Digitalization and beyond: the effects of Covid-19 on post-pandemic educational policy and delivery in Europe

Adrián Zancajo, Antoni Verger, Pedro Bolea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Education has been extremely affected by the coronavirus disease crisis, with almost all countries temporarily closing their schools in 2020. After the first stage of the pandemic, in which national governments focused on guaranteeing the academic year’s continuity, key international organizations emphasized the need to adopt structural policy reforms to face the challenges posed by the crisis. Based on international and European countries’ policy documents, this paper analyzes long-term responses articulated in the education sector. The analysis has allowed us to identify three preponderant areas of response: the digitalization of the educational system, educational inequalities, and teachers’ development. The agendas and policy instruments that international organizations have so far pushed for in relation to each of these areas do not differ substantially from the agendas and instruments they promoted in the pre-pandemic era. It is still early to assess the deepness of the transformations in course, but in most cases, prevailing responses represent the intensification of change processes initiated before the pandemic. Nonetheless, the type and intensity of country responses vary among the European Union member states. Although the pandemic represents a common thread, countries have experienced the crisis differently according to the characteristics of their educational systems and the main problems the crisis has revealed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-128
Number of pages18
JournalPolicy and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2022


  • Covid-19
  • crisis
  • education
  • policy change
  • policy responses


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