City of Glasgow College is leading a European acceleration in digital transformation across the tertiary sector.
The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown education into a digital future from which there is no going back.
At the start of the first national lockdown in March 2020, City of Glasgow College swiftly and agile moved its learning and teaching online. There was a lot to learn about the digital classroom, and staff and students adapted quickly.
Two years on, the college is leading an international collaboration to enable digital maturity throughout the tertiary sector in Europe. Assessing digital maturity in colleges (ADMiC) is a 24-month project, funded by Erasmus Plus.
Paul Little, Principal and Chief Executive at City of Glasgow College, said:
“Having made a significant investment in a new virtual learning environment and, as the first college in Scotland to host a visual learning laboratory, I am delighted that we are leading on this vital project. The pandemic has greatly increased awareness of the advantages of technology and our own blended learning model offers a richer experience for our students.”
Stuart McDowall, Head of Innovation and STEM, and Project Manager of ADMiC, at City of Glasgow College, said:
“Through self-assessment tools and best practice guides, the project will help institutions adapt or enhance their digital strategies, culture and resources, as well as the infrastructure required to develop their digital maturity.
“Colleges are now operating within increasingly complex and uncertain environments. The pandemic has shifted the landscape forever and our commitment to deliver high quality, inclusive education through virtual means requires tangible support for learners, teachers and trainers as they continue to adapt to online and remote learning.”
The project partnership includes City of Glasgow College and the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE) from the UK; and specialist education and training centres, Noorderpoort and ROC A12 in the Netherlands; Gradia in Finland, and Miguel Altuna from the Basque Country.
Enaitz Alustiza Lamarain from Miguel Altuna LHII, said:
“We opened new facilities in 2020 and the main objective was to become pioneers of new technologies related to our specialities. We believe the change in vocational training centres involves integrating technology into education, in order to develop learning in environments closer to business reality.
“In this context, ADMiC will help organisations in general, and educational centres in particular, to assess the state of their digital maturity. We believe that the different tools offered by ADMiC will help to reduce the technological gap between vocational centres and companies. That is why this project is important for us.”
Digital transformation offers huge opportunities for colleges; from IT modernisation to digital optimisation, and the design and implementation of new digital business models. As Stuart explains: “to deliver this transformation, the whole institution needs to be connected to enhance the experience for students.
“Digital transformation is about more than just learning and teaching. It involves the entire enterprise architecture not only to significantly improve internal processes, but also to enhance how an organisation interacts with customers and employees using technology.”