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Digital transformation of Higher Education

Technology has an important impact on all aspects of higher education worldwide. It brings new opportunities; yet, its use to improve higher education is uneven from region to region, from country to country, and from an institution to another within a country. Thus, while pursuing the important potential of digital transformation to bridge divides in terms of access to knowledge and information, it is important to acknowledge that there is a high risk of exacerbating existing or creating new inequalities, as it requires means, infrastructure and human skills. IAU’s action in this area aims to harness the potential of digital technologies as a means to improve the quality of higher education and to increase access to knowledge and education for all.

Strategic goals for 2016-2022:

The IAU strategic plan outlines the following strategic objectives to guide the work of the Association in this area:

  • Advocate for equity and solidarity between and within higher education institutions in matters of digital transformation;
  • Promote the design of inclusive digital transformation strategies in HEIs by encouraging and facilitating networking and cooperation between HEIs, international, and national bodies.

INTRODUCTION

The IAU activities in this field are organized around the following core functions:

Global advocacy

Digital transformation is one of the four key priorities in its Strategic Plan. The main priority for this period is to develop a policy statement, building on the previous statement: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Universities from 2004 and adapting it to the current context. An Expert Advisory Group (EAG) has been established to oversee the process. The EAG is composed of Board members and experts from different regions. The group is currently finalizing the work to present the new policy statement to the 16th IAU General Conference.

More information

Monitoring transformations

As a global Association with members in all regions of the world, the IAU has a unique position to monitor trends around the world in order to favour exchange of best practices. In end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 the IAU conducted an Open Consultation to monitor the current state of digital transformation within higher education institutions (HEI). This stocktaking exercise also served to the development of the new Policy Statement which will be submitted to the 16th IAU General Conference for adoption. The consultation led to a report entitled: Higher Education in the Digital Era: The current state of transformation around the world which was released in January 2020 a few months prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, IAU has been monitoring transformations through it Global Surveys on the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Higher Education.

More information

Catalyst for collaboration and exchange

IAU plays an important role as a catalyst for collaboration and exchange. In the field of digital transformation and higher education, IAU seeks to pursue this mission through a series of different activities.




IAU-UOC SERIES: INNOVATIVE EDUCATION FOR UNSHAPED FUTURES (IE4UF)
IAU and UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) have partnered to develop a series of 6 chapters to explore some of the changes we are currently observing in higher education under the title: Innovative Education for Unshaped Futures (IE4UF).

Learn more

IDOCOS PROJECT
The IDOCOS project seeks to leverage the opportunity of the accelerated pace of digital transformation during the Covid-19 pandemic by proposing an innovative approach to co-creation and sharing of doctoral courses among universities in different countries.

Learn more

INSTITUTIONAL SITE VISITS
IAU launched a new programme in 2019 which is the institutional site visits where higher education institutions that are very innovative or advanced in using technology in higher education in order to improve the quality or to widening access to higher education, invite IAU Members to attend a 2-day meeting to learn from their experiences. The first programme took place at UOC in Barcelona.

Learn more



Working Group:

The working group, composed of IAU Administrative Board members, provides advice to the Administrative Board and the Secretary General on the strategic direction in this field:

Chair
- Remus Pricopie, Rector, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania

Members
- Marta Losada Falk, Former President, Antonio Nariño University, Colombia
- Pierre-André Pierre, Rector, Université Notre-Dame d’Haiti, Haiti
- Daniel Hernandez Ruiperez, Former Rector, University of Salamanca, Spain

IAU Secretariat
Trine Jensen, Manager, HE & Digital Transformation


Interested in receiving tailored updates and initiatives on HE and Digital Transformation?

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Trine Jensen

GLOBAL ADVOCACY

IAU Policy Statement

In the context of the rapid development of digital technologies, which affects society and higher education, IAU is currently developing a new IAU policy statement in order to outline the key principles and values that must underpin the digital transformation.



Expert Advisory Group

In order to oversee the drafting process, IAU established an Expert Advisory Group (EAG) composed of experts from different regions of the world as well as representatives of the IAU Administrative Board.

Consult the list of the members of the Expert Advisory Group (EAG).

Hosted by the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA), the IAU Expert Advisory Group met in Bucharest, Romania on 28-29 May 2018 in order to commence the work. The structure and fundamental principles were discussed during the meeting in order to start building the policy statement. The group has since then convened several online meeting and the draft policy statement has been subject to an open consultation among IAU Members as well as Student Associations. The comments of the consultations are currently being considered by the EAG and this final review will lead to the final version of the Policy Statement which will be submitted to the 16th IAU General Conference for adoption.


Interested in receiving tailored updates and initiatives on HE & Digital Transformation?

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Trine Jensen

MONITORING

Introduction

As a global Association with members in all regions of the world, the IAU has a unique position to monitor trends around the world in order to favour exchange of best practices.



Collectively defining and shaping the digital transformation in higher education

IAU is currently in the process of developing a new policy statement in order to define the values, principles and ethics that must accompany the digital transformation in order to ensure that it contributes to the global common good. As part of the large consultation process for the development of the statement. IAU undertook an open consultation from 1 November 2018 to 1 April 2019 in order to take stock of the current state of digital transformation and to collect the views and opinions of the higher education community at large. The report was launched in January 2020 just prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.



The results of the Open Consultation carried out by IAU from 1 November 2018 to 1 April 2019 are presented in a Report:


"Higher Education in the Digital Era:
The current state of transformation around the world"


IAU is pleased to present this first stock-taking exercise in the field, and to contribute to discussing the current state of transformation, the risk of inequalities, the ethical implications and how to jointly leverage the potential of technological developments for a sustainable future.

Discover the report !

Accelerated digital transformation of higher education during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the IAU has been conducting Global Surveys to monitor the impact of the pandemic on higher education. These include perspectives on digital transformation which have clearly changed compared to prior to the pandemic. The first Report was launched in May 2020 only months into the pandemic and IAU is planing for the launch of the second report in October 2021 based on data collected one year into the pandemic.



The first IAU Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education around the world was conducted online from 25 March to 17 April 2020 and the results are presented in a Report:


"IAU Global Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education around the world"

Almost all responding HEIs declared that they have been impacted one way or another by the COVID-19 crisis. The report presents a general assessment of the situation in universities globally and explores different aspects of the impact of COVID-19, such as: teaching & learning, research, community engagement and other key challenges and opportunities.

Discover the report !

Interested in receiving tailored updates and initiatives on HE & Digital Transformation?

Subscribe to IAU’s dedicated list



Trine Jensen

IAU-UOC SERIES

IAU-UOC SERIES: INNOVATIVE EDUCATION FOR UNSHAPED FUTURES (IE4UF)


ABOUT THE SERIES

The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation of higher education. After a year of adapting to the sudden disruption of higher education and pivoting operations to increasingly rely on digital technologies in higher education, the new constant is uncertainty and a need for resilience to respond to fast changing environment. Within this context, the International Association of Universities (IAU) and UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) have partnered to develop a series to explore some of the changes we are currently observing in higher education under the title Innovative Education for Unshaped Futures (IE4UF).

Programme

The series is divided into 6 chapters of one hour exploring different levels of change and moving from broader topics to more specific areas in the second part of the series. Each chapter includes perspectives from an online and a campus-based university and the full programme is available below.
The series is open to all and the recordings will be made available online after the session.

Policy dialogues

Each chapter will be followed by a policy dialogue session which provides an opportunity for IAU Members to come together and exchange on the topic in question, express ideas, seek advice from peers or provide recommendations for the future of higher education. The policy dialogues are limited to 20 persons per session to allow for smooth interaction and exchange. The discussions will be moderated by IAU and UOC, but the content will be delivered by the participants who contribute to the discussions. The policy dialogues are closed sessions that will not be shared publicly, yet the outcomes of the conversations will contribute to a report which will be submitted to UNESCO as a contribution to the upcoming UNESCO World Higher Education Conference entitled Reinventing the Role & Place of Higher Learning for a Sustainable Future.

Learn more about the detailed programme below and sign-up to secure your online seat, we look forward to your participation!



Trine Jensen


PROGRAMME















CHAPTER I: Return to Campus: Making sense of (innovative) hybrid teaching and learning

Thursday, 10 JUNE 2021 | 1:00-2:15 pm CEST (11:00 am UTC/GMT)

The first session in the series will include opening words from the leadership of the 2 partner organisations to officially launch the series, followed by the presentations discussing changes and innovations in teaching and learning. At Deakin University students had access to both online and physical campus prior to the pandemic. What are the current trends and developments and what is the vision for blended and hybrid modes of learning moving forward? UOC University has 25 years of experience in fully online learning and will share experiences about leveraging the potential of online learning. The last part of the session will be devoted to questions from the audience, so make sure to join and take part in the discussion about the future of teaching and learning.

- Speakers:

  • Albert Sangrà, UNESCO Chair in Education & Technology for Social Change, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain
  • Liz Johnson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education, Deakin University, Australia.

- Moderator:

  • Trine Jensen, Manager, HE & Digital Transformation, International Association of Universities (IAU)

REGISTER


POLICY DIALOGUE I : Return to Campus: Making sense of (innovative) hybrid teaching and learning

Friday, 11 June 2021 | 2:30-3:30 pm CEST (12:30 pm UTC/GMT)

This session is full already, please consider signing up to the next one!


















CHAPTER II: Assessment practices in hybrid and online HE scenarios

Tuesday, 22 June 2021 | 2:30-3:30 pm CEST (12:30 pm UTC/GMT)

- Speakers:

  • Nati Cabrera, Professor and Director, Master Programme in Quality Evaluation and Management in Higher Education, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain
  • Henrik Johansson, ICT - Culture - Flexible Learning - Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden.

- Moderator:

  • Albert Sangrà, UNESCO Chair in Education & Technology for Social Change, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain

REGISTER


POLICY DIALOGUE II : Assessment practices in hybrid and online HE scenarios

Wednesday, 23 June 2021 | 2:30 pm CEST (12:30 pm UTC)

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST


















CHAPTER III: Leadership for Digital Education: Shortcuts and pitfalls

Thursday, 1 July 2021 | 2:30-3:30 pm CEST (12:30 pm UTC/GMT)

- Speakers:

- Moderator:

  • Deborah Arnold, AUNEGe, the French Thematic Digital University for Management and Economics, France

REGISTER


POLICY DIALOGUE III : Leadership for Digital Education: Shortcuts and pitfalls

Friday, 2 July 2021 | 2:30 pm CEST (12:30 pm UTC)

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST


















CHAPTER IV: Designing quality (online) learning

Thursday, 16 September 2021 | 2:30 pm CEST (12:30 pm UTC)


















CHAPTER V : Interaction and collaboration: being social in digital environments

Thursday, 30 September 2021 | 2:30 pm CEST (12:30 pm UTC)


















CHAPTER VI: Data Governance: What should we be aware of?

Thursday, 14 October 2021 | 2:30 pm CEST (12:30 pm UTC)

IDOCOS PROJECT

INNOVATIVE DOCTORAL COURSE FOR SUSTAINABILITY (IDOCOS)


Introduction
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed significant deficiencies in virtually all countries when it comes to remote learning. When universities overnight pivoted from campus-based education to digital and remote solutions, this very often meant emulating what used to happen on campus and not necessarily quality online learning and teaching. Despite the challenges that the pandemic has caused, it also represents an opportunity to reconsider practices and processes and reform the university education.

The pandemic has forced a more integrated use of technology and digital tools in higher education and it has become part of everyday life of students in most parts of the world. The IDOCOS project seeks to leverage this opportunity by proposing an innovative approach to co-creation and sharing of doctoral courses among universities in different countries. It proposes a structured process and comprehensive guidance supporting the move towards more internationally co-created and shared resources for doctoral education to enhance reciprocal exchange of research capacity, resources, to increase competencies and ultimately strengthening high-quality research education through international collaboration. It will serve as a proposed model for similar initiatives, yet in a flexible format that can be adapted to the different contexts in different countries. Besides delivering a methodology for co-creation and sharing, IDOCOS shall also deliver a demonstration cross-disciplinary course focusing on digital transformation, the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 UN Agenda.


Open Consultation

For the development of the deliverables, it is essential to be informed by the current context and experiences of the universities and higher education institutions around the world to ensure that the project responds to the needs and that it is of relevance to as many institutions as possible. All higher education institutions offering doctoral education are therefore invited to respond to the below consultation to inform the development of the deliverables namely, a proposed methodology and process for international co-creation and sharing of doctoral courses as well as a demonstrator course focusing on digital transformation, the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 UN Agenda. Respondents will receive the deliverables free of charge and will also be invited to take part in other engagement opportunities if interested.

The consultation is only composed of 15 questions and it will take 5-10 minutes to respond to it.

There are 2 distinct entry points:

  • One for the leadership in charge of Doctoral education at the institution to provide the replies on behalf of the institution overall:

SURVEY - INSTITUTIONAL PERSPECTIVE

  • One for supervisors of doctoral candidates:

SURVEY - SUPERVISOR PERSPECTIVE

Both of the surveys are focused on the current experience in co-creation and sharing of doctoral courses at the international level. Thank you in advance for your contribution!


Funding source and partners
IDOCOS project is co-funded by the Erasmus + Strategic Partnership programme of the European Union and within this frame, the key target group for the project deliverables are universities in EU countries. Yet the group of partners is committed to building on the project and engaging with universities from different parts of the world and most particularly Africa.

The project runs from March 2021 to March 2023.







PARTNERS:

SITE VISITS

INSTITUTIONAL SITE VISITS


ABOUT IAU SITE VISITS
In March 2019, IAU launched a new programme entitled ‘Institutional Site Visits’. The purpose of these visits is to create opportunities for exchange among Members while meeting at a university that is very advanced in using digital innovations to improve higher education to learn from experiences at the host university. The aim of the programme is capacity building through exchange of information and experiences. The aim of the site visit is that the participants acquire new insights as to how to use technology and get ideas about how to adapt and use the information in his/her context.

The Institutional Site Visits are exclusively open to representatives of IAU Members (all categories)

The first edition took place at the UOC (see more below) as was a great success. The programme is currently suspended while we wait for a context that allows us to pick-up physical meetings and gatherings. We look very much forward to pursuing these important site visits and learning about the innovations taking place across the world with peers from all regions of the world. So stay tuned....


FIRST IAU SITE VISIT TOOK PLACE AT UNIVERSITAT OBERTA DE CATALUNYA (UOC) - MARCH 2019

The first IAU Site Visit was hosted by Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) - the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) – which is the first fully online university worldwide. UOC welcomed 24 IAU Member representatives from 16 countries to Barcelona on 27-28 March in order to share their experience about online learning, the pedagogical and management model and its educational model based on personalization and accompanying students using e-learning.



- When?: 27-28 March 2019
- Where?: Barcelona, Spain
- Watch a video from the Site Visit: click here
- See the Agenda: click here


HOSTING A SITE VISIT
If you believe that your institution is a leader in this field and you wish to promote your institution and share your experience, consider hosting a site visit. Contact IAU to learn more.

Interested in receiving tailored updates and initiatives on Technology and Higher Education?

Subscribe to IAU’s dedicated list



Trine Jensen

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International Association of Universities, UNESCO House, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris cedex 15, France
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