Today we’ve had the penultimate class this semester. The class was very special. We had a guest lecture by Professor Viktoria HSE Robertson from the Vienna University of Economics and Business (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien), who talked about ‘Competition Law in Digital Markets’.
The class was particularly unique because Professor Robertson brought with her her LLM students from Vienna. Hence, it was a joint class with some exciting group work among students from both Universities. And it all worked well 😊
Vielen Dank Frau Professorin Robertson and great many thanks to your students too! It was very nice to (virtually) host you all!
Today we had a great pleasure to virtually host Professor Kati Cseres from the University of Amsterdam. Professor Cseres delivered a guest seminar exploring the role of competition law enforcement. She explicitly focused on the questions of democracy and institutional design, thereby engaging with some of the most topical issues currently discussed in the area of competition law and policy. When doing so, Professor Cseres drew from her significant work on competition law systems in the EU, with a particular focus on Hungary as a case study.
We remain indebted to Professor Cseres for being generous with her time and expertise!
It seems that this year student evaluation of this module took place earlier than usual. I am delighted to report that the module recevied very high teaching scores, witht the overall score 4.7 out of 5.
Needless to say– I am very glad students continue finding this class engaging, despite the challenges of the pandemic which, despite best efforts on students and my end, impacts on what we can do.
In free text comments, in terms of ‘good teaching practice that should be more widely adopted’ students listed:
‘Regularly encouraged group participation by facilitating class discussions and small group projects‘ ‘Recap slide of key terms and issues covered in previous lecture at start of new class.’ ‘Use of current events and developments relative to the course material (less academic sources in some cases)‘ ‘The feedback loop section for essay support is outstanding‘
It is good to see that these techniques contune doing their job. I will continue with them 👍
One of the students wrote ‘loved this class teaching and the engagement and the support was brilliant the whole way through. ‘ What can I say? Thank you! 😊😍
Today we’ve been honored and delighted to host, virtually, Ms Margarida Matos Rosa, the President of the Portuguese Competition Agency. President Rosa delivered a very topical talk, entitled ‘Economic recovery: how competition policy can materialise potential growth’. Afterwards, she engaged with participants during a Q&A session. The talk was very well attended, including practitioners, enforcers and academics from various institutions also from outside Northern Ireland and Europe.
We are particularly grateful to President Rosa for taking time on her busy schedule, which must be even busier than usual due to the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
In line with standard practice on this module– also this semester the module benefitted from a Peer Review of Teaching. I was very pleased that my colleague, Dr Ciara Hackett, took time to observe and reflect on the way this module is being delivered. Thank you Ciara!
Peer Reviews are a very useful tool when it comes to both informal quality assurance and also peer learning. It goes without saying these are even more valuable in the current circumstances, when the most valuable face-to-face in-class interactions are not possible. Our University actively promotes use of Peer Reviews in teaching. See here for more information, if interested.
I am pleased to share that Ciara’s reflection is very encouraging. I am particularly proud of her comments on engaging nature of this class, its interactivity and the use of online platforms (OneNote Classroom and Canvas) which were ‘not merely used as a repository for information, rather they are used as vehicles of nuanced engagement between students and staff‘, as that was what I was really aiming at.
In the coming semester—given the circumstances—the module will be taught by means of online sessions via MS Teams. These will be real-time, live interactions to facilitate class engagement. Last time round that worked very well. Fingers crossed for the technology and connections!
As the new semester approaches I am delighted to share that the highlights of the coming semester include three terrific online guest lectures.
First, there will be a Public Guest Lecture by the President of the Portuguese Competition Agency (Autoridade da Concorrência)— Ms Margarida Matos Rosa. We are thrilled and honoured that Ms Matos Rosa accepted our invitation, even more so since currently Portugal is the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This talk will be made available to interested public and we will disseminate a link to it in due course.
Students will be also able to benefit from two additional guest lectures. Professor Kati Cseres from the University of Amsterdam will share her insights on the role of competition law enforcement in Central and Eastern European countries, raising the questions of democracy and institutional design.
Professor Viktoria HSE Robertson of the Vienna University of Economics and Business in her talk will focus on competition law questions specific to digital markets.
Both lectures will deal with very topical matters. We are indebted to both experts for taking time on their busy schedules to speak to our students.
This Autumn, despite all the adverse circumstances, I was delighted to visit the Jagiellonian University’s Chair of European Law, Poland’s leading cluster of scholars in this area of law. I was able to present some of my research in international competition law by means of in-person and, simultaneously, online seminar as well as to share some of the experiences of teaching on this module (inclusive of using the OneNote platform to support in-class and outside classroom interactions among and with students).
The visit was also an opportunity to interact with fellow Jean Monnet Grant Holders. In particular, with Professor Sławomir Dudzik, who was awarded an Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Module grant to develop a course entitled ‘eGovernment – European Challenges for Public Administration in EU Member States and Partner Countries / eGovEU+’ (2020-2023) and Dr hab. Inga Kawka, who previously (2016-2019) developed an Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Module ‘National Public Administration and European Integration’.
I am very grateful to my hosts for their hospitality. It was a wonderful and stimulating visit.
This week we had our last session this semester. Apart from the substantive issues as per the syllabus, we also discussed the current affairs — the measures already taken and those being envisaged by competition agencies, and also what may await us, in the field of competition law and policy, later on during or after this emergency.
It has been a pleasure to engage with this group of highly
motivated and energetic students. Many thanks to the Jean Monnet Erasmus+
scheme for supporting this offering.
The anonymous feedback I received from students (by means of anonymous online survey) is very encouraging. Students found the module both intellectually stimulating and well-organised. Here are some open text comments re any good pracitces or aspects of the module students found most valuable:
‘The interactive learning approach and emphasis on participation in class was great. Having course materials available on OneNote and using this platform for class work was also very good. The guest lecturers were also very interesting.’
‘Broad scope of competition law themes covered. Lecturer’s breadth of knowledge allowed the class to engage in discussions beyond core textbooks. Contemporary sources and real life problems. Guest lectures from distinguished lecturer’s from other jurisdictions. Computer skills.‘
‘The constant use of group work even when working remotely was very valuable, this module ran seamlessly throughout the year regardless of the coronavirus distractions.’
Such positive feedback is very rewarding. It makes it worth-while to invest the necessary energy and efforts into making the seminars interactive, taking risks of using new tools and methods, and bringing in external experts from practice to provide different, practice-informed perspetive on the covered matters.
Yesterday we had a great pleasure to host a virtual guest lecture by Professor Rupprecht Podszun (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf) on Competition Law and Big Tech. Needless to say the focus was highly topical and the guest covered all the key perspectives/ dimensions, providing some excellent food for thought.
From the skills perspective, students managed to engage in some group activities and teamwork also using sub-channels on Teams and small group video calls. It has been a terrific example of positive embracement of new technology and making most of the difficult circumstances we are all facing.
Many thanks again to Prof. Podszun for this virtual visit. We do hope to be able to host him in person in due course.