From education to employment

UK/US partnership aims to boost digital transformation in FE sector


@Jisc and EDUCAUSE bring together UK and US sector leaders to share best practice and boost technological innovation

Leaders from some of the most technologically advanced colleges in the US and the UK are coming together for the first time on 30 June to share their knowledge and expertise. 

The partnership, forged by the UK’s digital body for tertiary education, Jisc, and its US equivalent, EDUCAUSE, aims to share best practice on the use of technology across a variety of key topics, including how colleges use it to tackle: 

  • remote/blended learning 
  • what the ‘new normal’ will look like 
  • the digital divide 
  • learner mental health and wellbeing 
  • the changing digital workplace and implications for vocational skills  
  • low carbon computing and sustainability 

The inaugural virtual event involves, from the UK, Jisc’s Robin Ghurbhurun (managing director for FE and skills) and Paul McKean (director for FE and skills). 

They will be joined by the CEOs/principals of Activate Learning (Sally Dicketts), TEC Partnership (Debra Gray) and Basingstoke College of Technology (Anthony Bravo), plus South East Regional College’s director of curriculum and information services, Dr Michael Malone. 

From the US, EDUCAUSE CEO John O’Brien has brought on board the presidents of Bunker Hill Community College, Massachusetts (Pam Eddinger), Jackson College, Michigan (Daniel J. Phelan), and El Paso Community College, Texas (William Serrata), with the chancellors at Foothill-De Anza Community College District, California (Judy C. Miner) and Seattle Colleges, Washington State (Shouan Pan). 

Robin Ghurbhurun says: 

“Now is the time to capitalise on the digital practices implemented globally through the pandemic. We have a chance to reimagine the sector’s future, placing it at the heart of digital transformation for the communities it serves by preparing learners and staff for the workplace of tomorrow. 

“By sharing best practice and ideas with American counterparts, we hope to accelerate ‘education 4.0’ on both sides of the Atlantic.”  

John O’Brien says: 

“This sector is a dynamic, unique, and crucial to the students and communities we serve. Given their unique mission, these leaders know more than most the value of collaboration and sharing ideas. We look forward to learning together and contemplating the future.” 

About Jisc  
Jisc’s vision is for the UK to be a world leader in technology for education and research. It owns and operates the super-fast national research and education network, Janet, with built-in cyber security protection.  Jisc also provides technology solutions for members (colleges, universities and research centres) and customers (public sector bodies), helps members save time and money by negotiating sector-wide deals and provides advice and practical assistance on digital technology. Jisc is funded by the UK higher and further education and research funding bodies and member institutions.  

About Educause 
EDUCAUSE helps elevate the impact of IT.  EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology. We equip our community with the knowledge, resources, and community-building opportunities needed to help shape strategic IT decisions at every level in higher education.  We welcome diversity —in viewpoints and experience — and believe in the transformative power of uncommon thinking for the common good. 

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