Time and skills are vital to building resilience against future cyber security threats

It’s most often the case that IT and security staff are too busy dealing with the here and now to think about future threats, let alone how to flex their organisation to ensure its long-term resilience.  >>

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Alison Wakefield

How multi-factor authentication can boost cyber security

We may not be able to eradicate cyber-attacks completely – but we can certainly minimise their impact. As part of a wider cyber security strategy, one way to do that is multi-factor authentication (MFA). >>

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Alf Moens, cyber-security lead and acting chief security officer at GÉANT

First steps towards effective use of AI in education

Institutions should take time to decide on the best way to make artificial intelligence (AI) work for them. Jisc’s AI maturity model can help.  >>

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Michael Webb

When the bytes go out: preparing digital education for power outages

The coming winter is predicted to bring with it unprecedented challenges for the UK in terms of energy supply. To date, most headlines warn of the spiralling cost of energy and how it is impacting businesses and the cost of living.    >>

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Steve Bailey

How to protect your organisation with identity management in the cloud

As educational organisations shift systems to the cloud, cyber security professionals must also shift their focus to identity-based protection. >>

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Richard Jackson

A recession could be coming. What does that mean for graduates?

A series of shocks have hit the UK economy, and economic volatility is rising. The Bank of England is already concerned we may be in a recession or at least looking at one.  >>

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Charlie Ball

Supporting the shift to open access

Alongside the UK Government’s commitment to open research, more and more major UK funders stipulate that funded research is available to all, as open access.    >>

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Anna Vernon

Is UK education ready for the big analogue phone switch-off?

How to future-proof your telephony system with Jisc’s session border control cloud service. >>

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Simon Farr, head of innovation and IT at Jisc

Students want blended learning, but we still have a long way to go

During the pandemic, universities and colleges showed resilience in adapting to uncertainties and changing contexts with the expansion of online learning. >>

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Professor Steve West, CBE

What does a university need to be digitally successful?

A new Jisc report looks at what the future holds for higher education and the components for digital transformation >>

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Sarah KnightNick Skelton

‘Together we can reduce the risk of cyber attacks’

For more than two years, Jisc has been supporting the sector to deal with a sustained increase in ransomware cyber attacks. >>

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Henry Hughes

Using cross-campus expertise to reduce the impact of technology on climate change

Sustainability and caring for the environment are becoming top agenda items for universities and colleges alike, although the approach to tackling these challenges varies across the sector.   >>

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Fiona Goodwin

Achieving Cyber Essentials: options for colleges and universities

In 2014, the UK government introduced a scheme to help organisations, whatever their size, protect themselves against a range of the most common cyber attacks – Cyber Essentials (CE) and Cyber Essentials Plus (CE+).   >>

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Jon Hunt

Why Jisc members shouldn’t pay ransomware demands

This week, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have warned against paying ransomware demands. We wholeheartedly support this stance and offer the same advice to Jisc members – colleges, universities and research centres.    >>

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Steve Kennett

Digital transformation strategies should maximise use of AI

The Government has identified artificial intelligence (AI) and data as one of four ‘grand challenges’ that will shape our future. It is already helping drive digital transformation in all sectors, including education.  >>

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Paul McKean

Octopus set to make sea change in research culture

I can’t believe it’s been five years since I first had the idea for Octopus. Finally, it’s come to fruition, thanks to funding from Research England and a partnership with Jisc, and it launches on 29 June 2022. >>

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Dr Alex Freeman

Infrastructure is key to supporting the sector’s shift towards open access for monographs

In a little more than 18 months, the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) open access (OA) policy for monographs, book chapters and edited collections will take effect. Jisc is considering the implications for this policy and how to support the sector through this in an affordable way. >>

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Caroline Mackay

Supporting the transition to open access publishing - an update

One of our key priorities over the last two years has been to strike agreements that accelerate the UK’s transition to open access (OA), reduce and constrain costs, and capitalise on the potential of OA to break down some of the barriers to collaboration and excellence in research practices.   >>

Anna Vernon

What’s stopping innovation in higher education?

Students expect a flexible and personalised approach to course delivery. They want education on demand, which mirrors how they use tech and consume content in their social life.  >>

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Heidi Fraser-Krauss

It’s do or die for the planet – and education is the answer

We are in code red: everybody has to get behind keeping climate change below 1.5 degrees by the end of this decade, or we will be in a zone of absolute catastrophe. Every single credible scientist on earth recognises this. It's do or die. >>

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Cindy Forde

How to create a safe, inclusive, equitable learning environment

Education is changing. The huge shift to remote education made it more accessible to some people and less accessible to others. But it also got many of us reimagining what education should look like – and creating inclusive, equitable learning environments has to be at its very heart.  >>

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Gori Yahaya

A new approach to supporting scholarly communications: announcing the open access community framework (OACF)

Supporting the transition to open access (OA) requires a multi-pronged approach. A key consideration for Jisc and UK institutions is how to put into practice the commitment to a diverse scholarly communication ecosystem. >>

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Helen Dobson

Why online learning is not online learning

Many universities this term have reportedly moved away from in-person teaching back to delivering online because of the rise in covid cases. But is the return to teaching online synonymous with pre-pandemic online learning? >>

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James Clay

What do teaching staff say about the move to online learning?

Following on from recent findings of digital experience insights surveys of over 65,600 learners and students, a new report by Jisc reveals much more about the impact of the pandemic on those who had to teach during such unprecedented times. >>

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Clare Killen

What has the real-time REF review taught us about future research assessment?

The publication of the real-time research excellence framework (REF) review (pdf) provides us with a great opportunity to reflect on REF 2021, how we assess research and how our current system affects individual researchers, institutions, and subject communities. >>

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Catriona Firth Ben Raynor

Libraries have power in numbers to provide students with the resources they deserve

At the University of Plymouth library, we’ve been struggling to gain access to a lot of the e-textbooks and e-resources that our students need, much like the vast majority of university libraries. It has been big problem when many students have been studying remotely, and even more so now with the more commonplace blended approach. >>

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Jason Harper

Now is our time: The green shoots of innovation - leaders ready for a new era of transformation in FE - from diversity to digital skills

At the Association of Colleges (AOC) annual conference last week, I walked out of the ICC into Birmingham’s bright sunshine with a renewed sense of genuine optimism. A sense that now is our moment – that we may be emerging from the worst of times into the best of times. >>

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Robin Ghurbhurun

What’s keeping FE leaders awake at night?

From IT infrastructure to digital capabilities, digital transformation to seamless content access, FE leaders are facing many common challenges and priorities.  >>

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Robin Ghurbhurun

Paving the road for the future of data analytics

Data is sometimes seen as something cold and removed from the human element, but in reality, it is a window into that very humanity, and can form an essential foundation for keeping students on track.   >>

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Karen  Foster

Transforming UK transnational education through digital and data

As demand for higher education outstrips supply globally, institutions are increasingly offering programmes to students overseas, so where can digital and data offer potential to transform this opportunity?    >>

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Esther Wilkinson

World digital preservation day: bits and pieces

World digital preservation day (4 November) aims to create greater awareness of digital preservation that will translate into a wider understanding which permeates all aspects of society – business, policy making, personal good practice. >>

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Paul Stokes

Standing up for fairer publishing practices needn't hinder your career

The ‘cost of knowledge petition’ takes a stand against the damaging practices of the world’s largest for-profit publisher, Elsevier. >>

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Thom Scott Phillips, senior research scientist in cognitive science

Open Access Week: a global call for OpenDOAR updates

Jisc and the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) are calling on repositories to update their records in OpenDOAR during Open Access Week (25-29 October). >>

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Jennifer Sanchez-DaviesKathleen Shearer

Dumfries and Galloway College tackles digital transformation and climate change

When I was appointed principal two-and-a-half years ago, I realised that the college had yet to harness technology as a positive force in learning, teaching and, ultimately, the student experience. >>

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Joanna Campbell

Why senior leaders should champion cyber security

Promoting cyber security is a priority for any senior leader. We live and work in an increasingly digitally connected world, and technology has become almost ubiquitous in teaching, learning and business. >>

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Liz Barnes

What do FE learners want from online teaching?

Learners in further education (FE) have told us about the lengths their lecturers and tutors went to in supporting them to learn remotely during the pandemic – and about what worked and what didn’t. >>

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Clare Killen

‘We have the evidence, now let’s transform FE for the better’

The sector is rapidly learning from adapting to the pandemic, both organisationally and individually. While acknowledging the significant negative impact of this turbulent time, it has provided the sector with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to innovate and experiment - a catalyst for technological evolution. Let’s capitalise on that. >>

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Robin Ghurbhurun

‘Online education adds significant value. Let’s not turn our backs on progress’

I have been disappointed but unsurprised by recent coverage of online higher education. The idea of online as second-rate has become the go-to for the uninformed - and while it's a narrative that doesn’t go entirely unchallenged, it does seem to dominate the mainstream media. >>

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Paul Feldman

STEM: The future is equal

From the world’s first computer programmer Ada Lovelace to Nobel Prize winning chemist Marie Curie, women working in STEM is nothing new. Why then does the percentage of girls taking STEM subjects remain so low? And why are women in tech still in such an extreme minority?  >>

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Gabriela Morales MartinezNicole Stewart

People power – thinking differently about equipment sharing

When we talk about research and innovation in higher education, rarely is the topic of equipment sharing high on the agenda. Whilst equipment sharing is not a new concept, it is time we started thinking about it differently.  >>

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Dr Helen TurnerIan Hancox

'As universities emerge from the pandemic, let's not lose momentum for positive change'

People in the university sector have been talking about transformation for a number of years – but when I reflect on my career in higher education (HE), the initiatives and the drivers we prioritised back in 1984 barely changed in 35 years. We were looking at the same issues, just dressed in different clothes. >>

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Jonathan Baldwin

Cyber security and online harm: not only a technical issue

The recently announced online safety bill focuses on defining both illegal and ‘legal but harmful’ activities and specifies a nebulous ‘duty of care’ that platform providers must demonstrate should a user be subject to online harm.   >>

Professor Andy Phippen

Navigating into the cloud

If moving to the cloud is a journey, at the University of Sunderland we’ve mapped the route, passed some key landmarks and have the destination in sight. But staying on course is an ever-developing journey. >>

David ConwayDaniel Wilson

Digital tech can catapult FE and skills providers to the heart of local economies and communities

The pandemic has given further education providers a significant jolt and accelerated their move towards better use of technology for teaching and working. Against this seismic shift, the Skills for Jobs white paper lays the groundwork to capitalise on that momentum, but lacks real ambition for a digitally enhanced future. >>

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Robin Ghurbhurun

'IPv6 enables better connectivity to staff and students working from home'

Our team at Imperial College London is spearheading the institution’s programme to implement Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) to make sure it has enough unique IP addresses to support education and research in the future - and careful planning is keeping costs down.  >>

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David Stockdale

Beyond 5G: Building an internet of skills

King’s College London (KCL) is one of several institutions working together to develop the UK’s 5G infrastructure. We're intent on going further and at KCL’s Centre for Telecommunications Research, we've already worked to develop next generation technologies – 6G. This will help to democratise education and skills. >>

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Professor Mischa Dohler

‘This is a pivotal moment to embrace inclusion and innovation’

Perspective is an interesting thing. I wonder what the hard-working staff and students at England’s universities would’ve said a year ago if we predicted the change they were about to experience through the pandemic – or if we suggested how it would impact on our diverse student cohort. >>

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Jonathan Baldwin

Rewriting the library in digital space

The concept of the library is changing. Libraries are symbolic representations of the wider university, with legacy links to the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, but also as important social hubs for learners and staff alike. They are a testament to university legacy but also a vivid illustration of a future vision.  >>

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David Parkes

I’m always looking for better ways to make identity and access management seamless

Anjanesh Babu has led the development and implementation of a unified identity and access management (IAM) strategy within the University of Oxford’s Gardens and Museums (GLAM). He says the research and development has occasionally been painful, but the results are worth it – especially so when the technology is invisible to users. >>

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Anjanesh Babu

The secret lives of students

How well do you know your learners? With backing from Jisc, staff at the Open University co-designed a ‘learning journey’ tool that enables institutions to better understand and support their students. Kate Lister, manager for accessibility and inclusion, explains how it works. >>

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Kate Lister

Putting digital skills, content and connectivity at the heart of long-term plans for FE and skills

While less revolutionary than we’d hoped for, with ambition clearly tempered by short-term fiscal settlements, the FE and skills white paper paints a progressive picture of the future for our sector, putting skills at the heart of our nation’s recovery.   >>

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Robin Ghurbhurun

Jisc’s vision for supporting research and innovation 2021 – 2023 

The demands on and priorities of the UK research and innovation sector are evolving at pace. We see increased pressure on financial sustainability, an increased focus on improving research culture, and the need to prioritise on integrity and transparency, while accelerating routes to application.    >>

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Victoria Moody

Reflecting on 2020 – and getting ready for 2021

COVID-19 has accelerated the shift to digital learning and teaching and a tremendous amount of work has taken place to make this shift happen. We look back at some of the highlights of 2020 in supporting this rapid transformation in teaching, learning and research. >>

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Caren Milloy

Bringing together mission and money

In this era of post truth and fake news, access to primary sources of history is becoming more and more important. Making this information accessible costs lots of time and money, but there are novel ways to do it. >>

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Paola Marchionni

Open with purpose

This week is Open Access Week and this year's theme 'taking action to build structural equity and inclusion' prompts us to reflect on what this means and why it's important to the open access movement. >>

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Liz Bal

Collaboration for competition in the global marketplace

Collaboration is a key attribute that employers look for in an ideal candidate. Education organisations around the world imbue students with this quality, but it is also an essential way of working for universities themselves, in order to compete in the global marketplace.   >>

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James Clay

Breaking down barriers: enhancing human connections through technology

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK, we had been in talks at Weston College about developing a virtual classroom - somewhere that staff would feel comfortable to share their lessons with students in different locations. Little did we know that the world was soon to follow suit, adapting to video conferencing technology to maintain teaching and learning through lockdowns and other restrictions.   >>

Students using virtual classroom at Weston College
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Jon Hofgartner

Investment in FE and skills sector is vital to UK’s recovery from pandemic

In further education (FE) eutopia, fully-embedded digital strategies would already be the norm in all colleges, supported by robust e-infrastructure, digital resources to support all courses, an assessment system that is fit for purpose and teachers with the right digital skills to support exciting and engaging blended learning models. >>

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Paul Cox

Teaching online: the challenges and the potential

As the new academic year begins students are facing an induction like no other. With online learning expected to play an increasingly pivotal role, how can universities and colleges ensure that they’re delivering a first-class learning experience despite having to shift from the norm? >>

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Scott Hibberson

The UK Wiley read and publish agreement – nine months on

A 2018 review estimated that only 28% of all scholarly publications are open access. But the pandemic has heightened the need for full and immediate open access to research and has thrown into sharp relief the barriers that paywalls present to free and unfettered access to knowledge. >>

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Anna  Vernon

Can universities rebuild students’ trust in data?

Over the summer, many young people found themselves at the mercy of a system of assessment they didn’t understand. Plenty had their plans for the future thrown into disarray. The long-term impact could be a significant shift in the way students view data. >>

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Chris Thomson

Three things universities need to do now to make the most of digital learning

How can institutions provide students with the digital learning experience they want and need? Ian Dunn, provost at Coventry University, and Gideon Shimshon, associate principal digital learning and innovation at Queen Mary’s, say the sector can emerge from the COVID-19 crisis better prepared than ever. >>

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 Ian DunnGideon Shimshon

The fight against phishing: free new tool stops spoofing

Cyber security is improving in many areas, but phishing is still a big problem for the further and higher education sectors, partly because it is too easy for criminals to send emails pretending to be from a university or college. >>

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Tom S

How can colleges and universities keep critical services running smoothly during clearing and enrolment in lockdown?

There’s never a ‘good’ time to suffer a cyber attack, but there are certainly a few dates in the year when the financial and reputational effects of a website or email failure will be more damaging than others. >>

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Clare Stonebridge

'Online learning is here to stay - so we must work out how to do it well'

The rapid shift to online work and study has forced providers to extend already over-stretched budgets. ‘Emergency’ IT infrastructure and software have been brought in at pace, and we’ve seen fast-track digital upskilling for staff and students. Such upheaval posed a challenge for many, but most prevailed with their best endeavour. >>

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Robin Ghurbhurun

From the battlefield to the boardroom, influence and teamwork are key to building information security

In the military, you need to have a keen awareness of threat and risk management. The pressure is on informed leaders to direct their teams to make great decisions as part of protocol. Otherwise, mission success is at risk, which could cause serious damage to individuals, property, values, and beyond. >>

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Mick Jenkins

Managing the release from lockdown

When colleges and universities open their doors once more, what lessons will have been learned from the COVID-19 crisis? And, asks Chris Thomson, when is the right time to start planning the next steps? >>

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Chris Thomson

Barriers to online learning must be removed to tackle COVID-19 crisis

Whatever happened to the carefree hedonism of youth? That stereotype feels quite hollow at the moment. Under lockdown and unsure what the future will bring, today’s students are burdened by worries, and the rapid move to online and remote learning prompted by COVID-19 is highlighting the divide between the haves and the have-nots. >>

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Paul Feldman

Coronavirus helped our staff embrace online learning. Here’s how...

Coronavirus has forced colleges into unchartered territory, with online learning integral to further education, not optional. Our main focus at Wolverhampton College has been to support students and staff during this tricky time, resulting in some surprising cultural shifts... >>

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Conrad Taylor

Coronavirus scams: how to spot them

Phishing scams are on the rise due to hackers taking advantage of the fear and anxiety caused by the global pandemic. But what can you do to stay vigilant?   >>

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Jon Hunt

Creating the next generation of digital leaders

Technological progress and innovation is happening at an unprecedented pace. It’s reshaping every aspect of our lives as humans. Everything from the way we live, work, learn and teach is changing. >>

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Chris Rothwell, director of education, Microsoft UK

Top tips for a sustainable approach to innovation

These days, we usually associate the word ‘sustainability’ with the environment, but colleges and universities also need to keep their technology sustainable. >>

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Students using VR headsets in the classroom
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Kurt Weideling

Technology can enhance education. Here's how

From the virtual learning environment that underpins the day-to-day study activity at many UK colleges and universities, to the use of digital lecture capture, enabling students to review and absorb information anytime and anywhere, technology is embedded within today’s student experience. >>

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Students working at the Unversity of Northampton
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Paul Bailey

Are we ready for AI?

With our lives increasingly affected by artificial intelligence (AI), there's a need for a big conversation that reaches beyond technologists. >>

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Beth Singler

It’s time to take state-sponsored cyber attackers seriously

The volatile nature of geo-politics - particularly in the Middle East - means that as I write, it’s a difficult time to identify the existential threats of nation state cyber crime to our sector. And very tricky indeed to invest smartly and wisely to provide a balanced approach to cyber resilience.   >>

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Mick Jenkins