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Hosted on behalf of Jisc, the UK digital, data and technology agency focused on tertiary education, research and innovation, the event titled ‘Demonstrating digital transformation – People, place and partnership at Ulster University’ explored various avenues of digitally enhancing learning, including the paperless campus and the creation of commercial digital partnerships to advance education.

One of the most complex large institutions in the UK that delivers higher education on a regional, multi-campus basis, Ulster University showcased the development and delivery of digital transformation activities across the institution at the event.

As the host location, Ulster University also demonstrated the successful creation of commercial partnerships to enhance digital learning, including the £1 billion Belfast Region City Deal and projects such as Studio Ulster, a £72m large-scale Virtual Production Studio, harnessing the region’s potential in virtual production, gaming animation, and AI.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Seawright delivered a welcome to guests and explained the role of digital technologies in achieving the University’s goals across the strategic themes of ‘People, Place and Partnership’.

Sarah Knight, Head of Learning and Teaching Transformation, Jisc said:

“It has been a privilege for Jisc to bring our 6thdemonstrating digital transformation event to Ulster University and to showcase the digital innovation evident across the university. Ulster University’s vision for digital aligns with Jisc’s framework for digital transformation and the roundtable discussions illustrated the importance of this holistic approach. This event brought together senior leaders from across the UK and Ireland to discuss how they are leading digital change in their universities. The event sparked conversations on sharing practice and ideas, which will continue long after the event.”

Speaking of the conference, Professor Paul Seawright, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Ulster University said:

“We were delighted to welcome the Jisc Demonstrating Digital Transformation conference to our new campus in Belfast. As an institution focused on enhancing the potential of all of our students, staff and partners, we are always looking to the future to consider how we can harness the potential of digital technologies to improve and advance our teaching, research, and campus experiences. It was a privilege for our team to showcase the vision and delivery of digital transformation across the Ulster University estate and we were thrilled to welcome our peers across the industry to share ideas, approaches and experiences.”

The event featured several roundtable discussions, including a panel on sustainability and the impact of digital technologies which explored the paperless campus and the environmental impact of our technology choices and building in sustainability as standard to the landmark new campus in Belfast.

Speakers at the event included:

  • Sarah Knight, Head of Learning and Teaching Transformation, Jisc.
  • Professor Declan Keeney, Director of the Ulster Screen Academy, Interim CEO of Studio Ulster and Professor of Screen Technologies & Innovation at Ulster University.
  • Richard Beggs, Senior Lecturer in Higher Education Practice, Ulster University.
  • Michael Fitzpatrick, Director of Estates, Ulster University.
  • Mark Taglietti, Chief Digital and Information Officer, Ulster University.

Guests were also given the opportunity to experience the campus in action, from libraries and labs to roof gardens, golfing studios and gaming suites, with a guided tour by Ulster University student ambassadors.