SOAS University of London

SOAS appoints new Academic Head of Online Learning

7 March 2017

Dr J. Simon Rofe has been appointed as the new Academic Head of Online Learning at SOAS University of London. In his new role, he will take the lead in developing a new strategy for online learning at the School.

Dr Deborah Johnston, Pro-Director of Learning and Teaching, said: “The new developments in online teaching and learning present both an opportunity and a challenge for SOAS. Simon's expertise and enthusiasm will help ensure that SOAS is able to not only respond to the changing environment, but also lead the way through innovative approaches that benefit our students and the institution as a whole. I am delighted that he has agreed to lead our work in this area.”

Dr Rofe will build upon the School's existing strengths in distance learning and also look at ways in which new possibilities for blended learning, made possible by developments in technology and the introduction of a common postgraduate credit framework across SOAS, can be introduced.

He said: “I am delighted to be at the forefront of the School's efforts to navigate the contemporary digital world on behalf of our students and colleagues in London, and our distance and online student across the globe. I look forward to listening and learning about the online experiences of all and enhancing our ability to operate in this realm.”

Dr Rofe is Senior Lecturer in the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD). He is the Programme Director of the MA in Global Diplomacy and its constituent pathways, which was the School's first solely online MA programme that began in April 2013. He introduced (with Dr Yenn Lee of the Doctoral School) the School's first MOOC Understanding Research Methods which has now had over 100,000 participants since July 2014, as well as a second MOOC based on the Global Diplomacy MA in July 2016. He is also the School's lead within the Bloomsbury Learning Environment (BLE) Steering Group and co-founded the TELUs (Technology Enhanced Learning UserS). He has also published extensively in the field of online learning.

Dr Rofe has been in post since 1 March 2017.