Keep Calm in a Crisis

Posted: 05/02/2020

Keeping your focus on three key areas can help your HEP survive the coronavirus restrictions and thrive moving forward.

The higher education sector management and academic staff are accustomed to challenges and have risen to them with a range of innovative responses. The focus of these responses has always been on student experience and DVE Business Solutions shares that focus. The commitment to engaging students in their academic environment and studies is commendable and we see it everyday in our clients’ actions.

Even with the rate and variety of change, the latest crises had the potential to derail the best laid plans. The bushfires required universities and HEP to cancel exams, evacuate campuses and reassure students and staff. But staff and students were safe and contingency plans functioned well.

The recent government restrictions, in place as of 1 February, in response to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have presented a unique situation which requires a variety of institutional solutions.

These solutions are around three main areas:

  • Communication:strategies to engage students and ensure they continue with enrolment and orientation to facilitate a smooth transition to their on campus attendance.  Ensure all stakeholders are informed as efficiently as possible of the institution’s plans.
  • Academic:decisions in regard to commencing studies, course choice, alternative delivery methods and assessment will ensure that students can begin and continue studies as efficiently as possible.
  • Governance:review processes and resources to minimise impacts of the restrictions.

As with most challenges, this is an opportunity to look at the institution’s processes with fresh eyes and discover new ways of operating, which may have benefits well beyond this crisis. DVE have developed a range of strategies, tailored to achieve outcomes best suited to you. These strategies provide a framework for you to quickly and effectively put actions in place before semester starts.

With the start of semester approaching, we know your staff are busy and timeliness of your institution’s response is crucial. At DVE, we would like to help as many higher education providers as we can to ensure the impacts of these restrictions are minimised and students can commence their time with you in a positive and constructive way.

It would be comforting to think that these challenges will become less frequent but it seems that will not be the case and the lessons learnt over the past three months will be invaluable in developing our strategies going forward.

—– Dr. Deborah Churchman, Senior Consultant