ICVL 2014

Modernisation of Higher Education: New technologies and Digital Technology

Modernisation of Higher Education

Brussels, 22 October 2014. The European Union's High-Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education publishes its report on "New modes of learning and teaching in universities".
Ref.: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/vassiliou/index_en.htm Online (pdf): http://ec.europa.eu

Members of the Group: Mary McAleese (Chair), Agneta Bladh, Vincent Berger, Christian Bode, Jan Muehlfeit, Tea Petrin, Alessandro Schiesaro

The group makes 15 recommendations (Annex 1) highlighting the need for better targeting of resources to promote the development and use of more flexible digital learning and teaching methods in higher education.


  • Educational resources from around the globe are becoming more freely accessible and increasingly interactive, moving beyond the simple, online lecture. Digital learning and teaching can be better tailored to the needs of individual students and advances in learning analytics allow professors to give quicker feedback on students' performance and to identify areas where more support is needed.
  • Digitally based teaching methods are starting to be integrated both on-campus and online as many European higher education institutions are using the new opportunities technology offers. But too often developments rely on a few enthusiastic staff members and there is no coherent strategic uptake within the institutions or across countries.
  • Based on a thorough analysis of the current situation and of good practices across the EU and beyond, the high level group has identified pathways to support the introduction of new technology-based education. While accepting that higher education institutions themselves are the main actors in delivering changes, the group has underlined the responsibility of public authorities to create an environment which is conducive to change.


  • The European Commission should support Member States in developing and implementing comprehensive national frameworks for diversifying provision and integrating new modes of learning and teaching across the higher education system. It should promote mutual learning on key aspects including skills development, infrastructures, legal frameworks, quality assurance, and funding, in particular by exploiting the potential of the Erasmus+ programme.
  • The integration of digital technologies and pedagogies should form an integral element of higher education institutions’ strategies for teaching and learning. Clear goals and objectives should be defined and necessary organisational support structures (such as the European Academy for Teaching and Learning) established to drive implementation.
  • National authorities should facilitate the development of a national competency framework for digital skills. This should be integrated into national professional development frameworks for higher education teachers.

  • All staff teaching in higher education institutions should receive training in relevant digital technologies and pedagogies as part of initial training and continuous professional development.

  • Governments and higher education institutions should work towards full open access of educational resources; in public tenders open licences should be a mandatory condition, so that content can be altered, reproduced and used elsewhere. In publicly (co-)funded educational resources – the drive should be to make materials as widely available as possible.

  • Online platforms should inform users about their privacy and data protection policy in a clear and understandable way. Individuals should always have the choice to anonymise their data.

Digital Technology

"Digital Technology, encompassing the notions of hardware, software, IT services, internal IT and embedded software, has a major role to play in mastering the changes. For Europe, an industry strong in software innovation is a prerequisite for maintaining global competitiveness and in securing high-value jobs in Digital Technology and in other, more traditional industries that are dependent on Digital Technology." - https://itea3.org/

e-Learning and educational sector

„e-Learning has revolutionized the educational sector, and has changed the way we look at knowledge and skill acquisition altogether. Thanks to modern educational technology, e-Learning tools and techniques just keep getting bigger and better. Today , they are providing learners with a more impressive, and more effective, educational experience. More and more students and employees are using e-Learning to earn their degrees, build upon their knowledge base, and develop new skills. As such, an increasing number of online courses are now being offered in order to meet the ever-growing demand.” - http://elearningindustry.com/top-10-e-learning-statistics-for-2014-you-n...