Skip to main content

DkIT Academic Embraces EDEN and European Insights to Empower Digital Education Leadership Goals

01 March 2024

The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia) (UOC) recently became the centre of transformative discussion during EDEN’s inaugural Digital Education Leadership Academy (DELA), where Dr. Ronan Bree, DkIT’s Institute Lead for the N-TUTORR project, joined 16 leaders representing 11 European countries, each committed to redefining the digital education landscape.

Hosted at the innovative UOC in Barcelona, the first online University launched in 1994 and the home institution for a creative, brave and successful team in this space, the programme team provided attendees with invaluable insights and experiences crucial for successful digital education leadership.


EDEN’s DELA transformative sessions, led by key European educational leaders, primarily focused on three pivotal areas:

  1. Vision-Making and Strategy: Participants engaged with a dedicated toolkit specifically designed for digital education leadership teams. Insights from successful educational leaders were shared to create a vision and strategy for digital education. This approach primed strategic thinking for navigating and implementing impactful digital transformations in higher education.
  2. Strategic Planning and Tackling Digital Transformation Challenges: Here, the group explored how certain higher education institutions have successfully tackled challenges associated with digital transformation. It focused on addressing complex 'wicked' problems linked to digital transformation while discussing the latest trends in research on digital education leadership.
  3. Ensuring Institutions are Future-Ready: The element involved discovering how a renowned educational institutions designed fitting organisational structures to support success. It focused on refining understanding of leadership mindsets and actions, tackling a specific challenge to develop leadership capacity institution-wide, and developing action plans based on these insights.

Throughout the academy, dedicated and engaging workshops were led by the hosts, Dr. Deborah Arnold, Prof. Albert Sangrà, and EDEN President, Prof. Josep Duart, with case study activities designed by DCU’s Prof. Mark Brown.  Leading dedicated sessions were Professors Susannah Quinsee (City, University of London), Ale Armellini (University of Portsmouth), and Tine Baelmans (KU Leuven), each enriching the group’s discussions on digital education leadership. Joining Ronan from Ireland were Seamus Ryan and Dr. Geraldine McDermott (TUS-Midlands), Lisa O’Regan (Maynooth University) and Joanna Kozielec (Advance Centre ), each receiving a Diploma upon their successful completion of the academy programme.

EDEN's collaborative ethos supported the group’s innovative thinking and collective problem-solving throughout. Attendees’ active engagement exemplified the collective dedication to advancing pedagogy within the digital realm. Their collaborative engagement in DELA has the potential to catalyse reshaping educational models, fostering innovation grounded with a human-centred approach.  Ronan’s participation underscores not only DkIT's commitment to fostering educational excellence, but also the dedication to advancing both N-TUTORR and the Institute’s broader expertise in this field.

Dr. Ronan Bree states:

Connecting and collaborating with digital education leaders across Europe was an impactful experience that resonated on several fronts. EDEN’s digital education leadership academy provided the group with opportunities to engage in discussions and strategies on integrating digital education leadership into institutional and sectoral practices, while contributing reflective and helpful insights. As an aside, to have five attendees representing Irish HEIs, clearly demonstrates our national commitment to embracing innovation and emerging technologies to support enhanced learning experiences. Like my fellow colleagues, I’m equally proud to have completed EDEN’s DELA and to have received its Diploma”.

Empowered by these insights, participants such as Ronan are already envisioning collaborative innovation within the educational landscape. Acknowledging Ronan's participation in this academy, EDEN’s commitment to furthering people’s expertise, vision and skills, in order to contribute meaningfully to our Higher Education community is to be commended.

All Media Enquiries

  • Marketing & Communications