U21 Finding New Ways to Help its Members in Difficult Times 

U21 is actively monitoring the national and international emergency planning and strategies in place across our member universities, and is exploring new collaborative approaches to the unprecedented challenges currently facing our members, across the world.  

Many U21 members are facing temporary shut-down of their universities, with serious impact on research facilities. Across the network there is also a rapid transition of all teaching and assessment to online platforms, and the significant impact of global restrictions on student mobility. Using U21’s online facilities, the network will support members to share ideas and resources in coping with these challenges, and find possible new directions in these uncharted waters. 

There is particular awareness of the current pressures on U21 health sciences practitioners and researchers, who are on the front line coping with, and finding answers to, the COVID-19 pandemic. The network will be reaching out to them via the U21 Health Sciences Group. 

With very significant restrictions on international travel, a number of key U21 meetings have had to be cancelled, and the opportunity to meet and work face-to-face with colleagues will be greatly missed by the membership. However, at a time when pressure to limit travel for sustainability reasons has already been on all our minds, U21 intends to turn the current cancellation of its AGM and other meetings into an opportunity to develop effective new online services through which members can communicate. 

 The U21 network has always been committed to working together with members, finding shared innovative solutions to the most current, pressing issues in their individual universities in education, research and student experience. There has never been a better time to harness the collaborative power of the network, in light of this unprecedented emergency.  

Professor Bairbre Redmond - Provost U21 

R Edwards