensable when it comes to networking, coordinating processes, and resolving conflicts.