First Empower Online Learning Leadership Academy

In early June 2016 the first Empower Online Learning Leadership Academy (EOLLA) took in place at Neth-ER in Brussels. The two-day workshop supported with an Online Primer was very successful, evidenced by the positive feedback from participants.IMG_1161

The Leadership Academy is designed around the principles of active learning and includes activities like high-level discussions, creative problem solving and strategic thinking in response to new and emerging models of teaching and learning. Four experienced institutional leaders from the field, including our own Professor Mark Brown, together with a diverse group of established and new and emerging leaders explored a number of real dilemmas, challenging case studies and future scenarios to better understanding some of the opportunities and threats facing Higher Education. Through a mix of short presentations, open discussions and small group work the programme culminated on the final day with a number of business cases being put to a simulated senior leadership team.

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The EOLLA is part of a joint initiative between the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) and the Empower programme managed by the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU). Empower supports collaboration and sharing of expertise between European universities and provides specialist advice and guidance for institutional leaders on the latest developments in online, open and flexible education.

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Modernisation of European Universities

Last week, at the EADTU-EU Summit 2015: Innovating Higher Education by New Modes of Teaching and Learning, Professor Mark Brown gave an invited presentation on the EMPOWER Project and then participated in a high-level panel discussion on the modernisation of European universities. Notably, Xavier Prats-Monne, Director-General of Education and Culture, was also a member of the panel where he shared his views on the future of higher education. Seamus Fox, Head of Open Education, also participated in the Summit.

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The day beforehand Mark also attended a special forum in Brussels hosted by the European Commission to review a draft report on the Changing Pedagogical Landscape for European Higher Education. This is a major European funded project which has the objective of examining to what extent government strategies and higher education regulatory and accreditation, funding, quality assurance, assessment and certification frameworks support or hinder new modes of learning and, in particular, the increased use of technology in the teaching and learning process. The final report should be available in the next few months.