by Alexandra den Heijer
When I started studying campuses – in the nineties – 2020 was “the long term”. Many visions of the future were called “Campus 2020” … and even personally, I considered 2020 the long term, because it was the year that I would turn 50.
In the first week of 2020 I was interviewed about the today’s challenges and – of course – the future. This interview was published a few days ago… I read it again in the current corona reality… Campus 2020 seemed more unpredictable than we ever imagined.
Nonetheless, “the much needed silence” that I emphasise might be found at workplaces at home, but probably only for the happy few. In my inaugural speech “Campus matters” I summed up the campus workplace qualities that matter most: silence, community for social needs and for discipline (peer pressure). At home, we struggle to stick to the 9-to-5 working day, with negative consequences for a healthy work-life balance.
In December 2019, the Dutch association of universities (VSNU) and I brainstormed about a possible new research project “Campus 2020”, which also marked the 25-year campus ownership status of Dutch universities. The title of that project has a whole new meaning now…
On this day with a beautiful date “04-04-2020” I will start a LinkedIn group “Campus 2020” – on behalf of our CAMPUS RESEARCH TEAM – which will share insights from three campus development stages that are relevant now:
- “From bricks to 100% clicks” – what is happening on (the virtual) campus now?
- “Back to campus” – what is going to happen, when the campus lockdowns are over?
- “What’s next?” – how will higher education (and research) be affected by the world-wide corona crisis? what does this mean for the campus of the future?
A higher education system change is inevitable: what will happen to international student mobility, networks, funding … not to mention the content of education and research? The first two development stages can also be recognised in my previous blog post: (1) from solid through liquid to gas, (2) from gas back to liquid and solid.
Campus 2020 was more unpredictable than anyone could have imagined… I celebrated my 50th birthday on campus, in the Espressobar, sharing the last cappuccinos that were served in a very long time. It was Friday the 13th of March. After that day, Delft campus became 100% virtual…