10th ICA Rectors and Deans Forum 2020 - Online
Agricultural and Life Science Universities Responding to
Covid-19 and the European Green Deal
was held online on Thursday 22 October 2020,
13.30 – 18.00 (Central European Summer Time, CEST)
All our universities have been forced to change in the face of the Covid pandemic that has impacted each of our countries so badly. Covid 19 has affected all aspects of the mission of universities, in education, research, innovation, outreach and also our financial positions. Our universities are adapting to the challenges, and may in future benefit from the positive outcomes of the changes we have been forced to make. Whist financial sustainability is essential, we must continue to strive for excellence in our mission to make a positive difference around us.
In our first Online ICA Forum for Rectors, Deans and Senior Management we will reflect on these challenges that Covid has brought to our universities' missions. The discussions will help to ensure that we are well prepared for the uncertain times ahead. In the next year universities will be faced with the uncertainties posed by the threat of spikes in the occurrence of Covid-19, student recruitment, and research income, and the real possibility of future pandemics.
"Never waste a good crisis to question the norm"
Nonetheless, the pressing challenges of climate change and addressing the 2030 Agenda must still be high on our universities' agendas. The EU has made the first call for projects under the European Green Deal. In the discipline focus of ICA there are a number of important EU strategies underpinning the European Green Deal: the vision of the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Biodiversity Strategy, the Bioeconomy Strategy and the upcoming renewal of the Common Agricultural Policy.
The Forum will have two Sessions:
- We will reflect in the first session on how the experience of the recent Covid-19 lockdown can make our universities better placed to manage the virus in 2021. We will also highlight how the measures taken in lockdown may have a positive impact on our university model in the future.
- In the second session, looking beyond the current crisis, we will engage with the opportunities provided for our agricultural and life science universities by the European Green Deal. In particular, we will focus on the Commission's ambitions of the Farm to Fork Strategy.
Each session will have three keynote presentations reflecting on these challenges and opportunities followed by delegate discussions in several online breakout rooms – with 8 to 10 delegates in each breakout room to share experience. Finally, there will be a report back at the end of each session with the possibility to propose future Webinars on particular issues.