With a big cut to tuition fees widely predicted, alongside fears that Brexit will sorely hit university funding and international collaboration between institutions, these are testing times for research in the higher education sector.
Indeed, according to claims in the Guardian last month, “vice-chancellors in Britain are united in the view that this is the most challenging time to run a university in modern history”.
A welcome time, then, for Jisc to shine a light on tech-augmented research by launching Active Edtech Challenges, a competition seeking UK universities’ best ideas in the field.
Categories include ‘Innovating research with artificial intelligence’ and ‘Innovating research with mixed reality’.
“AI, machine learning and mixed reality are already supporting and changing research,” says Hannah Kinley, senior co-design manager at Jisc, and moderator of the challenges. “We want to hear how these technologies can be applied in a way that will support future research.
“Sometimes the smallest ideas can create the biggest change. We’re asking staff and students in the higher education sector to help colleagues and peers of the future to make a difference.”
Submissions will be judged on three criteria:
- benefits for researchers
Come September, the newly-announced winners will be invited to join technical experts for a two-day “design sprint” to create a proof of concept for their idea.