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Xavier Prats-Monné, the Deputy-Director General for Education and Culture at the European Commission:

I would like to congratulate the Irish Learning Technology Association for organising “Eurovision2020: Technology Enhanced Learning for a New Horizon”.

The conference theme aligns with the forthcoming June report ‘New modes of learning and teaching in higher education’ from the EU High Level Group for the Modernisation of Higher Education (chaired by former President of Ireland Mary McAleese).

Globalisation and technological development are radically changing the landscape of higher education.  Technology has the potential to widen access to education, but also to open up the curriculum to knowledge, materials and pedagogies from all over the world and create connections and new ways of working across disciplines and faculties that would otherwise be difficult to establish.

However we need to better harness the potential of these forces and ensure that our efforts are clearly focused on retaining and enhancing the quality in higher education as we provide students and teachers with the right skills for the 21st century in Europe.

The European Commission is pleased to support EdTech2014 in providing an important platform to encourage debate around the opportunities and challenges of technology-enhanced learning in order to respond to the changes needed in the Irish education context, and beyond.

I hope that your participants will have a highly productive gathering at EdTech2014, and look forward to learning about the outcomes of the Conference that will inform the Modernisation of Higher Education agenda for Europe.