A Follow-up Letter to all Laureate Students
By Eilif Serck-Hanssen,
June 23, 2020
Dear Laureate Students,
When I last wrote to you in March, we were in an unfamiliar and uncertain period, as the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was unfolding.
Today, while there is still uncertainty, we have all become more familiar with our current circumstances, and I am incredibly proud of how the Laureate network, including our community of more than 850,000 students, has risen to the challenges and continues to respond to the pandemic.
Our faculty and staff worked swiftly to move all learning online, with minimal disruption, in order to continue to serve each of you. Our successful transition to fully online learning was not only due to the pressure of the pandemic, but it also supports Laureate’s pre-existing global digital learning strategy (implemented long before COVID-19). This included established technology solutions, the delivery of multiple online learning modalities, and training of our faculty and staff in digital content development and online delivery.
I’m extremely impressed with how well you, our students, as well as our faculty and staff have adjusted to the change to this new learning environment. I want to congratulate you for your adaptability, resilience and commitment as we moved to a fully virtual delivery model.
While the pandemic continues, I remain steadfast in my belief that education has never been more important. We have seen the importance of education in how people have contributed to the COVID-19 response – from the doctors and nurses working on the frontline, to the scientists and researchers studying the virus and developing a vaccine, through to the civic and industry leaders and workforces that have helped guide their organizations and communities through this period of change.
Difficult times help you better understand and fully appreciate the value of people, and I have been inspired by stories from across Laureate of how our students have answered the call of their communities.
In Brazil, UniRitter law students provided free legal advice to domestic violence victims during the period of quarantine, while UNIFACS medical students offered free medical advice via a telephone inquiry helpline to tens of thousands of callers experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and other health conditions.
In Chile, commercial engineering students at UNAB created a non-profit, social project that seeks to help young children during the period of isolation by offering free online educational activities.
In Mexico, UVM psychology students provided free phone counseling services to distressed citizens with COVID-19 related concerns.
In Peru, UPN industrial design students developed an electronic locker for use in hospital changing rooms, to reduce the risk of cross-contamination in clothing and therefore help protect frontline healthcare workers.
To me, stories like these embody the spirit of Laureate – committed to helping transform lives while creating an enduring impact in their communities, and beyond.
Change can present new opportunities – to contribute, to innovate and to learn. As discussions around the future delivery of higher education continue, we know many things will be different to before, and different to how you thought they would be when you joined the Laureate community.
As higher education institutions consider a return to campus, I assure you our institutions will only do so when it is appropriate and safe. Your health and safety is our primary concern. We will continue to abide by the guidelines of local health authorities and governments, and your Laureate institution will keep you informed.
What we remain focussed on right now is your education – helping you achieve your academic goals and preparing you for professional success upon graduation.
Again, I congratulate you on how you have responded to the challenges of COVID-19. As I said to you in March, what I promise as the leader of this great company is that we will continue to keep your best interests at the heart of everything we do.
Eilif Serck-HanssenPresident and Chief Executive OfficerLaureate Education, Inc.