West University of Timisoara – International Conference on Universities Responses to Digitalisation

In September 2021, West University of Timisoara organized an International Conference on Universities Responses to Digitalisation. The event marked the end of the project Coordinated higher institutions responses to digitalization (ESCALATE), financed by the Erasmus+ programme. The project was developed by the West University of Timisoara in partnership with Exeter University (UK), Stirling University (UK), Milano-Bicocca University (Italy), Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg (Germany), and Prospektiker (Spain).

Its aim was to help universities understand the scale and depths of the challenges they face from digitalisation. The project brought together a mix of university responsible, educators/teachers, learners, labour market experts, alongside business and local government to offer a coordinated response to the challenges arising from digitalization. Numerous support materials were developed within the project to enable Universities in designing effective policy and education system governance, focused on:

  • Digital education disruption – the role of online learning and digital technologies
  • Enabling open-source technology and innovative solutions for educators and students
  • New educational opportunities created by digital technologies
  • Labour market and new sectoral responses to digitalization
  • Innovations in skills, policy design and education system governance
  • Unintended consequences and the ethics of digitalisation (including surveillance issues).

The project has also trialled the exciting potential of new innovative ‘Digital Skills Escalators’ across different regions in each partner country. This is a model whereby a region or locality can understand where there are gaps in digital education provision – and is therefore a new way to influence both policymakers and educators – seeking to fill the gaps in provision in a key economically important sector.

All materials are freely available and can be consulted at www.escalate.projects.uvt.ro.

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