Universities are the natural hubs for scholars, scientists, developers and promising students. Thus it is no surprise that they have coped with the challenges of online and distance learning, to which they were forced to switch, with no major problems. Universities have gone even further and joined the fight against the novel coronavirus. Their teachers and students have participated in various pandemic-related research projects, as well as the design and production of protective equipment, including face shields and even an emergency ventilator. “Each crisis is an opportunity,” Jozef Ristvej, vicerector for international relations and marketing at Žilina University (UNIZA), told The Slovak Spectator. “The importance of scientists and researchers, whose expertise and results fundamentally contribute to coping with the coronavirus crisis, are even more apparent now.”
Despite the advantages of online education, universities admit that face-to-face interaction between students and teachers is irreplaceable. They plan to resume in-person education after the pandemic is over while retaining proven innovations in the learning processes.
“We will continue to use online and distance learning methods after the pandemic, but only where it is justified and where they bring benefits,” Ervin Lumnitzer, vicerector for education at the Technical University of Košice (TUKE), told The Slovak Spectator.
Switching to online education