The coronavirus has proved to be a serious threat not only to people’s health but also to economies and societies of all countries, regardless of their level of development. This crisis presents a real test to the resilience of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries, as it came at a time when they were challenged to keep their economies growing, facing increasing unemployment and scarce resources. The way out of the crisis will greatly depend on how countries in the region prioritise their actions, and on how they integrate and cooperate with each other in key sectors. Following the success of the first round of “COVID-19 MED BRIEFS” launched by the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) and FEMISE, the two institutions decided to join forces again and launch a second round. This series of Policy Briefs is intended to pave the way for more in-depth thematic analyses and recommendations.
The twenty-second COVID-19 MED BRIEF entitled “COVID-related financial challenges for South-Med universities: The way forward” by Wagdy Sawahel, National Research Center (Egypt), is available here
This brief focuses on the impact the Coronavirus pandemic has had on the financial support to universities and higher education institutions in selected South-Med countries (Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco).
It outlines the financial impact on the ground, proposes recommendations and practical solutions to face the shortage of funding and lays the foundations for a more sustainable higher education funding landscape.
Recommendations highlight the need to go towards a cost-effective business model. Universities should adopt cost-effective blended modes of teaching and learning, and include risk management in their strategic planning. Meanwhile, funding-allocation mechanisms that are directly linked to the overall performance of universities should be developed.
To better face the COVID-19 impact, a series of initiatives can also be considered including setting-up a South-Med countries COVID-19 higher education policy tracker and creating a South-Med countries universities’ alliance.
This Policy Brief is produced as part of the series of Policy Briefs on « Responding to the Challenges of COVID-19 in the Mediterranean » that is undertaken in partnership between FEMISE and the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI).
The views expressed in this Brief are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of CMI or FEMISE. The contents have not been subjected to verification by CMI or FEMISE and their publication does not reflect ownership by CMI or FEMISE.