Dear members of the CATÓLICA-LISBON community,
Almost five months have passed since March 11, when the WHO declared that the spread of COVID-19 was a pandemic and the world entered a lockdown. Since then, Portugal went from lockdown and panic in the face of the Italian and Spanish situation, to the Portuguese miracle of winning over the first wave of the infections, to then facing the harsh reality that the post-confinement period needs careful management. Finally, this past week we have seen an improvement in numbers, with Portugal starting to converge to the European average of new cases. The pandemic situation in Portugal and Europe is relatively under control, unlike the rest of the world, where the disease rages on.
Governments took unprecedented measures in the face of a severe economic crisis. The manuals of macroeconomic management are being re-written as we enter uncharted territory with new central bank measures and government policies. The European leaders agreed last week on a rescue package with the creation of a Recovery Fund worth about 5% of European GDP, on top of other measures already taken. I believe this was a pivotal moment for Europe. Please read my recent analysis in Negócios about the significance of what was agreed by the European leaders.
CATÓLICA-LISBON, under the moto #WeStandUNITED, transformed itself in the last months in the path of digitalization and impact through knowledge sharing. All classes were offered online during the confinement, we organized more than 30 digital knowledge events in the last four months reaching more than 70,000 people, launched a new Center of Economics for Prosperity, created a web-page with economic insights of our faculty related to the pandemic, and maintained this weekly briefing to engage our community. In June, we re-started executive classes on campus and ramped up our online educational offer as well.
In the meanwhile, we have experienced a strong rise in applications for our Masters programs and our International Undergraduate Programs and have admitted the strongest Classes ever. The applications for the national undergraduate programs opened this month until August 10th.
We are now busy continuing our digital transformation process and preparing to welcome back our degree students in the 1st week of September, with all the safety precautions. I will interrupt this briefing during August and will return in a month with fresh news of the start of the school year.
We have much to share at CATÓLICA-LISBON and #WeStandUNITED. United as a community and united in support of a healthy economy capable of fulfilling the needs and aspirations of all citizens.
Filipe Santos, Dean of CATÓLICA-LISBON