Digital University

Dr Lesley Gourlay UCL Institute of Education, London
Dr Ibrar Bhatt Queen's University Belfast
Dr Jeremy Knox University of Edinburgh 

Network Convenors:

Dr Lesley Gourlay, Reader in Education and Technology (Department of Culture, Communication & Media) and Director (Academic Writing Centre), UCL Institute of Education, University College London. Email:

Dr Ibrar Bhatt, Lecturer (School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work), Queen's University Belfast Email:

Dr Jeremy Knox, Lecturer in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh, and a core member of the Centre for Research in Digital Education ( Email:

Lesley, Ibrar and Jeremy are active researchers in this area with extensive networks.
Lesley is currently leading a JISC-funded project at the IOE (100K) on Digital Literacies. The Irish Learning Technologies Association (ILTA) has already established links with us. Ibrar is working on the ESRC funded Academics’ Writing project, which explores the dynamic practices of knowledge creation in the contemporary University and how digital media shape and give life to outputs of academic work. Jeremy is principal investigator on two projects: the ‘Learning Analytics Report Card’ (or LARC) exploring critical approaches to participatory and student-led analytics in education (; and a project entitled ‘Pulse’ which is developing ‘Internet of Things’ devices that connect campus-based and distances students (
Network Outline

The purpose of this network is to bring together researchers and practitioners who are leading the debates about the impact of technologies on academic work. The intention is not to focus on 'elearning' as such but to explore a range of issues (both theoretical and practical) that arise through the impact of technological processes on social networks, research methodologies, identity formations, publications and theoretical developments. 

At the SRHE 2012 conference we asked potential members of the Network to express an interest and suggest topics. These included:

  • methodologies for online research
  • digital literacies
  • virtuality and education
  • social networking for learning
  • staff development needs
  • e-citizenship
  • managing change around technologies

The Network is likely to appeal to members of the Association of Learning Technologists (ALT) with an interest in research and theory; members of the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) which recently held a conference on technologies; members of the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) interested in digital literacies, the JISC community, academics and research students interested in educational technologies; and academics and researchers interested in sociomaterial approaches to education.

We would also like to video and broadcast our events, in order that they can be available to our international and geographically distributed members.

Upcoming Events +

22 February 2019
Academics in the digital university: current trends and future challenges

Past Events +

20 July 2018
Digital technologies ‘on the ground’: foregrounding local educational practices in an era of global technology

16 February 2018
The Digital University, Social Justice and the ‘public good’

20 October 2017
Critical Learning Analytics

05 May 2017
Information Literacy and the Digital University

18 November 2016
‘Critical Perspectives on ‘Openness’ in Higher Education’

17 June 2016
Boundaries of digital professionalism and the challenges of social media in Higher Education

19 November 2015
The digital university and its contributions to a sustainable future (Nottingham Trent University)

25 September 2015
Academic identity in the digital university: current trends and future challenges

17 April 2015
Methodology and Ethics for Researching the Digital University

03 November 2014
Theorising Technology in Digital Higher Education

28 March 2014
The digital and the material: mapping contemporary student practices

10 May 2013
New Approaches To Digital Literacies

02 November 2012
Critical Perspectives on ‘Open-ness’ in the Digital University

07 June 2012
The Written Word

02 March 2012
The Launch of the Digital University Network

Worldwise news
Ethics and integrity in staff:student research and academic innovation part
14th Dec 2018
Studies in HE: Editorial Vacancies - Expressions of interest invited
By 31st January 2019
14th annual conference of the German Society for HE Research (GfHf)
20-22nd March 2019
Theory and Method in Higher Education Research
February 2019
Call for papers: 14th annual conference of the Society for Higher Education
20-22nd March 2019
HECU9 Contemporary Higher Education: Close Up Research in times of change
15-16 Nov 2018
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Engagement with
the global higher education research community…