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ACA Think Pieces: Digitalisation in International Higher Education

Following the successful run of ACA’s “Think Pieces” series in 2020 on the world after Covid-19 and in 2021 on inclusion in the context of higher education, ACA continues in 2022 by exploring the multi-faceted nature of digitalisation in the higher education sector. Throughout 2022, leading voices on the digitalisation of HE field will be sharing their reflections and exploring the multi-faceted nature of digitalisation in higher education institutions from an international cooperation perspective.  

This month’s Think Piece – The role of Blended Intensive Programmes in the virtual learning debate and the future of internationalisation –  the third in this year’s series, is authored by Juan Rayón González, President of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN). ESN plays a powerful role in bringing to light issues experiences by students in mobility programmes, while also advocating and illustrating the advantages of such exchanges. In this month’s Think Piece, Juan lends his perspective on the benefits of Blended Intensive Programmes (BIPs) for the student experience, and offers suggestions on how to further improve these programmes. 

In this month’s article, Juan presents the findings of the recent ESN survey to illustrate that while students generally enjoy online learning programmes, students would appreciate more interaction with each other and with lecturers. Juan underlines a few key areas that higher education institutions can consider improving for a better student experience. He points out the value of non-formal education in mobility exchanges and the unique opportunities afforded by blended programmes. He also emphasises fostering a sense of agency in students, so as to encourage awareness of the connections between the global and local significance of their work. He concludes the piece by reminding faculties to strategically plan informal moments of connection for students to develop a sense of community in BIPs. 

Read the full piece.