On December 11, 2020, the Network of Universities of Small Countries and Territories (NUSCT) celebrated its second COVID-19 online conference , in view of the impossibility of holding a twice-postponed face-to-face Rectors’ meeting because of the continuing pandemic, with related travel and gathering restrictions.
NUSCT members were accompanied by the Rector and the International Coordinator of the University of Akureyri (Iceland), and by the Vice Rector of University of Nicosia (Cyprus), who had been invited by President Miquel Nicolau in response to their interest in joining the Network.
Rectors and institutional coordinators in attendance updated information on the impact of the pandemic on their institutions, generally described as milder than had been forecast. In most member universities the extended instruction in the online modality has been rated positively by their students and staff, and, contrary to expectations, enrollment not only has not suffered, but has generally experienced an increase compared to the previous year. Institutional funding has not been affected, nor were research projects, other than by limitations imposed by international mobility difficulties. International student and staff exchanges, on the other hand, are still under temporary suspension at most Network institutions.
NUSCT members agreed to carry out a number of joint activities designed to strengthen the Network and its members in the face of these ongoing challenging times.
Rectors set the fall of 2021 as the tentative period to hold the postponed 3rd NUSCT Rectors’ Meeting at the UNIRSM, in the Republic of San Marino.