COVID-19 disruption can have a silver lining

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


This article challenges the prevailing negative discourse around the disruptive impacts of COVID-19 and proposes an alternative approach which reframes disruption as opportunity. We give four examples of positive changes in our higher education context resulting from the pandemic. These are that the pandemic validated and accelerated change to ‘adaptive leadership’, it forced staff into a level playing field through remote meetings, dialogue and interaction, the pandemic reinforced cultural change through alternative discourses, and the crisis was a catalyst for positive re-evaluation of our processes, roles and conceptions of education.

Overall, the pandemic resulted in or accelerated positive outcomes for our University College. It helped us identify gaps in our existing approach, a lack of equity and connection felt by some and the need to bring people together. Early signs are that the new approaches resulting from the disruption resulting from the pandemic have been integrated, are functioning, and are likely to be the new ‘normal’.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalManagement in Education
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Dec 2020


  • educational leadership
  • Higher education
  • adaptive leadership
  • COVID-19

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