Institute of Education


VIRTUAL EVENT: Surviving a crisis: resilience, adaptation, and transformation in higher education

01 October 2020, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

University lecture hall. Image: Pixabay via Pexels

Based on a study of the collapse of the Soviet Union, this webinar explores some of the ways that higher education responds to major change.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Centre for Global Higher Education

After periods of major political and economic change, it has been assumed that social institutions like higher education also change radically – and perhaps even fail. 

In contrast to this expectation, Emma Sabzalieva will explore how such moments of intense disruption result in transformation that is accompanied by significant levels of adaptation and resilience.

Understanding what it takes for higher education to survive a crisis makes an important contribution to comparative higher education studies and to filling the gap in theory-driven explanations of system and organizational responses to major change.

This presentation is based on Emma’s recent study of the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Her study draws from a comparative case study of three ex-Soviet countries with new primary source data generated by interviews with experienced faculty members at the frontline of change. 


  • Emma Sabzalieva, York University, Canada


Image: Pixabay via Pexels