University has always involved new experiences, face-to-face meetings, attendance, exchanges of ideas: "distance", when it was thought about at all, was above all a matter of method, a problematisation which allowed construction from an original point of view: distance was productive when it was purely metaphorical. In contrast, what was imposed in March 2020 was a brutal and very tangible distance. This led to the emergence of awful neologisms and acronyms: the pair of antonyms “présentiel”/“distanciel” in French; the DAD (didattica a distanza) in Italian. Something that was obvious, presence, has become a simply an option, which can be rejected, hence the emergence of new academic practices. Due to travel bans, the pandemic has also upset interrelationships at different levels which generally have a bearing on higher education. Even if the generalisation of distancing has led to its share of suffering, both individual and collective, the question of distance cannot be approached purely on the basis of emotional or technophobic reactions. On the contrary, it involves making observations, analysing consequences, identifying forecasts and taking into account the possible knock-on effects for the various actors, starting with those who govern universities at both local and national level. These are all the topics on which this study seeks to launch an open debate.