13 April 2022 | Briefing

One year of Covid-19: the impact on European higher education

Michael Gaebel, Henriette Stoeber

Based on data collected in 2021 by the International Association of Universities (IAU), Michael Gaebel and Henriette Stoeber reflect on the impact of the pandemic on European higher education.


In respects, IAU survey responses of European universities resemble those from other regions. As elsewhere in the world, universities in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) had to adjust to the lock-down and sanitary measures, and have suffered from planning uncertainty. However, in comparison with other regions, the Covid-19 crisis may have impacted them less severely, for instance regarding funding, enrolment numbers, and strategic reorientation. Moreover, in some areas, such as digital learning and teaching, the pandemic may have fostered and accelerated positive change.

This briefing has originally been published as part of the IAU survey report “Impact on Higher Education - One Year into the Covid-19 Pandemic” (IAU, February 2022).

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