Project: International Panel review of e-learning at Uppsala University

Client: Uppsala University

Uppsala University, the oldest university in Sweden, set up in late 2014 an international panel in e-learning (with a UK, Swedish, Norwegian and Australian expert and a student member) and nominated Paul Bacsich the UK expert as Chair.  (In line with Swedish HE procedures, rather than operating as consultants, all experts had to become temporary employees of the University.) The purpose was not a quality review but part of the University’s ongoing development process towards a new strategy for e-learning.

The Panel visited Uppsala University for three days in February 2015. By then they had read the University’s internal report (from its e2014 Working Group) on its e-learning, plus many other internal and external relevant reports. Paul and the Swedish expert stayed on for two more days to liaise with senior staff and finalise an outline set of recommendations.

Over the three days of hearings, the Panel heard from individuals or small groups from the three Disciplinary Domains (“Colleges”), relevant central units (e-learning, IT, Library, Quality, etc) and key e-learning projects. Over 30 different individuals were interviewed, some more than once.

The Panel produced 15 Recommendations, backed up by a SWOT analysis and a concordance with e2014 internal recommendations. Key areas covered were definitions, business case, strategy, internal analysis, dissemination (both directions internally and also externally), VLE stabilisation, organisation of support, staff development, existing key projects to fund and foster, improvement of the internal analytic framework, central team organisation, research centre, the role of open-ness and the role of the island campus (on Gotland).

Some of the issues were very sensitive and required careful elucidation. In fact, the University went into a further period of discussion, taking the Panel’s report as both a refinement and critique of the e2014 internal report and later in 2015 produced an action plan based on some aspects of both.

A public but brief report of the University’s final plans is published (in Swedish) at


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