2022 ICA-Edu Colloquium

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       ICA-Edu Colloquium 2022

Exploring the opportunities and challenges of mainstreaming blended learning in Life Sciences Higher Education

 was held on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 May 2022

at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium


See the detailed programme and the keynote presentations

Download the Colloquium programme

A  Colloquium focus

The term blended learning is generally applied to the practice of using digital resources alongside in-person learning experiences when teaching students. Blended-learning practices and experiences may vary widely in design and execution. Improvements in both University curricula and learning technology, together with the impacts of the pandemic means that it is a learning mode that continues to gain momentum and usage. Although the debate around the acceptance and effectiveness of blended learning continues, it is clearly impacting at both the strategic and operational level within Higher Education (HE) Institutes.

The overall aim of this colloquium is to explore the opportunities and challenges of blended learning in life sciences HE through institutional, student and lecturer perspectives. The colloquium re-visits some of the themes from the colloquium held 10 years ago in Bolzano, Italy which focussed on “Educating the Net Generation.”  See the outcomes of that colloquium

B   Colloquium themes

Opportunities and challenges: review of blended learning development over the last five years, the current state of the art and likely trajectories over the next 5 years.

Capabilities and expectations of current students for the delivery of their education experience, particularly reflecting on the blended learning approach. Do students feel well-prepared for a blended approach to learning, does it encourage greater student independence and better prepare graduates for the imodern workplace?

Plenary: What are the characteristics of robust yet flexible blended approaches in terms of university/faculty strategy and curricula practice for on campus students?

C   The Colloquium Outcomes will allow delegates to:

1) Reflect on the opportunities and challenges that the wide-scale adoption of blended learning has highlighted

2) Evaluate the capabilities, expectations/hopes of and impact on students and staff as the “blended model” evolves in the post COVID era.

3) Discuss examples of blended approaches in education practice and the potential implications [pros and cons] for both students and staff.

4) Taking lessons from the colloquium about blended learning to identify next steps for ICA-EDU and note any personal actions from the meeting.

D  Target Audince

The ICA-Edu Colloquium is designed to bring together staff from ICA Member institutions who have a particular interest in developing innovative approaches in teaching and their students learning.

E   Call for Contributions – short interventions as Case Studies

We are calling for Case Study contributions in Sessions 1 and 3, see the programme. You are invited to prepare a 10 minute presentation involving NO MORE than three powerpoint slides. Please submit a brief statement of your intervention to Simon Heath at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by the Tuesday 19 April. You may also prepare a poster to be displayed and discussed throughout the Colloquium. A selection of 4 Case Studies for each session will be selected from those submitted before the deadline.

Session 1 Case Studies: Opportunities and challenges experienced

Session 3 Case studies of university/faculty approaches to mainstreaming blended learning strategies

Please see brief for the Case Studies here

F   Overview of the Programme

The Colloquium is structured around three sessions. In each session there will be keynote presentation(s), selected case study interventions by the Colloquium delegates, then followed by small roundtable discussion groups with report back to the whole Colloquium.  See the detailed Colloquium progamme here  

G   Registration

Details to follow

H   Colloquium Committee

Julian Park, Chair ICA-Edu Executive Committee & Former Pro Vice Chancellor Education and Student Experience, Professor of Agricultural Systems, University of Reading, UK
Teodor Ioan Trasca, Vice Chair ICA-Edu Executive Committee & Head of the Department of Food Technologies, Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine ‘’King Michael I of Romania’’ from Timisoara, RO
Stefano Cesco, Former Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bolzano, IT
Kristina Kljak, Vice Dean for for International and Interinstitutional Cooperation, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, HR
Marta Mendel, Vice Rector for International Co-operation, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, PL
Janna Pietikäinen, Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Helsinki, FI
Mieke Uyttendaele, Faculty Director of Education & Internationalisation, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, University of Ghent, BE
Simon Heath, ICA Deputy Secretary General


See the detailed programme and the keynote presentations

Download the Colloquium programme