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Leeds students benefit from major digital upgrade


This summer, the University enhanced the student experience for everyone enrolled at Leeds – for both on-campus and fully online students – by upgrading its virtual learning environment Minerva system using cutting-edge Blackboard software.  This investment is directly linked to the University’s goal of providing a high-quality student experience, and encouraging student success through the effective use of digital technologies.

At Leeds, we’re investing in our digital systems to ensure that our students get the best possible experience wherever and whenever they learn. Thanks to the latest Minerva upgrade, students can enjoy a mobile-friendly platform with increased accessibility and a number of system enhancements. Wherever our students are based, they’ll always have access to excellent learning tools.

 – Carol Elston, Director of Digital Education Service

Minerva is the first port of call for staff and students accessing digital teaching and learning materials at Leeds. In 2020/21, Minerva hosted 14 million materials and saw a 39% increase in page views compared to 2019/20. These impressive figures reveal just how important online learning has become in recent years.

In response to this rapidly growing engagement with digital education, the University of Leeds has already taken significant steps towards its strategic goal of using digital approaches and technologies to improve processes within the institution. Adopting the latest version of Blackboard ensures a cleaner, more intuitive interface to Minerva and introduces new features to enhance user engagement, such as real-time alerts regarding upcoming assessments.

However, this is just the first stage in the larger-scale Minerva Ultra upgrade project, which will considerably enhance the virtual learning environment for Leeds students over the coming years. Once complete, the upgrade will provide a powerful, community-first, truly engaging teaching and learning experience.

A hugely collaborative project, this upgrade required the support of many teams across the University, as well as our external partners.  The Digital Education Systems Team, as part of the Digital Education Service, would like to thank the many people involved in the Minerva Ultra upgrade project so far, including IT, the Library, and staff and students from various departments across the University.

The successful implementation of the Minerva Ultra upgrade is a big step forward for the University in its ambition to be a leader in the field of digital education. It’s a great example of collaborative working between the Digital Education Service and IT, with support from students and other University departments. I’m really pleased with the success of this project and how it demonstrates the University’s commitment to its Digital Transformation Strategy. 

 – Steven Montagu-Cairns, Academic Lead, Minerva Migration Project


Regular updates on the project, along with in-depth articles about new features and changes to current tools, can be found on the Minerva blog.