USJ participated in 6th AUAP's Zoom Forum on "Managing Covid-19 During Pandemic: Best Practices, Experiences and Challenges”
USJ participated in the 6th Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP Zoom Forum on “Managing Covid-19 During Pandemic: Best Practices, Experiences and Challenges” on 24 June 2022.
On June 24th, 2022, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), represented by the Rector, Professor Stephen Morgan, participated in the 6th Zoom Webinar Forum on “Managing Covid-19 During Pandemic: Best Practices, Experiences and Challenges” organised by the Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP).
This webinar was aimed at AUAP’s member institutions to share best practices, experiences, and challenges on how they had managed during Covid-19. The Rector of USJ participated as one of the Resource Speakers and shared the University’s experiences and challenges in a presentation titled “COVID in a Golden Cage: USJ Macao in time of Pandemic.”
During his presentation, Professor Morgan shared how USJ dealt with the pandemic during the global outbreak, and in another scenario, the COVID-19 epidemic Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) is facing at the moment. He underlined that based on the uniqueness of USJ, “as a Catholic, private, small, Liberal Arts focussed institution, being one of the most internationalised, with a shared campus with a Secondary School in Macao SAR, and with that campus being used as Covid testing station for Macao-wide Nucleic Acid Test, the challenges had been and continue to be enormous.”
Professor Morgan shared USJ’s approaches in dealing with the situation: “the institution had to be flexible, nimble and give people headroom, permission to take initiative free from the fear of sanction if they make mistakes … the communication strategy had to be adapted to reach our clients accurately”. He said that the physical and mental well-being of staff and students was paramount. USJ had adapted its educational and institutional strategies quickly by changing the teaching modality for each module, adopting flipped classroom methodology, and developing a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Studio in a short time; alongside all these, it was imperative to trust your staff. Financial resilience was also a factor which had had to be addressed.
Finally, USJ’s Rector said that the “in reimagining of the future of Higher Education, it was important to remember that the core proposition remains unchanged – it is the production and dissemination of knowledge; the subject of the proposition – a community of scholars and students – remains unchanged; only the modality has changed and it has changed utterly.”