On 1 – 2 December HSE University in partnership with global educational platform Coursera held an international scientific online conference "eLearning Stakeholders and Researchers Summit" (eSTARS 2021) on the topic "Digital Transformation: Global Challenges to the Education System".
Experts, scientists, researchers, business representatives and academic leaders met at the conference to discuss the results of the latest research on online education within the international expert community, to present strategies for the development of distance learning and to put points of growth concerning eLearning on the roadmap. The conference gathered over 1900 guests from 52 countries of the world, including: Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Georgia, India, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Canada, China, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, USA, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, etc.
More than 80 experts spoke at 13 research sections and discussion panels: the representatives of HSE University, Coursera, ITMO University, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Financial University, Ural Federal University, RANEPA, the School of Business of the University of Palermo (Argentina), University of Colorado Boulder, University of North Texas, Netology, Skyeng, Skillbox and other leaders of online learning.
The key speakers of the conference:
Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera
Luciano Saso, President of UNICA – Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe
Nikita Anisimov, Rector of HSE University
Yaroslav Kuzminov, Academic Supervisor of HSE University
Gabriel Foglia, Dean of the School of Business of University of the Palermo (Argentina)
Vladimir Mau, Rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Daria Kozlova, First Vice Rector of ITMO University
Alexander Fadeev, Vice Rector for Digitalization at Tomsk Polytechnic University.
eSTARS experts are visionaries with internationally recognized experience in transforming educational systems.
Within the conference, the representatives of professional community not only exchanged the best distance learning practices, but also got the opportunity for interdisciplinary discussion of online education as a sociocultural, philosophical, and economic phenomenon. The speakers of the conference paid attention to overcoming digital barriers and providing equal access to online products to users around the world, as well as to the current trends and challenges to the global online education system. The participants of eSTARS 2021 noted that the discussions on reducing the digital divide, as one of the tasks of the UN program on sustainable development, should be held at the state level and initiated by the expert community of universities.
The development of HSE University is inextricably linked to moving towards digital technologies and tools in education, science and management, while preserving the advantages of a traditional university. Welcoming the participants of the conference, Nikita Anisimov emphasized: "During the pandemic and the era of intensive digitalization, online education became one of the most relevant and socially oriented trends of our time. It put an end to geographical barriers and time and resource constraints."
During the panel discussion "Disruption and the Changing Nature of Online Education" Jeff Magionkalda noted that the intensive development of technologies, the processes of globalization, the changing landscape of the labor market had forced the world to adapt to the new digital reality. He also expressed an opinion that online learning provides a wide range of educational content and demonstrates high flexibility and accessibility for a global audience.
In an effort to make quality academic education truly accessible, HSE University has been including online courses in the educational process since 2013. HSE University is also a co-founder of the National Open Education Platform. Students from around the world have chosen HSE University online courses more than 6 million times.
As in previous years, eSTARS 2021 became a space for discussing significant initiatives in the field of online education, aiming at its qualitative transformation, and a springboard for the evolution of this field.