LOTUS

Leadership and Organisation for Teaching and Learning at European Universities – LOTUS

The LOTUS project aims to contribute to capacity building and strategic change management for learning and teaching at higher education institutions across Europe. The project also aims to discuss and demonstrate the potential of various actors (ministries, university associations, student and staff unions, etc.) to support transformation and innovation in learning and teaching.

LOTUS is led by EUA in partnership with a diverse consortium of higher education institutions, national rectors’ conferences, education ministries and organisations actively involved in learning and teaching across Europe.

LOTUS is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission, as an initiative to support the implementation of European Higher Education Area (EHEA) reforms. LOTUS will run until November 2022.

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  • Background

    LOTUS builds on the results of and follows up the EU-funded EFFECT project, and in particular the 10 European Principles for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, devised as a framework to support the development of institutional strategies in learning and teaching. LOTUS aims to carry this work forward and focus on advancing implementation of such institutional strategies through a participatory approach that involves leadership, staff and students across the institution.

    LOTUS also addresses the need to enhance cooperation in learning and teaching across the European Higher Education Area, as underlined in the Bologna Process (see the 2020 Rome Communiqué and annexed Recommendations to National Authorities for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching) and several European level studies on developments in learning and teaching (such as “The changing pedagogical landscape” and “Trends 2018: Learning and Teaching in the European Higher Education Area”).

  • Objectives & approach

    Foster higher education institutions’ capacity to develop and implement structured and systematic approaches to enhance learning and teaching.

    The project is carrying out a Leadership Development Programme to address processes and conditions at higher education institutions to implement learning and teaching strategies. A total of 40-60 higher education institutions benefit from this Leadership Development Programme, while supporting each other through a peer-learning and problem-solving approach. The Leadership Development Programme addresses the key challenges and priorities in learning and teaching that institutions face, such as student-centred learning, digitalisation, teachers’ professional development, institutional organisation and quality management, and seek ways to build them into an overarching institutional framework and with a focus on leadership in teaching.

    Explore how learning and teaching can be best supported by national and European policies

    The project explores how different stakeholder groups in learning and teaching can support institutional developments, facilitate interinstitutional exchange and collaboration, and contribute to national and European policy development. A series of policy dialogue workshops and meetings are organised – fed with findings from a study on national initiatives in learning and teaching across the EHEA, and lessons learnt from the Leadership Development Programme.

    Provide a set of recommendations for supporting learning and teaching development through inter-institutional cooperation, at regional, national and European levels

    Building upon the results from the participating higher education institutions under the Leadership Development Programme and from the policy dialogues, LOTUS will propose recommendations on how cooperation between institutions and leadership in teaching can contribute to enhancing learning and teaching, and how this can be supported by national and European stakeholders (authorities, organisations).

  • Activities

     

    Preparation of the Leadership Development Programme

    (September 2020-December 2020)

     
    • Desk research and literature review
    • Content preparation for the Leadership Development Programme
     

    Leadership Development Programme

    (September 2020-June 2022)

      
    • Two rounds of a one-year Leadership Development Programme, benefiting a total of 40-60 higher education institutions

    · Round 1 (28 HEIs) from February to October 2021

    · Round 2 (26 HEIs) from October 2021 to June 2022

    · Primary target: Vice-rectors for learning and teaching, who will involve a team with different profiles and key roles in strategy implementation (students, teachers, administrators)  

    · Under each round, institutions have been grouped in small leadership working groups

    · Each round starts with an induction workshop, and finishes its work with a debriefing workshop 

    · Self-learning modules on specific topics proposed to LDP participants

     

    Policy Dialogue

    (December 2020-June 2022)

    • A series of policy dialogue events and workshops:

    • Target groups: representatives from ministries, national rectors’ conferences, higher education institutions, staff and student unions, university networks, and other organisations and institutions of relevance for learning and teaching
    • Purpose: to discuss how, at the European level, different types of actors can contribute to learning and teaching development

    • 1-15 September 2021: Webinar series open to public organised by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture aiming to start the policy dialogue strand of the project.
      • Webinar 1: Leading transformational change, 1 September
      • Webinar 2: Future-proof higher education, 8 September
      • Webinar 3: Re-valuing higher education teaching, 15 September
    • 25-26 October 2021: European Policy Dialogue on Supporting the enhancement of learning and teaching (online; by invitation only): Please see here the summary outcomes of the Policy Dialogues event.
    • 17-18 February 2022 (Bilbao, Spain): Second policy dialogue - Learning and teaching in the Bologna Process: the state of play.
      The event, organised as a lunchtime session at the European Learning and Teaching Forum 2022, focused on how the Bologna Process addresses learning and teaching. The co-chairs of the Working Group (WG) on Learning and Teaching of the Bologna Follow-up Group gave an update on the policy work done so far, shared their insights on learning and teaching under the Bologna Process, and opened a dialogue with the audience.
    • April - June 2022: Three Policy Dialogue workshops organised by the Irish University Association, the Finnish Ministry of Education, and the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
     

    Dissemination

    (September 2020- November 2022)

     
    • A final conference - 28-29 September, lunch to lunch, in Brussels, Belgium
    • A final publication with key policy messages and practice-based recommendations
  • Project partners

  • Associate partners

Resources

  • LOTUS Policy Dialogue Workshop in Helsinki, Finland

    Partners news

    18 May 2022

    The Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland in collaboration with the LOTUS project coordinated...

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  • LOTUS Policy Dialogue Workshop on leadership and strategic change for development

    Partners news

    25 April 2022

    Under the EUA-led LOTUS project, the Irish Universities Association (IUA) is offering an online poli...

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  • LOTUS Policy Dialogue Workshop on Leading Digitalisation

    Partners news

    05 April 2022

    Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna) in cooperation with the European University ...

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  • National Developments in Learning and Teaching in Europe

    Report

    16 February 2022

    The report analyses major and recent national policies and initiatives aiming to support the enhance...

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  • LOTUS Summary of outcomes

    External resource

    08 December 2021 view more
  • LOTUS webinar series, 1, 8 and 15 September

    Partners news

    14 July 2021

    The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture organises a series of webinars aiming to start the pol...

    Read more
  • Promoting a European dimension to teaching enhancement

    Report

    14 February 2019

    The EFFECT project produced a feasibility study on how teaching enhancement can be promoted in the m...

    Read more
  • Trends 2018: Learning and teaching in the European Higher Education Area

    Report

    11 October 2018

    Trends 2018 examines how learning and teaching at European higher education institutions evolves in ...

    Read more
  • EUA’s Learning and Teaching Initiative: Report from the 2017 Thematic Peer Groups

    Report

    27 November 2017

    This report aims to provide the reader with an insight into the discussions and conclusions of the t...

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  • Enhancing the education mission of European universities: A proactive response to change

    Policy input

    16 October 2017

    The European Principles for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching were developed as part of Erasm...

    Read more

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Events

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Expert voices

  • The never-ending pursuit as learning institutions: An example in the field of higher music education

    09 November 2022

    As higher education institutions we should always ask ourselves how to enhance the learning experience of our students. But are students the only ones who should be learning? What about the learning c...

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  • How national initiatives can enhance learning and teaching in Europe

    16 March 2022

    Learning and teaching has undoubtedly attracted increased interest in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in recent years. A great majority of higher education institutions (HEIs) are establishi...

    Read more
  • Leadership in teaching: a concept in the making?

    10 November 2021

    When thinking about teaching at higher education institutions, one stereotyped, classic perception remains the lonesome academic, master and commander in the classroom, mostly making teaching his or h...

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  • Shared leadership and the art of tightrope walking

    12 October 2021

    Funambulists are fascinating: they walk a fine line, sometimes hundreds of meters up in the air, with some in the audience secretly expecting them to fail – and fall. In many ways, leadership in hig...

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