This week, Spencer Group’s Head of Innovation in Education, Dr Micah Coston, attended the Digital Universities Europe Conference, a Times Higher Education landmark event hosted by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona. The three-day conference drew a crowd of academics, Higher Education professionals, and EdTech leaders, keen to engage in discussions centered on the transformative capability of digital technologies in the university landscape.
As the Head of our newest practice, Micah’s agenda was clearly cut out for him. Over two intense days, he held a series of more than 20 meetings with senior leadership from various institutions, met with potential and current clients across the Higher Education and EdTech sectors, confirming a number of senior leadership positions where the institutions and companies would value our cross-sectoral specialism, true partnership, and expertise. Micah also met a number of individuals who are strategically leading in their contexts and could potentially be candidates over the coming months. Many of the EdTech companies are rapidly growing and scaling, needing strong commercial and financial leadership, as they grow and scale. Some require Board and advisory leadership that taps into our deep network across the landscape.
Although Micah couldn’t attend all the sessions due to his tight schedule, the conference was buzzing. The opening reception itself was a fertile ground for networking and discussions around upcoming roles, emerging educational technologies, and digital transformation strategies. Key discussions revolved around the increasing role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education, best practices in data analytics, and students’ perceptions of technology. Also noteworthy were the discussions on balancing pedagogy and privacy in learning analytics, the integration of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in educational settings, and strategies for lifelong learning in the e-learning space.
The conference reinforced the necessity for innovation and adaptability in higher education. What stood out from Micah’s numerous conversations was the deep challenge for digital leaders within higher education institutions to transform and innovate, given the complexity of their context[s], resistance to change, and legacy challenges, especially around data. The roles we’re recruiting for are changing rapidly, requiring a nuanced understanding of both technology and pedagogy. Universities and EdTech companies require top talent that can not only navigate but also lead in this complex landscape.
If you would like to connect with Micah, you can do so on his LinkedIn, or email him at: email@example.com.