Nottingham Trent University, a pioneer in blending online and classroom learning, and Desire2Learn UK Ltd. (D2L), the EdTech company that created the world’s first truly integrated learning platform (ILP), today announced that Brazil’s leading universities met with them in Warwick today to commence a new UK-based programme to share best practices between the two nations. As Brazil prepares for its 2014 global spotlight, 40 senior academic leaders from Brazilian universities are searching for ways to improve student outcomes and raise the quality of higher education in Brazil.
Currently, Brazil’s 2400 higher education institutions enroll over six million students, according to data from Sindicato das Entidades Mantenedoras de Estabelecimentos de Ensino Superior no Estado de Sao Paulo (SEMESP). Growth in the sector is strong (5.4% yearly) as demand is high: a Brazilian graduate will earn two-and-a-half times more than a non-graduate. However, the quality of education is relatively low by global standards and over half of Brazilian HE students do not complete their courses. The Universities’ strategy for reform and improvement emphasises the need for improved learning technology.¹
Nottingham Trent University uses Desire2Learn’s ILP as the technology backbone for its 27,000 students. Senior staff from both organisations met with the Brazilian Deans and Vice-Chancellors today to advise them on using learning technology to transform Brazilian universities. Their recommendations included using IT to rebuild the teaching and learning system and incorporating personalization to increase engagement and serve a greater diversity of learning needs.
Professor Neil Gorman, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, said: “We are experienced in global partnering to share best practices with other universities, so are delighted to be meeting colleagues from Brazil for the first time to talk about our digital-centred approach. It’s a strong endorsement of our teaching methods and we are delighted these many higher education leaders are inspired by how we’re using digital systems to transform and reform education.”
Welcoming the Brazilian delegation, John Baker, President and CEO of D2L, said: “International collaboration enables D2L to drive faster change and the widespread transformation of education. As one of the world’s largest cloud-based integrated learning platform, we are proud to support global communities to improve their teaching and learning practices.”
Nottingham Trent University and D2L have been working together for four years, focusing on the transformation of teaching, learning and the student experience, introducing features such as mobile applications for grading, course consumption and collaborative working. Their joint initiative with the Brazilian institutions on 15th May was requested by SEMESP, which guides over 500 Brazilian universities on policy and best practice. The meeting took place at Warwick University, which is also presenting some higher education themes.
¹ Source: Sindicato das Entidades Mantenedoras de Estabelecimentos de Ensino Superior no Estado de Sao Paulo’ (SEMESP) 2013 http://semesp1.tempsite.ws/semesp_beta/