Without a shadow of a doubt, more than ever today collective action with bold responses to support and boost higher education opportunities is required. We cannot afford to create a Covid-19 lost generation of university graduates worldwide. Providing tertiary education opportunities that empower young people, enhance their resilience and reinforce their skills to thrive and build hope for the future is the only way forward to ensure progress and prosperity for all. Available data shows that the private and social returns of tertiary education are 12.4 per cent in high-income countries. But in developing countries, the social rate of return is 16.4 per cent. Higher education is a true catalyst for social cohesion, the progress of society and human development. Still when things fall apart, human capital is one of the first things to be affected. In our times of global crisis, we really have to gear up for a major push into more support and investments in higher education in order to protect and foster human capital.

For that to happen, we need an emergency fund and innovative and fast-tracking financing tools to refrain the global spread of drop-out in tertiary education and the breakdown of the higher education system as a whole.

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