Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities of the Modern Campus ▶


Ger Culley - UCC
Heidi Fraser Krauss - JISC
Professor Mike Murphy - HEAnet
Ronan Byrne - HEAnet

In this presentation, Dr. Gerard Culley delves into the pivotal technology trends shaping the landscape of education in Ireland over the next decade. With a keen eye on the post-pandemic world, characterised by a shifting geopolitical landscape, economic uncertainties, and rapid technological advancements, the talk offers a comprehensive exploration of the challenges and opportunities facing the modern campus.

The presentation begins by acknowledging the remarkable 40 years of growth, peace, and prosperity and then transitions into the current, potentially more challenging period, encompassing financial, environmental, and geopolitical complexities. Notably, the discussion revolves around the pace of technological change now, and the challenge of society to keep up with that pace. Emphasising how technology's impact is often overestimated short term, but underestimated in the long run.

Key to this talk is to get feedback from the attendees on what they believe should be the priorities for higher education over the next Decade.  Understanding that it is the individuals attending the HEAnet who will play a pivotal role in defining and shaping the future of technology in Irish education.

Some of the topics explored include:

  1. AI in Education: The impact of AI on assessment practices, administrative processes, and curricula within universities and society more generally.
  2. Cyber Security Threats: The increasing importance of cybersecurity, which currently consumes a significant portion of IT resources. Balancing agility and flexibility with robust security measures is explored, as well as the safety of digitizing the physical world and connecting it to the internet.
  3. European Alignment: Closer alignment for Irish Higher Education to European standards and practices, including technology services.
  4. Sustainable Campus: Leveraging technology to facilitate growth while reducing the carbon footprint. This includes reductions in direct carbon emissions, innovative energy-efficient initiatives, and the utilisation of data to optimize energy efficiency.
  5. Nudging the sector towards a more cohesive, aligned and Strategic future.

Dr. Gerard Culley will conclude by highlighting the necessity of aligning our various strategic goals on the right side of these trends. This will help our institutions and our Sector to drive maximum value for our community. There are a variety of challenges and barriers to success and by working together, with a focus on strategic value, when can ensure that tomorrow’s students continue to benefit from a world-class digital education.