The programme of the University:Future Festival 2023 consisted of eight thematic tracks:
- Spaces & hybrid concepts
- Learning & Skills
- Empowerment & Sustainability
- Openness & Vision
- Strategies & Management
- Exams & Legal
- AI & Technology
- Knowledge Transfer & Communities
Track: Spaces & hybrid concepts
What are the prerequisites for successful hybrid teaching concepts? How do university spaces work better? What does the topic of “blended learning” mean for spatial structures? What needs to be considered in upcoming investment projects at universities?
Hybrid teaching concepts have become the norm in many places after the pandemic. But they don’t always work to the satisfaction of everyone involved – a topic of concern to many members of universities. Following on from this, the question of how physical and digital spaces can be designed with learners in mind arose, as it has a significant impact on decision-making processes for renovations and new buildings.
Track: Learning & Skills
Which innovative teaching concepts deserve a broad audience? What future skills are needed and how can they be anchored in curricula? How can student-centeredness be rethought? How can concepts that have been tried and tested in practice be disseminated more widely? What insights and challenges can other key players such as companies and education providers bring to the table? How does successful upskilling work in companies and what role can universities play in this?
In the Learning & Skills track, we talked about didactic designs and the learning and competence goals behind them. A special focus was on the broad impact: How can the many excellent examples of good teaching be spread and anchored? Projects working to scale good teaching were therefore especially encouraged to submit sessions.
In times of a shortage of skilled workers, the topic of upskilling (higher qualification) was particularly relevant. Therefore, this topic also found its place in the Learning & Skills track – with a special focus on how universities and companies can work together on this.
Track: Empowerment & Sustainability
How do we create equity at all levels – i.e. with regard to sustainability, diversity, accessibility and access to education? What levels of sustainability can and must a university address today? How can we shape change in a participatory way?
Equity has many dimensions. Probably the most pressing is preserving the planet’s viability. Addressing the climate crisis also affects higher education institutions. At the same time, the Empowerment & Sustainability track addressed several other defining debates of our time: traditional social roles and patterns are increasingly being called into question. The question of equity is being re-discussed in terms of gender, (perceived) ethnicity, social status, sexual identity, physical characteristics, and many more. This track discussed all these issues.
Track: Openness & Vision
How is university teaching made open? What are the good practices in Open Educational Resources (OER)? How do OER reach a broad audience? What are the very long lines of development, what will higher education look like in 20 years? And what can policy makers do to support positive developments?
If you have visions, you should come to the University:Future Festival. The Openness & Vision track was aimed at people who are looking at the big picture and who are interested in openness. It was about visions of the future, openness as a principle, politics and, of course, Open Educational Resources.
The track Openness & vision was coordinated by our stage partner ORCA.nrw.
Track: Strategies & Management
The digitization of studies and teaching requires strategic discussion. How can this be done effectively? What examples of successful change processes are there? How are working modes improved? What can and must change in administration in general, and which digital options can help? How can alliances support change processes?
Digitality is a reality in business and society. Universities must find a constructive way of dealing with this. To do so, they need individual strategies, effective structures and targeted organizational development. Change processes must be lived, and the establishment and expansion of support and consulting facilities must be made possible. In the Strategies & Management track, we discussed change processes in management and administration at both the conceptual and practical levels.
Track: Exams & Legal
Which formats are contemporary and how can a diverse examination culture also be promoted structurally? How are examinations conducted successfully in the digital space? What alternative forms of digital audit evidence are there? And what other legal issues need to be considered in digitization processes – for example, with regard to data protection?
On the one hand, the Exams & Legal track dealt holistically with exam formats and technologies as well as the corresponding didactic issues. On the other hand, the track dealt with all legal issues relevant to higher education management and education, such as data protection, accreditations and teaching regulations.
Track: AI & Technology
How can technology enrich academic education? What do students need to learn about artificial intelligence in order to deal with it competently and responsibly? And what does that mean for the subject in question and for teachers? How can we use Artificial Intelligence as a tool to enhance learning and teaching experiences? How can we maintain data sovereignty and still use it effectively and efficiently? Which EdTech organizations are developing important innovations? Which technological hypes can be safely ignored – and where are the real innovations?
Data and Artificial Intelligence are transforming our everyday lives and careers today. Technology is increasing our opportunity space in education. In the AI & Technology track, we talked about the key role that universities play in this rapid process of change. For this track, we additionally invited EdTech companies to share their ideas with the higher education community.
The AI & Technology track was coordinated by our stage partner KI-Campus.
Track: Knowledge Transfer & Communities
How does knowledge transfer between institutions take place? How can what happens in universities be made publicly accessible? How do successful networks and collaborative alliances work and what can others learn from them?
The Knowledge Transfer & Communities track was about collaboration and knowledge transfer – both to society and to other universities. Collaborative networks and other forms of cross-university cooperation offer great potential for finding answers to common questions and disseminating them more widely, for example through participation structures and good communication.