Crises can make innovations that seemed previously impossible suddenly inevitable. There will be years of ‘a reckoning’ that higher education institutions will go through. But the ‘new normal’ we must shape needs to begin with the recognition that putting classes on Zoom isn’t change. Higher education institutions need reimagining, not just repairing. Educators, policy-makers, employers and investors must urgently give thought to what a post-COVID world should look like and what role higher education institutions must play to make that world a reality.