The effects and seismic shifts that have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will affect our lives for years to come. Higher arts institutions face changing paradigms across a number of topics including; internationalisation, priorities in health policy, economic and political values and practices, communication and the art world itself. As many higher arts education institutions have reverted to online teaching (May 2020), ELIA recognises the need to address these changes and is committed to helping its members adapt for the future.
ELIA in the pandemic
March 2020 came, and with it the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown situations all over the world. The ELIA Office (located in the Netherlands) started working from home on 13 March 2020. All physical events in the spring of 2020 had to be cancelled (in Hannover, Bratislava, and Barcelona).
The first webinar, which had already been planned months earlier, was held on 16 March 2020, with an audience of 120 participants and featuring Pascal Gielen as guest speaker on Sustainable Careers. It became immediately clear that staying connected through the crisis would be of critical importance to the ELIA membership. We surveyed our members to find out what they needed, and went to work with their response. A list of tools for online teaching and working together was created, which is still available on the ELIA website. We also embarked on a series of 14 webinars, held with large audiences before the summer of 2020 and geared towards the diverse groups within our membership. This included multipart series of webinars on online teaching, by ETHO on the many technical challenges of managing education during the crisis and by PIE on internationalisation in the remote setting.