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Avans University Successfully Delivers Online Learning Throughout the Pandemic with the Help of D2L Brightspace

Avans University considers the Brightspace platform vital to its Ambition 2025 learning goals

Press Release

D2L, a global learning technology leader, announced today that its customer, Avans University of Applied Sciences, is celebrating the success of its online learning delivery throughout the peak of the pandemic, and now considers Brightspace vital to delivering its ‘Ambition 2025’ learning goals.

Avans is one of the largest colleges in the Netherlands, with campuses in Breda, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Roosendaal and Tilburg, offering 61 higher professional education courses to 33,000 students. It aspires to train agile and resilient professionals, who can be placed quickly and readily in the workplace, adding value to the organisation where they start their career. Modules are co-developed with the professional field and industry partners and regularly updated in line with the demands of the international labour market to boost student employability.

Avans started implementation Brightspace in March 2020, replacing its legacy learning management system (LMS) provider. Avans chose Brightspace in order to deliver more flexible, personalised blended learning programmes to allow students to switch more freely between any associated courses, based on their own goals and interests. The university planned to migrate all courses and systems to Brightspace starting in September 2020 through a phased implementation period, with all its 22 academies switching to Brightspace by August 2021. However, as the pandemic required universities to close, Avans needed to adjust its strategy to provide continuity for its students and minimise further disruption to their learning.

With the sudden transition to remote learning, Avans required a flexible and reliable LMS that was also compatible with Microsoft teams to enable lecturers to deliver online lectures and recordings.

“The transition was so smooth, and feedback from both students and teachers has been extremely positive, with many finding Brightspace’s functionality and interface really easy to use,” said Felix Kuijpers, Programme Manager Education Innovation with ICT at Avans University of Applied Sciences. “Most of our staff had been trained ahead of the phased implementation and were involved in the design process. The D2L team was very helpful, offering their guidance on how to use the platform and ensure our team members were using it to their full advantage. It’s been fantastic to provide continuity for our students in spite of the challenges presented by the pandemic.”

14 of Avans’ academies are now running entirely across the Brightspace platform and, as Avans continues to migrate all of its courses, it has been testing its capabilities and tailoring Brightspace to each of its modules. Given Brightspace’s flexibility and extensive capabilities, Avans now considers the platform as integral to delivering its Ambition 2025 learning goals.

“With our digital transformation, we have access to far more data than ever before,” continues Kuijpers. “In the future, we want to explore how to make the best use of this data and produce real actionable insight for our lecturers into students’ learning pathways. This will be a focus in our Ambition 2025 learning goals as we look to integrate a fully digital working and learning environment and extend our portfolios. We want to bring all of our modules and learning materials online and be 100 per cent digital available – Brightspace is at the centre of this project.”

“Building off of the excitement and energy generated by our annual Fusion conference, we’re celebrating our customers and the ways in which they are changing the world,” says Elliot Gowans, Senior Vice President, International at D2L. “After what has been one of the most challenging years indeed, the team here at D2L is incredibly proud of its work with Avans University, as it aspires to deliver and explore new ways of learning.”

Learn more about D2L’s work with Avans University here

About Avans University

Avans University of Applied Sciences was formed in 2004 as the result of a merger between Hogeschool Brabant and Hogeschool ’s-Hertogenbosch. These educational institutions were already working together closely at the time, operating under one Executive Board. The Executive Board manages Avans University of Applied Sciences. The Supervisory Board is responsible for supervision and monitoring of the Executive Board’s policies.

All our departments together comprise the 21 Avans schools. This includes the University of Law Avans-Fontys.

Avans offers programmes in the following areas of interest: Economics and Business, Engineering, Society and Behaviour, Health Care, Science and Technology, Arts and Culture, Law and Governance, Education, Earth and Environment, Language and Communications.

At Avans, practice-based research is carried out at our 6 centres of applied research and over 25 research groups.

Avans has 6 support services units, as well as 2 executive support units. They provide support to the Executive Board as well as the Avans schools.

Student and employee participation in decision-making
At Avans, both staff and students have a voice in decision-making through a number of representative bodies. They play a key role in decision-making processes at all levels within our organisation.

About D2L

D2L is transforming the way the world learns – helping learners of all ages achieve more than they dreamed possible. Working closely with clients all over the world, D2L is supporting millions of people learning online and in person. Our more than 950 global employees are dedicated to making the best learning products to leave the world better than where they found it. Learn more about D2L for K-12, higher education and businesses at

About D2L Brightspace

D2L Brightspace is a cloud-based learning platform built for organisations that value continuous investment in people to drive their business success.

D2L Brightspace is powering smarter upskilling and reskilling of workforces around the world. It is a place that supports all aspects of learning with better engagement and productivity through personalised learning. It gives your teams the tools they’re going to love and makes it easy to support exceptional experiences face-to-face or fully online.

D2L Brightspace is designed in close collaboration with clients around the world – building a rich set of features to improve engagement, retention and learning outcomes. And it makes it easier to give feedback. It’s worry-free with 99.99% reliability. It’s highly accessible and looks beautiful on any mobile device, making it easier for you to reach every learner.

Like many of our clients, D2L uses its award-winning Brightspace learning platform to support onboarding, compliance training, leadership development, and upskilling of its own employees. This has led to consecutive #1 in North America awards for new hire and onboarding experiences. To learn more, visit D2L for Corporate Learning.