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Newsletter 1 – Q1 2020


This first outreach comes at a very strange and challenging time for us all. The global rise and spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) has forced us to slow down and remember what is really important. Like multiple viruses before, it does not acknowledge borders and does not discriminate. It has once again shown us how truly connected we are and how essential it is for us to act collectively to guard the most vulnerable members of our society. However, it has also shown us how inspiring and uplifting our collective actions can be during a crisis; it is this spirit that BRIDGES aims to harness.

The Coronavirus pandemic and resulting containment measures have intensified previous multiple forms of exclusion, including access to education. Whilst we, like many others, seek to move our activities online to take advantage of the benefits that digital technologies enable, we are confronted with the duality that for many impoverished and marginalized communities, digital access can be further restricted as whole countries lock down. In this sense, the digitalization of life and HE is not equally distributed. The closure of borders is much stronger than ever, the economic cuts–especially those related to public health systems–while sudden dismissals disproportionately impact those living in more precarious conditions. Further, the creation of solidarity networks is being compromised by physical distancing and lockdowns.

This gives BRIDGES an additional motivation. As we strive to increase inclusion in Higher Education Institutions we must not forget the impacts of different modes of accessibility, and importantly, how these play out in a crisis. More than ever, we need to rethink how we resist these numerous intersectional exclusions and be creative in our strategies to build BRIDGES between us.

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