2020 was a very challenging year – particularly for the education sector. Pre-school facilities closed, schoolchildren switched over to distance learning and students spent entire terms sitting in front of their computer screens instead of in lecture halls. When the results of the latest PISA study were published in December 2019, there was no inkling of the education crisis looming on the horizon. However, when you read the study, it is evident that the coronavirus pandemic has simply exacerbated problems that already existed. They include inequality of access to education and the lack of digital teaching and learning opportunities. Education policy was a focal area of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom’s work last year. Proposals for ‘Best Education up to 2030’ and a ‘Schools of the Future’ trend guide underline the liberal aspirations to not simply overcome immediate challenges, but also to provide ambitious proposals for the post-COVID era. Role models play an important part in lifelong learning achievements. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom not only published a report on ‘female role models in business studies school books’ and proposed political solutions in discussion rounds and publications, but also launched its own mentoring programme, #FemaleForward. Thirty women took part in the initiative’s skills training sessions, workshops and networking events. The mentors provided the politically and socially engaged women with personal support in shaping a liberal future. And it is enterprise and investigative spirit that will propel us forward into a better future. This is why we must continue to focus on our objective of giving all people the opportunity to explore their potential and embark on new paths in our liberal education work in 2021.