Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact the pandemic had on higher education institutions (HEIs), the opportunities they were able to harness, and whether they are better prepared to deal with future disruptions as a result. Design/methodology/approach: The authors do this by presenting a reflective case study using a combination of crisis and resilience theories as their analytical framework. Case studies are flexible research instruments allowing researchers to draw on both subjective experience and also established theoretical frameworks. Case studies can be used to intensively analyse a specific case from an organisation, sector, or personal perspective. Although the results are not usually generalisable, they can be insightful (Bell et al., 2022). Findings: The authors found that, in this case, a continuity strategy relevant to the sector, already existed. However, a lack of knowledge meant that the strategy was not used straight away. This was costly in terms of staff and student well-being but, ultimately, HEIs adapted by converging on a practical solution, showing inherent resilience. Further research is necessary to ascertain whether robust business continuity plans would have made the transition smoother. Originality/value: This paper specifically investigates higher education teaching from a crisis and resilience perspective, using a theoretical framework not previously used for the analysis of Covid-19 in HEIs.