Booking Closed

Primary Sponsor


30 April 2024

Book Before

25 April 2024


BCEC, Birmingham

About the Event

10 Years Forward, 10 Steps Beyond: Digital Capabilities for 2034

The UCISA Spotlight on Digital Capabilities Conference is a face-to-face conference run by the Digital Capabilities and Digital Education Groups. It brings together university leaders, IT professionals, learning technologists and academics to discuss the latest trends and challenges in digital capabilities.

This year's conference will celebrate its 10th anniversary, and the theme will be Digital Capabilities in Higher Education: the next 10 years.The conference will explore a range of topics, including:

  • The capabilities needed to effectively use new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, in education
  • The challenges of ensuring digital equity and inclusion, such as supporting transitions into higher education for diverse learners
  • The need for new graduate digital capabilities in the digital age
  • Supporting widening digital capabilities gaps in a digital-first HE environment

The conference will also feature keynote speakers from leading universities and organisations, as well as panel discussions and workshops.

The conference will provide a platform for discussion and debate on the key issues facing the sector, and it will help shape the future of digital transformation in higher education.





Becca Ferrari

Deputy Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and Student Experience

University of Nottingham

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Julie Voce

Head of Digital Education

City University of London

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Jeni Brown

Head of Digital Skills Lab

London School of Economics

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Lauren Regan

Digital Literacies Coordinator

City, University of London

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Jillian Terry

Associate Professor (Education) and Co-Director


More Info

Dr Jillian Terry is Associate Professor (Education) and Co-Director of LSE100, the sector-leading flagship interdisciplinary course for undergraduates at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Currently, Jillian’s work focuses on designing innovative interdisciplinary curricula, inclusive pedagogies, and the impacts of AI on teaching and learning.

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Gary Burnett

Professor in Digital Creativity

Loughborough University

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Gary Burnett is a Professor in Digital Creativity in the School of Design and Creative Arts at Loughborough University. He is an experienced lecturer who teaches and conducts research in the area of Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction. For several years, he has taught hundreds of students on the use of new immersive technologies in creative design – and, recently has pioneered the use of social VR as means to engage more with students represented as avatars over extended periods in persistent and fantastical virtual worlds.

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Andrew Moles

Learning Developer

London School of Economics and Political Science

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Andrew Moles is a Learning Developer, specialising in data science tools such as R or Python, at the Digital Skills Lab at LSE. My team and I deliver varied programmes catered to learners of all levels, aiming to develop digital and data literacy, job-specific skills, and technical confidence.g Disabilities Accessibility Task Force.

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Zara Lawson

Research Director

Alterline Research

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Zara Lawson is the Research Director at Alterline Research, where she has worked for the past 10 years, after achieving a Law degree and a Masters in Criminology & Socio Legal Studies at the University of Manchester. 
She is a passionate research professional and is experienced in managing and delivering robust, innovative research and engaging outputs, including the Information and Digital Literacy research being presented at this session. 
She leads the team across Alterline’s Higher Education projects, bringing both quantitative and qualitative research alive for clients with meaningful recommendations and deliverables.


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Chris Rowell

Digital Learning Producer

University of the Arts, London

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Chris Rowell is a Digital Learning Producer at the University of the Arts, London. His research interests are all things to do with Digital Education, including creative education and Critical Digital Pedagogy. He is a facilitator for the ALT’s Anti-racism Learning Technology Group and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

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Jo Parker

Senior Library Manager

The Open University

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Jo has over 25 years’ experience working in higher education libraries. Her focus is on skills development for students and staff, particularly digital and information literacy skills.

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Dr Becki Vickerstaff

Higher Education Senior Consultant


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Becki is a Higher Education Senior Consultant with Jisc supporting the Building Digital Capabilities Service for HE. She comes from an extensive background of over 19 years working within Higher Education in a digital education capability. Her PhD in technology enhanced learning encapsulates the processes and barriers of implementing digital tools and capabilities within Engineering Education.

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Chandrakant Patel

Senior Fellow and Chief Engineer

HP Inc

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Chandrakant Patel is a Senior Fellow and Chief Engineer at HP Inc, leading HP’s technology strategy and the company’s global technical community. Chandrakant's research interests span microbusiness connectivity, data center cost reduction, cyber-physical integration, sustainable cities, distributed computing, and 3D printing industrialisation.  In 2014, Chandrakant was elected to the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame. 

Helen Laville

Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor

Kingston University

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Educated at the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham, where she completed her PhD, Kingston University Provost, Professor Laville leads an important portfolio encompassing learning and teaching, research and innovation, and business partnership and engagement activities.

Stephan Fortier

Regional Director UK/I


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Stephan is responsible for leading the commercial strategy across Instructure’s key European markets. Originally joining Instructure in 2018, he has extensive experience working with higher ed institutions in the UK and Ireland on their digital learning environment transformations.

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Timothy Smale

Digital Skills and Training Manager

Keele University

Event Schedule



Exhibitor Briefing


Registration and Exhibition opens


Networking and orientation session


Welcome and introductions

Annette Webb, Digital Training Officer, York St John University

The Digital Student: An institution-wide programme for developing digital skills for learning and future employment

Dr Becca Ferrari, Deputy Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and Student Experience – Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham

Refreshment break


Rise of the cyber physical

Chandrakant Patel, Senior Fellow and Chief Engineer, HP Inc

DEG-DCG Achievement Award

Introduced by Julie Voce, Head of Digital Education, City University of London



Keele's approach to elevating digital capabilities in staff and students

Timothy Smale, Digital Skills and Training Manager, Keele University

Room location: Imagine


Providing inclusive and equitable digital skills learning in higher education

Andrew Moles, Learning Developer - Data Science Tools and Nedelin Velikov, Learning Developer, London School of Economics and Political Science

Room location: Rookeries


Travel time


Understanding the role of digital and information literacies in the lives of 16-18 year olds

Julie Voce, Head of Digital Education, City, University of London; Lauren Regan, Digital Literacies Coordinator, City, University of London and Zara Lawson, Research Director, Alterline Research 

Room location:Imagine


12 Days of AI - developing AI literacy for staff in HE

Chris Rowell, Digital Learning Producer, University of the Arts, London

Room location: Rookeries


Travel time


Developing staff digital capabilities (and minding the gap) at The Open University

Esther Spring, Learning Lead (Digital and Innovation), The Open University; Jo Parker, Senior Library Manager, The Open University and Becki Vickerstaff, HE Senior Consultant, Jisc


Room location:Imagine


Developing AI Literacies in the classroom and beyond

Jeni Brown, Head, Digital Skills Lab and Jillian Terry, Associate Professor (Education) and Co-Director, LSE100, London School of Economics and Political Science


Room location: Rookeries


Refreshments and networking


Credentialing and Future Skills - Higher Education's Approach

Professor Helen Laville, Provost and Deputy VC, Kingston University & Stephan Fortier, Regional Director UK/I, Instructure

Lectures in the Metaverse: Engaging students socially within virtual worlds

Gary Burnett, Professor of Digital Creativity, Loughborough University

Closing remarks

Annette Webb, Digital Training Tutor, York St John University

Close of the conference

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