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Scottish Government minister welcomes European IT chiefs to Abertay conference

10 June 2015

Scottish Government Minister Humza Yousaf MSP welcomed 250 experts from all over Europe to a major conference at Abertay University on the future of information technology in the continent’s universities.

Delegates to the three-day EUNIS Congress, which runs from today until Friday (10-12 June), include IT chiefs from dozens of European universities and higher education institutions.   The EUNIS Congress takes place in a different host city each year, and the 2015 Congress is the 21st annual event, the first to be held in Scotland and only the second time it has ever been to the UK.

EUNIS is the European University Information Systems organisation dedicated to helping its members offer better support and services to academics and students by sharing knowledge and working together.  More than 140 institutions in 26 countries are members, and as well as the annual Congress EUNIS also runs research initiatives and task forces on specific topics.

The Congress taking place at Abertay this week is discussing new technologies for research, teaching and learning, better management of IT, computer security in the age of the mobile device, and new developments in hardware and software.  As well as five keynote addresses, delegates will also take part in numerous workshops and discussion groups on a wide variety of topics.

Noted futurologist and entrepreneur Dr Peter Cochrane OBE, former head of research at BT and now an independent consultant, will explore the potential and challenges posed by the spread of artificial intelligence technologies.

Dr James Miller, Director of the Open University in Scotland, will discuss whether the use of more and more technology in teaching and learning is a disruptive influence in universities.

Dr Phil Richards, chief innovation officer at JISC, the organisation that runs the computer network connecting the UK’s universities, will report on a major review of how JISC works with universities to design new systems and services for UK higher education in the future.

Mr Yousaf said:  "I am delighted to welcome EUNIS to Scotland for its 2015 Congress.  It is especially fitting that it should be hosted at the University of Abertay, known worldwide for its cutting-edge approach to ICT and games technology.

"Technology has a promising role to play in education.  While distance learning is nothing new, the ways in which it is offered now are particularly exciting. Massive Open Online Courses -  MOOCs -  and other education resource developments such as the flipped classroom, are playing a pivotal role in advancing the scope and quality of teaching and learning, particularly in terms of widening participation.  It is exciting to think that a keen learner anywhere in the world can access materials presented by world-class academics working in Scottish universities.”

Professor Nigel Seaton, Principal of Abertay University, said:  “We are delighted to be hosting the 21st EUNIS Congress, the first ever to take place in Scotland.  Abertay has a strong academic connection with information technology:  as well as our world reputation in computer games technology, we also have a particular strength in ethical hacking and cyber-security.

“Learning technology is important to our academic areas, and we are also very interested in corporate information systems and business intelligence, and I am especially pleased that Abertay is not just hosting this Congress, we also have staff giving presentations on the application of learning technology and in aligning corporate systems with the student journey."

More information:

Twitter:  #EUNIS2015  @EUNIS_IT

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