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University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is the project coordinator for the RUEU project and has management responsibility for supervising and coordinating project activities and the involvement of all partners and stakeholders; administrative and financial management; coordinating monitoring the accomplishment of the project’s outcomes and results and co-organizing the project’s international meetings and multiplier events.

UWS is lead partner on the intellectual output O1: A literature review looking at national and European identity and values and O6: RU EU? educational game and platform, as well as contributing to all intellectual outputs. UWS is responsible for the technical development of the game.



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Description of the Partner

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is one of the UK’s largest modern universities. It aims to have a transformational influence on the economic, social and cultural development of the West of Scotland, and beyond. Initially called Paisley Technical School, it began offering degree studies in the early 1900s. It matured to University status in 1992 and changed its name from Paisley University to the University of the West of Scotland in 2007. Currently UWS has 6 schools across 5 campuses (in Paisley, Dumfries, Ayr, Hamilton and London) with 1,300 staff guiding more than 15,000 students in over 100 degree courses designed to give them the qualifications, skills and personal attributes they need to compete in the employment market and make a valued contribution within their chosen career. Close co-operation with colleagues in industry and commerce means that our programmes reflect the latest thinking and trends in the marketplace and complement the demands of employers. UWS is an international university with over 1400 international students drawn from more than 70 countries across the globe, and works with over 100 international partners.

The UWS team for the R U EU project has worked on many interdisciplinary European projects and has expertise in both the content area of the RUEU game and in game design and development. UWS staff have wide-ranging knowledge of the content area of the game, having published extensively in the areas of national and European identity and values, as well as online identity. UWS has been involved in all stages of game development including user requirements analysis, content development, technical development and evaluation of games. UWS have published several influential literature reviews on the learning and behavioural outcomes of playing digital games since 2012.


Description of the Staff 

Key academic staff who are working on the project are Liz Boyle, Murray Leith, Duncan Sim, Arno van der Zwet, Melody Terras, Graham Scott and Michael Pugh from the School of Media, Culture and Society, Thomas Connolly, Paul Keir, Mark Stansfield and Gavin Baxter, from the school of Engineering and Computing and James Watt from the Business school. The team from the School of Media, Culture and Society are all interested in various aspects of national and European identity and elearning, while the those in the school of Engineering and Computing are interested in games and technologies for learning.

Dr. Liz Boyle, the project coordinator, is a reader in psychology at UWS. Her main research interests are in psychological aspects of e-learning, digital games, social media and online identity where she has published journal and conference papers, edited books and book chapters. She has previously been project coordinator for two European games projects.

Dr. Murray Leith, joint project coordinator, has published on several aspects of politics, nationalism, national identity, Diaspora identities, independence and Union. He is currently working on research involving nationalism and national identity in Scotland, and the Scottish Diaspora, as well as other aspects of contemporary Scottish politics and society.

Dr. Arno van der Zwet has worked on a range of EPRC research projects and evaluations focusing on European territorial cooperation in the north of Europe, the implementation of territorial instruments in the 2014-20 period, regional and cohesion policy in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Dr. Melody Terras has a history of research in educational technology and online identity that is essential to the rationale of this project. Her key publications address psychological insights into digital media production and learner identity, learning and open educational resources and executive functions in computer games.

Dr. Graham Scott has published on Psychological aspects of digital media use and emotion processing and neural correlates of visual emotion word processing.

Dr. Michael Pugh has carried out research in Urban history, municipal government and civic nationalism in the Scottish and UK contexts, including international comparisons.

Dr. Duncan Sim is Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology at the University of the West of Scotland. His research interests lie in issues of ethnicity and identity and particularly in relation to migrants and diasporas.

Prof. Thomas Connolly is the Director of the Scottish Centre for Enabling Technologies (SCET). He has been involved in e-Learning and Games-based Learning (GBL) for more than 15 years now, establishing the first fully online programmes at the University of Paisley. He has experience of ePortfolios, e-Assessment, games-based learning, and personalised learning. He is Chair of the European Conference on Games-Based Learning (ECGBL) and editor for a number of learning technology journals.

Dr. Gavin Baxter is an expert in Web 2 technology having worked extensively on the Ed2.0Work project.

Dr. Paul Keir worked for a number of years in the video games industry, before taking an academic role where he has investigated topics including high-performance parallel computing systems; compilers for GPGPU and heterogeneous multicore architectures. He has played leading roles in several EU FP7 projects.

Dr Mark Stansfield has written and co-written more than 80 refereed papers in areas that include e-learning, virtual campuses, mobile learning, games-based learning and interpretive systems thinking.

James Watt has been involved in the software simulation ‘Markstrat’ which is designed to facilitate international understanding and cooperation.