Under the weather – Weeknote #195 – 25th November 2022

Cardiff Castle

Spent the week working from home, mainly as I had a bad cold and also had my flu vaccination. Feeling under the weather I felt I was less productive than I usually am. It certainly didn’t help with the wet cold weather we had. Really felt like winter had arrived this week.

waiting room

I finished off my presentation for the keynote I am delivering next week in Berlin at Moving Target Digitalisation.

The UK higher education sector has over the last three decades invested heavily in information technology, online solutions, digital services, resources and content. The aim has been to enhance and improve and reframe the student experience, to reimagine learning, teaching and assessment, and to transform the infrastructure, the university estate to enable and enhance this digital transformation. Across this, Jisc, the UK NREN, has been proving the infrastructure, security, advice and guidance to the UK higher education sector.

 In this keynote, James Clay Head of Higher Education and Student Experience at Jisc, will explore what we mean by digital transformation, what it means for students and why the UK higher education sector needs to deliver on their digital transformation journey. He will explore the UK experience over the last few years and how this has helped to accelerate the digital transformation journey, and will showcase exemplars from across the UK university sector. He will discuss how Jisc is supporting UK higher education and what are plans are for the future in enabling future digital transformation and what our European colleagues can learn from our experiences and those of the UK higher education sector.

I did consider not using any slides and just talking to the audience, but in the end I with a mixed set of slides of mainly images, but also some text.

Did some more planning for my trip, from a travel and logistics perspective. Useful to check I can use my phone next week in Berlin for example. I also need to get from the airport to the hotel, looks like I can catch the train from the airport to central Berlin quite easily. I did in fact consider catching the train to Berlin, but it was going to be one long trip, with quite a few changes to get there. I did think it might be easier to get to by train. In the end decided I would fly there this time.

Brandenburg Gate
Image by Couleur from Pixabay

The last time I was in Germany was in 1985, and I have never actually been to Berlin either. Back in 1985 the city was divided by a wall, and it was at the height of the Cold War. I remember watching the news in 1989 as the wall came down. In 1985 I travelled through Germany to Yugoslavia on a Scout camp and we stayed in Munich. I did study German when I was at school, but I think I will struggle when I am there.

I also have to be in London on Monday, so did some planning around that as well. We are looking at our team’s internal and external stakeholders.


BBC reported that: Rishi Sunak is considering curbs on foreign students taking “low quality” degrees and bringing dependents, Downing Street said.

However Downing Street declined to define what they meant by a “low quality” degree. To me it seems like an easy target to focus on rather than dealing with the actual issues and problems. It fails to take into account the positive impact of foreign students in the UK have for universities and the impact they return home afterwards.

My top tweet this week was this one.

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