Allied We Stand: A look at EDEN's strategic collaborations

April 8, 2015 by Antonio Moreira Teixeira   Comments (0)

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As announced on the EDEN portal, last 15th-16th January, I've hosted a meeting in Lisbon at the Universidade Aberta (UAb) with Professor Anja Oskamp, the President of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities. Anja, being the Rector of the Open University of the Netherlands, is also a distinguished EDEN member. This gathering of colleagues and friends included also the Secretary Generals of EDEN, Dr. Andras Szucs, and of EADTU, George Ubachs. You can see a quick summary of the event in the official video kindly prepared by the colleagues at UAb:

 


 

This meeting is part of the now regular consultations between the two associations. We have been exchanging points of view about the European policies and recent developments in the field, as well as discussing how to address the common challenges and opportunities for cooperation in the global arena.

Resulting from these contacts a number of relevant joint initiatives are being planned and will be announced soon. For instance, I'll be addressing the upcoming EADTU-EU Summit 2015 "Innovating higher education by new modes of teaching" to be held in Brussels. Our colleagues at EADTU, on the other hand, will be presenting and sharing the results of their latest research initiatives at the EDEN 2015 Annual Conference "Expanding Learning Scenarios", our #EDEN15, in Barcelona, on the 9th-12th June.

As I've been referring in my blog posts, the ongoing transformation of our field of practice, the changing landscape to use former EDEN President Alan Tait's expression, calls for an increased collaboration and networking amongst the organizations representing the professional communities worldwide. The scaling up of digital education and the multiplication of new players across sectors and borders requires associations to change the scale of their activities and to open up for new and nonconventional forms of action. In such a complex situation, competitive collaboration amongst associations can strengthen them and greatly increase their respective impact.

EDEN has been assuming a pivotal role in this global effort. In fact, in addition to the mentioned collaboration, our association is building an extensive network of strategic alliances with fellow organizations in Europe and across all regions of the world. Each one of them is unique and has a specific agenda and goals. A new era is downing in our field in which collaboration is key and organizations are not afraid to learn from each other. I'm really proud that EDEN is amongst the leaders of this change.