We are the oil
Higher education can still use some oil or another lubricant to get moving in the field of educational innovation with ICT. Things are squeaking quite a bit. If we don’t act, parts of higher education are even at risk of wearing out, jamming or even breaking. But who or what provides the oil that the education system needs? This is what we discussed last week with Minister Van Engelshoven.
On February 3, the Minister paid a visit to Avans University of Applied Sciences to visit the Acceleration Plan. Together with students, lecturers, ICTO coaches, policy officers, managers, administrators and officials of the Ministry, the leaders of the zones Better connection to the job market and Facilitating professional development for lecturers spoke with her about what the changing job market means for education, what it requires from lecturers, and how we can organise our support for lecturers better.
After a few inspiring practical examples of collaborations between the professional field and education from the Job market connection zone, we entered into a discussion about how we can involve the majority of lecturers in the major challenge of innovating education. The conversation map that our zone made with the four cogs immediately started the conversation. “It’s about both a bottom-up and a top-down approach,” said the manager. “It’s about the direction we’re going and a clear governance structure,” said the director. “We have to frame it differently,” said the marketing lecturer. “I would like to have the room to experiment,” said another lecturer. “As long as they are enthusiastic and show pleasure, otherwise I will soon drop out,” said the student. And so everyone contributed to a rich conversation.
That is the oil in the educational system, right here. It is determined by the people who shape “sustainable education” for the future, like the title of the strategic agenda of the Ministry of Education states. It is the lecturers themselves and the people around them who determine the context and direction. The point is that the forerunners are followed up and that everyone gets involved in the digital transformation. Everyone uses his or her own role and expertise. Whether you are an educationalist, trainer, quality assurance employee or work at the help desk, in PR or are an HR advisor, manager, civil servant, or minister. Not working alone and isolated, but together and coordinated. Together we form the components of the perfect oil and if we succeed, everything will run smoothly by the end of the Acceleration Plan.
Minister Van Engelshoven expressed her appreciation after the working visit. She was pleasantly surprised to see what was already happening and had learned a lot. She spoke about the great importance of digitalisation in education and the expansion of the necessity of expanding room for development for lecturers. It’ll certainly help us if we make good use of that space but beware of Haarlemmerolie, the lubricant always working anywhere. Keep taking care of proper maintenance, change the oil, replace the filters in time, and check the oil level regularly!