X Close

IOE Learning Technologies Unit


Learning Technology advice, research & consultancy


Mapping unbundling in the higher education terrain: South Africa and the UK

By Eileen Kennedy, on 9 October 2019

Speaker: Bronwen Swinnerton, University of Leeds

Date: Wed 13 November, 2019| 12.30 – 13.30 PM followed by coffee/tea until 2.00 PM

Location: UCL Knowledge Lab, 23-29 Emerald St, London WC1N 3QS

Follow on Twitter: #UCLKLtalks

As higher education (HE) undergoes a massive expansion in demand globally, and experiences financial pressures exacerbated by the global financial crisis of 2008, the sector is evolving rapidly. Market pressures on the sector encourage the search for additional income and new forms of provision, and private providers are increasingly entering the sector. At the same time, the HE sector has seen the appearance of many flexible online courses and qualifications, delivered by new configurations of providers and partnerships, including by parties new to the sector, through a process of disaggregating educational provision into its component parts, or ‘unbundling’. In this presentation I will report on findings from a University of Leeds ESRC Newton funded research grant conducted in collaboration with the University of Cape Town, exploring the changing nature of higher education as a result of the impact of marketisation, digital technology and unbundling. It will focus on data collected from both countries’ higher education sectors, through desk research and interviews. It will use mapping to explore patterns and relationships between universities and private providers which are otherwise not so obvious.

About the speaker: 

Dr Bronwen Swinnerton is a Senior Research Fellow in Digital Education in the School of Education at the University of Leeds. Bronwen is the Deputy Director of the University of Leeds Research Centre for Digital Education https://rcde.leeds.ac.uk /. Bronwen’s research interests are in digital technology in higher education, including the impact on teaching and learning, unbundling, and the acquisition of digital skills. She is co-investigator on a recent ESRC grant exploring the impact of digital technology on the unbundling of higher education, a collaborative project with the University of Cape Town https://unbundleduni.com. Bronwen has a background in educational research as well as in designing and developing blended learning and online training and teaching materials, both in the private sector and at the University of Leeds. She is lead educator with Prof Diana Laurillard and Prof Neil Morris on the FutureLearn online courses Blended Learning Essentials and on a research dissemination MOOC associated with the ESRC project. Bronwen has also researched various aspects of the MOOC phenomenon, as well as other areas of digital education, including learning analytics and has recently begun a University of Leeds LITE Research Fellowship on Learning Analytics.

This event will be live-streamed here: https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ltu/events/live/

2 Responses to “Mapping unbundling in the higher education terrain: South Africa and the UK”

Leave a Reply