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Amid predictions that higher education will be changed forever by the current pandemic, Professor James Miller, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Glasgow Caledonian University, suggests the innovative ways the sector is responding to the crisis will make it even more valued in the future.
The current crisis has underlined the critical role played by the UK’s experts and researchers and the institutions supporting them, as well as the need for collaboration between them, says Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business.
As a growing number of universities move teaching and assessment online in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Derby is holding a virtual conference which aims to support staff in making the transition.
The Office for Students is leaving it up to universities to decide on particular approaches to the Coronavirus pandemic rather than issuing specific guidance, and has promised to minimises its regulatory demands on the sector in response to the crisis.
A major international conference considered the digital revolution and its transformation of higher education, society, and the way technology affects the creation and use of knowledge.
Over 950 delegates from more than 85 countries attended the British Council’s 13th Going Global conference, held this year in Berlin from May 13-15. It is the world’s largest open gathering of leaders involved in international education, including government ministers, university and college heads, experts in tertiary education and technology, and industry chiefs.
The focus of the event was on how new technologies and platforms are changing the way that knowledge is produced, accessed and used globally.
Delegates were invited to consider the ethics of artificial intelligence and whether universities should get involved in its development, regardless of its potential for harm.
They explored how digital advances aid greater collaboration across nations and research disciplines and create new opportunities for public and industry engagement, as well as raise issues of openness, responsibility and accountability.
But while new technologies have the potential to democratise access to education, knowledge and employment opportunities, there is evidence they could also be deepening inequality, as benefits accrue to already advantaged groups.
The conference was being held at a significant time for the sector, with issues such as the rise of populism, threats to academic freedom, and the potential impact of Brexit looming large. 2019 also marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that helped unlock the free flow and exchange of people, education, ideas and culture between East and West.
A line-up of high profile speakers included Chris Skidmore, the UK universities and science minister, Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research in Germany, and Professor Dame Janet Beer, Universities UK President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool.
Media FHE provided official daily conference briefings from the event, published on the Going Global website. Further information and highlights can be found at #GoingGlobal2019 on Twitter.
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