International challenges need international collaboration
The lessons of history show us that the best response to international challenges is international collaboration. But what are the mechanisms? Now is the time to establish an international assembly for higher education and global science to promote and sustain international collaboration.
More than 180 members of the United States Congress have signed a letter urging leaders of the House of Representatives to include in the next COVID-19 relief legislation US$26 billion to cover research costs, citing the critical importance of the 560,000-strong research workforce to the economy.
As their plight has become more widely publicised, universities and states have started to act to help tens of thousands of international students who are stranded in Australia with little or no financial support in the middle of what has become a pandemic.
The new academic year for India’s universities will commence on 1 September for first-year students and 1 August for already enrolled students, instead of July for all students, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic disruption which closed universities in the country from 16 March.
Against estimates that COVID-19 containment measures will result in an immediate decline in African GDP growth from 3.2% to 1.8% in 2020 – with further adverse impacts if the pandemic is not contained – universities are being challenged to consider their roles in mitigating socio-economic impacts.
African universities will be critical in overcoming the financial fall-out from the coronavirus crisis, and in building the resilience of African societies for future challenges, General Secretary of the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, Jan Palmowski, has told University World News.
China ‘facemask diplomacy’ during the coronavirus pandemic – with boxes of masks sent around the world as gifts while Europe, America, Africa and Latin America are still in the throes of the crisis – won’t stem concerns about the risks in research collaboration with China.