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Universities are going into the 2021-22 academic year with a greater capacity to deliver online and hybrid teaching. But just as existing digital divides presented complex teaching challenges during the pandemic, faculty’s lack of digital literacy and of pedagogical training could render universities’ digital transformations ineffective. 


Lauren Herckis, an anthropologist at Carnegie Mellon, discusses her research into the new digital divide in higher education and how universities can work to fill it. 


Explore our Spotlight collection of resources on the new academic skill set.

And you can read Lauren's chapter in the Global Learning Council's latest report Digital Transformation of Higher Education

In this episode of the THE podcast, we speak with Ian Jacobs, the outgoing vice-chancellor of UNSW Sydney about what motivates universities to scale their operations and how it can be done. 

We also speak with Jude Sheeran, principal, international education and research technology at Amazon Web Services about types of technology that can support the expansion of higher education's capacity. 

Spacial thanks to Amazon Web Services for sponsoring this episode. 

Find advice from academics around the world on how teaching can reach more students without losing quality in our spotlight Think Big: Successfully scaling higher education. 

Since the 18th century, universities' civic missions have evolved beyond widening access to higher education to now include public engagement, economic renewal and community outreach.


This week we speak with two experts who are deeply involved in civic activities at their institutions in the UK and in Canada. 


Jeremy Read is the CEO of the University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation and UWCRC 2.0 and Carenza Lewis is a professor for the Public Understanding of Research at the University of Lincoln. 


To find advice on how to start or improve your universities' civic activities, go to our THE Campus Spotlight: how to be a civic university post-pandemic.

Can you use a podcast to tell the story of a journal article? Helen Wolfenden, a lecturer in radio at Macquarie University, thinks you can and has set out to do it in this guest podcast episode “Making practice publishable”. 

“I think it brings the knowledge to life in a completely different kind of way,” she said. 

If that’s not enough, the journal article and podcast are based on Helen’s research into the academic publishing world. As a practice-based academic herself, she looked into the different approaches to truth-seeking and knowledge translation in professional practice realms and theory-based academic environments.

This episode is full of tips about how to publish academic articles for anyone transitioning into an academic career or researchers at the beginning of their journey into academia.

You can download a limited free e-print of the published article this podcast is based on here: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/TTCSCXEGG6ZCMTVNWNIG/full?target=10.1080/02691728.2019.1675098

Sara Custer hosts a group conversation with academics and university staff from the US and the UK about diversity, equity and inclusion, with a specific focus on anti-racism education and neurodiversity awareness.

They bust myths about diversity, equity and inclusion work and offer tips on how universities and faculty can make their campuses and classrooms inclusive to all students' needs.

Panellists include Jason Arday, an associate professor in sociology at Durham University and the deputy executive dean for people and culture in the Faculty of Social Science and Health; Tazin Daniels, an assistant director at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan and a digital equity expert with the Every Learner Everywhere Network; Chiara Horlin, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Glasgow and founder of the institution's Neurodiversity Network; and Amanda Irvin, senior director for faculty programmes and services at Columbia University's Center for Teaching and Learning.

The pandemic has forced a major rethink of international higher education. Travel restrictions have put a huge dent in international student enrolments and after a year of doing everything remotely is International travel for students or university staff even necessary? Two scholars give us their opinions on what's next for the internationalisation of higher education, international student mobility and English as a mode of instruction. 


Joining hosts Sara Custer and Miranda Prynne are Omolabake Fakunle, a chancellor’s fellow at the University of Edinburgh and Benjamin Tak Yuen Chan, dean of the Li Ka Shing School of Professional and Continuing Education at the Open University of Hong Kong.


Read more from Omolabake: 

Using internationalisation to enhance digital learning experiences for all


Read more from Benjamin:


A practical guide to digital teaching and learning

Find resources and advice on internationalisation:

THE Campus spotlight: teaching across borders


Boosting employability is the biggest motivator for students completing higher education degrees yet many universities have traditionally argued their role is not to serve labour demands but to “educate”.

However, with student debts increasing alongside the cost of university, the need to be assured a good job at the end of a course is becoming more pressing. Labour automation and the changing nature of work were concerns before the pandemic, but now upheaval to the global economy over the last 12 months has added to the challenge of securing graduate level jobs.

So how should universities prepare students for the world of work post-pandemic and how should that be reflected in their delivery models and course offerings? 

Join THE's Sara Custer and Miranda Prynne as they discuss these questions with Anton Muscatelli, principal and vice-chancellor at the University of Glasgow and Nancy Gleason, associate professor of practice of political science and director of the Hilary Ballon Center for Teaching and Learning at New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi.


Read Nancy Gelason's opinion piece "Liberal arts education must embrace employability"


Find online teaching and learning resources from faculty and staff around the world on THE Campus

In this show we're discussing the elephant in the classroom: the big gap in basic pedagogical knowledge among academic faculty. How should instructional designers work with faculty? And how can universities encourage superstar researchers to also be excellent teachers?

Bringing in their expert opinions are: Brian Schmidt, a Nobel Laureate in Physics and vice-chancellor and president of the Australian National University; and Alexandra Mihai, a learning designer with over a decade of experience in European HE.

Sara Custer, THE's associate editor, curation and Miranda Prynne, content curator for THE campus are the hosts.  


What can university leaders and academics do to take care of themselves and their campus communities during the Covid-19 crisis? What role does kindness and compassion play in university leadership?

Join THE's Sara Custer and Miranda Prynne as they discuss these questions with Thuy Thi Nguyen, president of Foothill College and June Gruber, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado and director of the Positive Emotion and Psychopathology Laboratory. 

Explore the resources in the THE Campus spotlight "Helping staff and students avoid burnout"


On 1 and 2 September THE's virtual World Academic Summit will bring together over 100 speakers to answer questions like: Is the pandemic and the shift to a more digitally-based world changing the value of “place” for higher education institutions? Does this create a new opportunity for institutions in the Global South to redefine their public value and research impact? Has the pandemic accelerated trends that were already clear and expected for higher education institutions or have we moved into uncharted territory?   

The THE World University Rankings 2021 will also be launched during the event. 

In this episode of the podcast THE's chief knowledge officer, Phil Baty, and our head of content and engagement for our world summit series, Tim Sowula, join host Sara Custer to discuss the highlights of the upcoming event and what attendees can expect from the virtual platform. 

Susan McCahan, vice-provost of academic programmes at the University of Toronto, also speaks with Sara about how the institution has seen challenges as well as opportunities during the pandemic and her vision for the future of higher education. 

Special thanks to the water fowl of Victoria park for their cameo appearances. 


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