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Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Professor Chie Adachi appointed as the new Dean for Digital Education

Professor Adachi will bring her passion for innovation in teaching practices to transform our digital education

Professor Chie Adachi appointed as the new Dean for Digital Education

Our new Dean for Digital Education

Professor Chie Adachi is a passionate educator and researcher for the transformational power of digital education. She has a keen interest in educational technology which, together with her expertise in digital pedagogy, will allow Queen Mary to cement its position as one of the leading institutions in the digital education.

Professor Adachi joins us from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia where she served as Associate Professor and Director, Digital Learning. In this role she led the Digital Learning team from the Deputy-Vice Chancellor Academic portfolio for the whole University. She has also contributed to design, development and delivery of the Graduate Certificate & Master in Digital Learning Leadership as fully online degree courses. Most notably, her MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), ‘Transforming Digital Learning: learning design meets service design’, which is available on FutureLearn has attracted more than 28,000 global learners and won multiple of inter/national awards, including: 2021 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, Best Online Courses of All Time 2020 edition by Classcentral and 2019 Australasian Academic Development Good Practice Award Finalist.

Originally from Japan, Professor Adachi brings with her a truly international outlook. She completed her PhD in Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, and since worked at universities in the UK, Japan and Australia. She has spent her academic career working with researchers, teachers and partners from around the globe. Professor Chie Adachi has written extensively on the topic of digital education.

Two students being photographed at their graduaiton

She remarks how her passion for language and education combined with opportunities offered by higher education allowed her to get out “of her little home town in Japan to travel far, encounter and learn from countless wonderful people and places”. In her new role she is keen to continue to better the lives of others through higher education, particularly through the transformative digital education, echoing Queen Mary’s own ethos of ‘opening the door of opportunity’ and facilitating social mobility.

Creating opportunity through Digital Education

Digital Education will play a pivotal role in Queen Mary’s mission to become ‘the most inclusive university of its kind, anywhere’ by making higher education more accessible, particularly to people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to study at a university. It will also allow us to deliver new innovative programmes that transform the modern classroom. Professor Adachi is keen to build on our successes, such as the recent partnership between Queen Mary and Health Education England to deliver a pilot mixed mode degree for medical students.

Digital Education is about creating opportunities and learning experiences that are otherwise impossible. When we integrate digital pedagogy purposefully with the use of contemporary technologies, which are now permeating all aspects of our lives, the possibilities are infinite. I am excited about the work we will get to do together at Queen Mary.
— Professor Chie Adachi, Dean for Digital Education

Digital education expert grounded in non-digital world.

Professor Adachi is undoubtedly an expert in all things digital but when it comes to her life outside of work she is often drawn to nature and its awe that leads to discovery and new thinking. In particular, she enjoys rock-climbing, hiking and running, which she sees as an important self-care activity necessary for good mental health and wellbeing.  

“I think paying attention to the physicality and embodied nature of our being is so important, particularly in a post-digital world where our mind and body are often digitally mediated and distracted. Rock-climbing gives me clarity and focus on problem solving, while surrounded by nature. There are many ways to get to the top of a wall, and it’s not always physical strength that enable that achievement, but a climber needs to explore and find their own ‘beta’ – creative and unique ways of solving complex problems that capitalise the strength and style of that individual. This requires self-discovery and developing one’s mental and physical strength. And there is nothing more satisfying, when you push yourself out of the comfort zone, take risks and achieve what you previously thought as impossible, feeling ‘on top of the world’, literally. And all the joy is in that process.”

Prof. Chie Adachi in the Grampians of Victoria, Australia

Prof. Chie Adachi in the Grampians of Victoria, Australia, November 2021

Transforming the modern classroom

Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, Vice-Principal (Health) commented on Professor Adachi’s appointment: “I am delighted that Professor Chie Adachi will be joining us as the new Dean for Digital Education. Her expertise in digital learning and passion for innovation in teaching practices will be invaluable in transforming our portfolio. Digital Education is pivotal in making education more accessible, in particular among groups that are often excluded from opportunity to attend university. This appointment reinforces our commitment to creating opportunity for all.”

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