Students using digital technology for learning

Consultancy opportunity for Maghreb online learning and education innovation conference


Short-term consultancy – higher education and online learning

Key dates

Opens: Monday 8 September 2014

Closes: Friday 19 September 2014, 24:00 GMT

Conference dates: Monday 8 to Wednesday 10 December 2014


As part of our work in higher education, the British Council in the Maghreb will host a three day conference in Tunis between Tuesday 2 to Thursday 4 December 2014 that will focus on online learning and education innovation in the Maghreb Region. The British Council is now seeking a Consultant Programme Director to design and facilitate this event. 


North Africa and the Maghreb countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya are facing a time of unprecedented challenge and opportunity. The region has changed dramatically since 2011 but the outcomes of this upheaval are still far from clear. Education has been a critical factor in the change; and in response, the British Council is developing a range of cultural and educational products to help meet people’s concerns about having their voices heard and improving their prospects for employment and a better life.

By raising awareness of the opportunities and benefits offered by online and open learning resources and by highlighting their applications for tertiary education, the conference will help to address the increasing demands for flexible and relevant learning opportunities in the region, and aid in addressing the region’s high levels of unemployment.


The conference is envisaged as the first in a series of events and actions that will develop and share experience in online learning and education innovation between the UK and the Maghreb Region. This will include new British Council Education Innovation Awards, to be launched at the conference.

This three day conference will aim to: 

  • Explore the broader context of online education - including its benefits, challenges and future potential.
  • Relate this broader context, benefits and challenges to the potential  for  online and digital education in the Maghreb Region.
  • Provide a platform for international best practice in digital and online education and resources.
  • Initiate regional collaboration by sharing ideas for a future digital-online project for the Maghreb project.
  • Identify and connect up successful online and digital educators and developers from the Maghreb Region, the UK and other countries.
  • Launch the Maghreb Education Innovation Awards. 


The conference will introduce participants to the broader online and digital learning environment regionally and internationally.  It will: 

  • Explore the different aspects of online and digital learning:  access, technology, course and materials development, open resources, accreditation and assessment through interactive workshops as well as through plenary presentations, discussion and breakout sessions.
  • Provide an insight into up-to-date approaches and  practices in online  education while providing  opportunities for facilitated discussion and action planning.
  • Showcase good practice from the Maghreb region, the UK, and from other countries where innovative approaches to learning have been used. This will be used as the basis to engage local policy makers and partners in the co-creation of a new Digital-Online Learning Project in the region.

Summary of Work

A 15 day consultancy to: 

  • Design a programme which meets the aims and objectives of the conference and which will maximise learning opportunities for delegates.  This will include liaising with  British Council offices to ensure known key stakeholders are included as well as identifying relevant regional and UK participants and / or contributors.
  • Identify, secure and brief high level speakers who would be willing to contribute to the conference as speakers or workshop facilitators on a pro-bono basis.
  • Liaise with the British Council team to determine conference themes and a programme for the conference.
  • Develop an evaluation framework and a communication strategy linked to the call for proposals. This will include plans for digital networking using social media (twitter, Facebook and YouTube) both between participants and with a wider online audience.
  • To brief presenters in terms of the conference approach, themes and expected outcomes and to ensure that the learning objectives as set out in the programme are being achieved and learning opportunities maximised.
  • To work with British Council staff to lead, facilitate and chair some of the sessions throughout the event, checking for understanding and learning.
  • To facilitate discussion at the end of the conference, to explore lessons learnt throughout the event and its relevance to delegates’ own contexts. The aim of this closing session is to help delegates shape future plans, to identify opportunities for collaboration, to create action plans where appropriate and to highlight the importance of sharing knowledge on return to their own counties.
  • Develop and publish a report which outlines innovative ideas and approaches to improve digital learning in tertiary education in the Maghreb. 
  • To liaise with British Council to (1) ensure content of the programme will meet objectives and (2) help ensure that logistic arrangements are in place to support the programme. 
  • Write at least two short blogs that will be posted prior to the event to develop interest in the subject.
  • Ensure that contacts made with new stakeholders as part of the developing the conference programme, are picked up by the British Council. 


The three day event will consist of interactive workshops, case studies, speaker-led sessions, and interactive knowledge-sharing and group discussions on specific topics and themes. Case studies, examples of best practice and hands-on interactive sessions will provide participants with a platform for active learning. The working languages of the Conference will be Arabic, French and English,and simultaneous interpretation will be provided throughout conference activities. 


The event is aimed at senior government officials, policy and decision makers, donor agency representatives, tertiary education practitioners and senior education staff from the countries of the Maghreb region and the UK. The group is not likely to exceed 80 participants. 

British Council support 

Support from the British Council will be provided to the consultant undertaking this work. This will include technical support and guidance on specific local requirements from both UK and local British Council experts. The British Council will be responsible for all local logistical arrangements. 


The Programme Director will need to have up-to-date experience and excellent contacts in the area of digital and online learning and innovation in the UK and internationally. Further, the Programme Director will have an excellent understanding of the benefits and challenges of implementing online, digital and other innovative learning approaches in the tertiary education sector, and have recent experience in designing and /or managing conferences, workshops and events. 

Candidates must be available from mid-September to December 2014, and must be able to travel to Tunisia for the period of the conference.

For the full terms of reference for this role, please see the file available for download below.

How to apply

Interested parties are required to submit an expression of interest no later than Friday 19 September 2014 to 

Expressions of interest should include the following key information:

• a summary of relevant background and professional experience

• availability for the proposed dates and lead up period

• fees and conditions of consultancy

• an initial indication of the organisations/individual presenters you would want to include in the programme and a short rationale for these choices.

Please ensure you have read the full terms of reference in the downloadable file below.


All enquires should also be directed to