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Professor Richard Hall

Job: Professor of Education and Technology

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Research group(s): Centre for Urban Research on Austerity, Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH, United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)116 207 8254




Personal profile

Richard Hall is Professor of Education and Technology, based in the Division of Education in the School of Applied Social Sciences. Richard contributes to teaching on evidence-based education and educational leadership, as well as supervising Masters and PhD students. His research focuses on higher education policy and pedagogy, co-operative and alternative forms of higher education, academic labour and alienation, and neoliberalism and education.

Richard is an HEA National Teaching Fellow, awarded in 2009, and a fellow of the HEA.

He is also a member of the Centre for Urban Research on Austerity and a Research Associate in the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at DMU.

Richard has been involved in a range of voluntary, educational activities. He is an original member of the Social Science Centre in Lincoln, an unincorporated co-operative of scholars developing a new form of higher education based upon the social sciences. He is also a Board Member of Leicester Vaughan College, a community interest company developing cooperative adult education, and a trustee of the Open Library of Humanities. He has been involved in discussions about a UK Co-operatives Free University.

Richard holds PRINCE2 and Managing Successful Programmes Practitioner status. He has worked extensively on research projects and with MA/PhD research students.

Research group affiliations

  • Institute for Criminology, Education and Social Justice
  • Centre for Urban Research on Austerity
  • Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility

Publications and outputs 

  • Venturing beyond the imposition of a postdigital, anti-human higher education
    Venturing beyond the imposition of a postdigital, anti-human higher education Hall, Richard In an important footnote in Capital, Marx highlights how an analysis of technology enables us to reveal the dialectical construction of our dominant mode of reproducing everyday life. This links humans, infrastructures, modes of production, cultural conceptions, social relations, governance arrangements and nature, in order to describe the dominant political economic context for living. In terms of higher education, this enables an understanding of the relationship between humans and technologies, in order to maintain the reproduction of capitalism. This chapter argues that such a relationship is morbid and lengthens the shadow of value over what it means to be human. Here, the drive, shaped competitively and through commodification, is for productive human capital, the management of risk, and value-for-money. Thus, the idea of what it means to be educated is restructured by economic value, rather than humane values. This is the terrain upon which conceptions of postdigital higher education might be analysed, in order to offer alternatives away from the dehumanising universe of value. The chapter utilises the metaphor of composting as a way that individuals in their environments process anger, grief and trauma, and find new ways of living. It pivots around the potential for a reimagining of the integration of the digital and the human through mass intellectuality, as a new form of sociability.
  • Immiseration.
    Immiseration. Hall, Richard
  • Managerialism
    Managerialism Hall, Richard
  • Alternative Education
    Alternative Education Hall, Richard
  • The Hopeless University: Intellectual Work at the end of The End of History
    The Hopeless University: Intellectual Work at the end of The End of History Hall, Richard The University is being explicitly restructured the production, circulation and accumulation of value, materialised in the form of rents and surpluses on operating activities. The pace of restructuring is affected by the interplay between financial crisis and Covid-19, through which the public value of the University is continually questioned. In this conjuncture of crises that affect the body of the institution and the bodies of its labourers, the desires of Capital trumps human needs. The structural adjustment of sectoral and institutional structures as forms, cultures as pathologies, and activities as methodologies, enacts scarring. However, the visibility of scars has led to a reawakening of politics inside and beyond the University. The idea that History had ended because there is no alternative to capitalism or its political horizon, is in question. Instead, the political content of the University has reasserted itself at the end of The End of History. In this article, the idea that the University at The End of History has become a hopeless space, unable both to fulfil the desires of those who labour within it for a good life, and to contribute solutions to socio-economic and socio-environmental ruptures, is developed dialectically. This enables us to consider the potential for reimagining intellectual work as a movement of sensuous human activity in the world, rather than being commodified for value. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Covid-19 and the Hopeless University at the End of the End of History
    Covid-19 and the Hopeless University at the End of the End of History Hall, Richard The file attached to this record is the Publisher's final version.
  • Platform Discontent against the University
    Platform Discontent against the University Hall, Richard Inside the University, technology shapes productive moments of capitalist expansion. As such, it is deployed in order to eviscerate academic labour costs and labour time, while promising to liberate the academic worker through free time. Thus, digital technology both re-engineers education in the name of entrepreneurialism and competition, and forces academics and students to struggle to enrich their human capital. In terms of responses to this re-engineering, this has led to discussions about accelerationism or the possibility of fully automated luxury communism. One outcome is a consideration of ways in which technology can liberate the direct producers of knowledge to cooperate through associations that widen their autonomy. However, while this work challenges the hegemonic idea of transhistorical, educational institutions with a particular focus on knowledge production and its uses, it runs into their integration inside the universe of value. Value forces institutions and managers to performance-manage academic labour, in ways that can be analysed through the idea of platforms as a mechanism that expands capital’s cybernetic control. This chapter critiques ideologies and practices of technology-rich institutions, in order to discuss whether the educational technology and workload management platforms that are used to control academic production might act as sites of discontent and alternatives that enable communities to reconstitute their own lived experiences. Is it possible to develop forms of platform discontent, which lie beyond simple discontent against platforms and instead enable communities to widen their own spheres of autonomy?
  • Another world is possible: The possibilities for a transformative post-capitalist education.
    Another world is possible: The possibilities for a transformative post-capitalist education. Hall, Richard This chapter takes as its starting point the alienating reality of knowledge production in the global North, grounded in performance management and competition between individuals, subjects and institutions. One mode of analysis for intellectual work has been by reconsidering Marx’s conception of the general intellect as the knowledge, skills and capabilities that have been taken from labour and turned into movable property. In moving beyond the alienating conditions and relations of production, there exists the potential for new forms of humanism related to the functions of intellectual knowledge at the level of society, as mass intellectuality. In extending this, engagement with indigenous and decolonising studies in education enable us to turn these processes that erupt in the global North back upon themselves, to reveal stories and narratives that de-centre the world as the Universalisation of a provincial perspective, and its privileged, white, male forms of power. In moving beyond hope towards dignity and life, we might ask how plural, mutual voices enable us to do the work of dismantling necessary for a transformative post-capitalist education?
  • Neoliberalism and primary education: Impacts of neoliberal policy on the lived experiences of primary school communities
    Neoliberalism and primary education: Impacts of neoliberal policy on the lived experiences of primary school communities Hall, Richard; Pulsford, Mark This special issue of Power and Education analyses the ways neoliberal policy agendas inflect and infect primary school communities. In recognising that ‘schools are complex and sometimes incoherent social assemblages’, this widened perspective – beyond a customary focus on just pupils and teachers – marks the particular contribution of the Special Issue. In examining how neoliberal logics thread through and organise relations between parts of primary school communities, the collection enables a critical view of the factious contemporary socio-political landscape through the lens of primary schooling. In doing so, the varied papers address what Piper and Sikes suggest are central concerns of the Power and Education journal: to interrogate ‘the general and specific imposition of crude discourses of neoliberalism and managerialism; the need to analyse carefully what is happening in particular contexts; and the possibility of constructing resistance and concrete alternatives’. Under scrutiny here is the evolution of a new educational ecosystem that reflects a re-engineering of the primary schooling terrain. This terrain might once have been characterised by the aims of nurturing children intellectually, emotionally and culturally, so that they can become socially aware, confident and critical citizens, actively able to contribute to communities that are inclusive and socially just. As these aims are re-engineered, their contested evolution can be witnessed in the tensions between: first, specific stakeholder groups like parents or teachers organising against curricula they view as dominated by metrics that damage self-actualisation; and second, policy intentions that stress the importance of security, safety and happiness. This is a crucial area of struggle, precisely because learning is increasingly governed by discourses of human capital and efficiency, where new school governance structures and tangible re-workings of teachers’ priorities have emerged to re-shape a vision of primary education. Are the proposed outcomes holistic child development with a capacity to stimulate community-oriented social justice, or productive, long-term economic activity, or something else? In this special issue, a range of authors seek to place primary educational policy in the global North in relation to the concrete experiences of teachers, senior leaders, parents, children and community members. The purpose of this is to reveal the tensions that erupt between policy drivers for productivity, human capital, efficiency, excellence and so on, in effect policy drivers for-value, against the impetus for education to frame humane values. One core terrain in which such tensions are played out is the school, and yet the school is more than a simple set of linear relationships. Such relationships emerge at the intersection of, for instance, family and caring responsibilities, educational engagements, faith-based interactions, racialized or gendered asymmetries, the public and the private, the communal and the corporate. As such, the definition and co-option of the idea of the school as a community or the school community is complex. In this collection, we seek to highlight this complexity and to demonstrate how the concrete, lived experiences of groups inside primary schools are affected by specific flavours of policy. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • On authoritarian neoliberalism and poetic epistemology
    On authoritarian neoliberalism and poetic epistemology Hall, Richard As one response to the secular crisis of capitalism, higher education is being proletarianised. Its academics and students, increasingly encumbered by precarious employment, debt, and new levels of performance management, are shorn of autonomy beyond the sale of their labour-power. One heuristic for analysing this response is authoritarian neoliberalism, imposed as a means of enacting disciplinary practices in the name of the market with an anti-democratic rationale. This has a distinctly technocratic focus, rooted in techniques of performativity, including audits and assessments of teaching, research and scholarship, grounded in productivity, the management of time and value-creation. However, there are a range of intersectional and geographical responses to such an imposition, through which it is possible to describe alternatives to these architectures of subsumption. In particular, a second heuristic emerges which challenges the restructuring of the University in the global North, erupting from struggles for decolonisation. Here, Audre Lorde’s invocation to an integrated, poetic existence that situates bodies in places, and respects feelings and emotions as the site of epistemological development and understanding, underpins the possibility for dismantling hegemonic knowledge production. The article examines whether humanist narratives of solidarity, in particular from marginalised voices, might help academics and students to analyse their alienated labour and to imagine that another world is possible. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.

Click here to view a full listing of Richard Hall's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • The idea of the University and radical alternatives to it
  • The University and the secular crisis of capitalism
  • Academic labour and alienation
  • Pedagogy and critical social theory
  • Co-operative education and the place of co-operative practice in overcoming disruption in higher education, including peak oil and the impact of technology on climate change and energy sufficiency

Areas of teaching

  • The sociology of education
  • Politics of Education and Technology
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Evidence-based education
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education
  • Education Practice
  • Assessment and Feedback in Higher Education
  • Philosophy of History


  • B.A. Hons
  • M.A.
  • Ph.D.

Courses taught

  • M.A. Education Practice, M.A. Independent Study, and Ph.D. supervision
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, EDUC5003: Assessment and Feedback
  • B.A. Education Studies, EDUC1115: Evidenced-based teaching and learning

Honours and awards

  • Higher Education Academy, National Teaching Fellowship, 2009.
  • Readership in Education and Technology, June 2010, De Montfort University.
  • Research Associate, Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, June 2010, De Montfort University.
  • Head of the Centre for Enhancing Learning through Technology, September 2011, De Montfort University.
  • Professor of Education and Technology, 2013.
  • The Digital Literacy Framework Project won the Reclaim Open Learning Challenge, an international contest sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, the Digital Media and Learning Hub, and MIT Media Lab.
  • Head of the Centre for Pedagogic Research, June 2014, De Montfort University.
  • Co-director of the Institute for Education Futures, 2016-18, De Montfort University.

Membership of external committees

  • Trustee, Open Library of Humanities (since 2015).
  • Board member, Leicester Vaughan College (since 2017).
  • Teaching Scholar at the Cooperative Institute for Transnational Studies (since 2015).
  • The Association for Learning Technology, OER17 Conference Committee (2016-17).
  • Critical Theory Research Network (since 2016).
  • Beyond the Neoliberal University: Critical Pedagogy and Activism, Organising Committee (a symposium hosted by Coventry University UCU in 2015).
  • European Conference on e-Learning (since 2005).
  • European Conference on Social Media (since 2013).
  • The Association for Learning Technology Conference, Programme Committee (since 2013).
  • Computer Assisted Learning, International conference 2011 [CAL11], Learning Futures: Education, Technology and Sustainability.
  • International Association for Development of the Information Society, e-Democracy, Equity and Social Justice 2010.
  • Plymouth e-Learning Conference (since 2009).
  • Member of the Scientific Committee for ICICTE (the International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies in Education, since 2011).
  • Member of the Co-operatives Free Universities Group (since 2012).
  • Member of the Social Science Centre, Lincoln (since 2012).
  • Member of the Steering Group for the DMU Volunteerism Project, which is a partnership between the DMU Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre and We are Macmillan Cancer Support.
  • Chair of the Association for Learning Technology Politics, Activity and Critical Theory Special Interest Group (2010-13).
  • Co-convenor of the Education for the Crisis network (2011-13).
  • Co-convener of the Leicester City Council/De Montfort University, Learning Resource Centre Connect network (2011-13).
  • Co-convenor of the Learners in the Co-Creation of Knowledge Research Interest Group (2008-10).

Professional licences and certificates

  • Fellow of The Higher Education Academy
  • PRINCE2, Practitioner
  • Managing Successful Programmes, Practitioner


A full list of projects is available at:

Forthcoming events

Hall, R. (2019). The Alienated Academic: The struggle for Autonomy Inside the University. Education and Social Justice Research Group Seminar, Bath Spa University.

Hall, R. (2019). The Alienated Academic: The struggle for Autonomy Inside the University. EdD Weekend Study School, University of Sheffield.

Hall, R. (2019). On self, becoming and belonging in the PGR supervisory relationship. Mental Health in Academia, Queen Mary University of London.

Hall, R. (2018). Book launch for The Alienated Academic: The struggle for Autonomy Inside the University, De Montfort University.

Conference attendance

A full list of papers is available at:

All presentations are available at:

Recent presentations include the following.

Hall, R. (2018). Introduction to The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) in the context of UK’s Higher Education. Innovative ICT Education for Social-Economic Development (IESED), De Montfort University.

Hall, R. (2018). The Co-operative University as Anti-technocracy? Contemporary Philosophy of Technology Research Group Seminar, University of Birmingham.

Hall, R., and Noble, M. (2018). The practicalities and pedagogies of adult learning co-operatives: the case of Leicester Vaughan College. SCUTREA 18, University of Sheffield.

Bacevic, J., Amsler, S., D’Silva, S., Guzman-Concha, C., and Hall, R. (2018). Undisciplining: thinking knowledge production without the university. Undisciplining: Conversations from the Edges, The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.

Hall, R. (2018). Authoritarian neoliberalism and the alienation of academic labour. BERA Symposium, Debating theories of neoliberalism: New perspectives and framings in education research, University of East London.

Hall, R. (2018). Partnership, co-operation and dismantling the curriculum in higher education. Staff CPD Conference. Newcastle College.

Hall, R. (2018). Dismantling the curriculum in higher education. Radical Pedagogies: A Humanities Teaching Forum. University of Kent.

Hall, R., Lazarus, J., and Winn, J. (2018). Mass intellectuality and democratic leadership in higher education. Bristol Conversations in Education Seminar Series, University of Bristol.

Hall, R., Morrish, L. and Winn, J. (2018). Mass intellectuality and democratic leadership in higher education. Institute for Education Futures Seminar Series, De Montfort University.

Hall, R., Asher, G., Canaan, J., Di Muccio, E. and Pearce J. (2018). Mass intellectuality and democratic leadership in higher education. Contemporary philosophy of technology Seminar Series, University of Birmingham.

Recent research outputs

Hall, R. (forthcoming, 2019). Co-operation, Technology and the Commons: Knowledge Production without the University. In Learning for a Co-operative World – Education, Social Change and the Co-operative College, ed. T. Woodin. London: Trentham Books.

Hall, R. (forthcoming, 2019). Technology, Mass Intellectuality and the Cooperative University. In Co-operative Higher Education, eds. C Ross and M. Noble. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hall, R. (forthcoming, 2019). On autonomy and the technological abolition of academic labour. In Education and Technological Unemployment, eds. M.A. Peters, P. Jandrić, and A.J. Means. Singapore: Springer.

Hall., R. (forthcoming, 2019). Authoritarian neoliberalism and the alienation of academic labour. Social Epistemology.

Pulsford, M., and Hall, R. (editors, forthcoming, 2019). The impacts of neoliberal policy on the lived experiences of primary school communities. Power & Education, Special Issue.

Hall, R. (2018). The Alienated Academic: the struggle for autonomy inside the University. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hall., R. (2018). On the alienation of academic labour and the possibilities for mass intellectuality. tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, 16(1), 97-113.

Hall, R., and Winn, J. (eds). (2017). Mass Intellectuality and Democratic Leadership in Higher Education. London: Bloomsbury Academic. and

Key research outputs

Hall, R. (2018). The Alienated Academic: the struggle for autonomy inside the University. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hall., R. (2018). On the alienation of academic labour and the possibilities for mass intellectuality. tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, 16(1), 97-113.

Hall, R., and Winn, J. (eds). (2017). Mass Intellectuality and Democratic Leadership in Higher Education. London: Bloomsbury Academic. and

Hall, R., and Winn., J. (2017). Social co-operatives and the democratisation of higher education. In The Co-operative Education and Research Conference, Manchester, UK.

Hall, R., and Smyth, K. (2016). Dismantling the Curriculum in Higher Education. Open Library of the Humanities. 2(1), p.e11. DOI:

Hall, R., and Bowles, K. (2016). Re-engineering higher education: the subsumption of academic labour and the exploitation of anxiety. Workplace: A Journal of Academic Labour, 28, 30-47.

Hall, R. (2015). The University and the Secular Crisis. Open Library of the Humanities, 1(1). DOI:

Hall, R. (2014). On the abolition of academic labour: the relationship between intellectual workers and mass intellectuality. tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, 12 (2), 822-37.

Hall, R., Atkins, L., and Fraser, J. (2014). Defining a self-evaluation digital literacy framework for secondary educators: the DigiLit Leicester Project. Research in Learning Technology, 22.

Consultancy work

As an NTF mentor, I have supported successful applications from four DMU and three external candidates. I am active in the DMU NTF/Teacher Fellow network.

I support the work of Vaughan College in conversion to a co-operative college.

I am External Assessor on the HEA fellowship scheme at the University of Sunderland (since 2017).

I am a Trustee of the Open Library of Humanities (since 2015).

I am a Teaching Scholar at the Cooperative Institute for Transnational Studies (since 2015)

I am a member of the Centre for Transformational Learning and Culture (since 2016)

I have examined five external M.Phil./Ph.D. candidates, nine internal Ph.D. candidates, and a Masters by Research at DMU.

I am an invited member of the JISC Pedagogy Experts group (since 2009).

Between 2008-13, I was External Assessor on the Post-Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching at Glasgow Caledonian University.

I was a consultant on the University of Surrey’s VLE Review (2010).

I reviewed the use of technology in post-graduate teaching and learning curricula at Buckingham New University (2010).

I advised the British Council with Moscow Bauman State Technical University on the development of a Masters in Design Innovation (2006, 2011 and 2012).

I advised Te Wānanga o Aotearoa University in New Zealand in developing technology solutions for distance learners (2008).

I was consulted as part of the UK JISC Mobile and Wireless Technologies Review (2010).

I have also lead workshops on ELT for the following UK HEA subject centres: Business, Management, Accountancy and Finance; Escalate [Education Studies]; and History. I am on the register of expertise for the latter.

I was also a critical friend on the 2010, HEA-funded national scoping study of sustainable practices in technology-enhanced learning in universities.

In 2010, I was asked to be an expert on the HEA’s "Best Practice Criteria for e-Learning" workshop, held at Bradford University.

I contributed to the resource-bank that emerged from a joint Universities and Colleges Union/Centre for the Study of Global and Social Justice workshop ‘For a Public University’ that was held at Nottingham University (2012, see:

I am a National Teaching Fellowship Reviewer, since 2013.

Current research students

Nikki Welyczko, Ph.D. on nurse education, professional practice and resilience (1st supervisor).

Shireen Saifuddin, Ph.D. on digital literacy in Saudi Higher Education (1st supervisor).

Richard Vallance, Ph.D. on technology policy and the social role of the university (1st supervisor).

Angela Sibley-White, Ph.D. on the lived experience of primary school communities under neoliberal governance and policy (1st supervisor).

Awad Alotaibi, Ph.D. on admissions systems in Saudi Higher Education (2nd supervisor).

Kim Sadique, Ph.D. on Learning from and Preventing Genocide and Crimes of the State: The Role of Religion and Education (2nd supervisor).

Jonathan Gration, Ph.D. on Digital anastylosis; exploring the future of public engagement with digital historic interiors (2nd supervisor).

Externally funded research grants information

Courseware for History Implementation Consortium project, HEFCE TLTP3, 1999 – 2002, PI

e-Learning Capital Investment funding, HEFCE, 2005-2006, PI

e-Learning Benchmarking project, Higher Education Academy, 2006 – 07, PI.

e-Learning Pathfinder Project on Web 2.0 cultures, Higher Education Academy, 2007 – 08, PI

Connecting Transitions and Independent Learning, Higher Education Academy, e-Learning Research Observatory, 2008 – 09, PI

Mobilising Remote Student Engagement, JISC, eLearing Curriculum Delivery Project, 2008-2010, PI, Kingston University

Deliberative User Approach in a Living Lab project, JISC Greening IT Project, 2010 – 11, CI

Sickle Cell Open: Online Topics and Educational Resources project, JISC Open Educational Resources programme, 2010 – 2011, CI

New Dimensions of Security in Europe project, European Commission, Lifelong Learning Programme, 2009 – 10, Project evaluator

Open to Change project, JISC, Greening ICT programme: technical development, 2010-11, CI

HE Leadership Foundation-funded, Changing the Learning Landscape project, 2013-14, PI.

Using a value-added metric and an inclusive curriculum framework to address the black and minority ethnic attainment gap, HEFCE Catalyst Fund, 2017-19, CI 

Internally funded research project information

Building capacity to impact on policy and practice project, Revolving Investment Fund for Research Round 2, 2010-2011, CI

EARS II Pedagogical Project, HEIF5, 2012-13, CI

Knowledge Exchange Digital Literacy Framework Project, HEIF5, 2012-14, PI, Leicester City Council.

Towards Equitable Engagement: the Impact of UDL on Student Perceptions of Learning, Teaching Innovation Project Fund, 2016-17, PI

Leading Change for Sustainability: developing a Social Learning approach within a DMU course, 2016-17, Teaching Innovation Project Fund, CI

Transformative learning for the public good – an integrative approach to sustainable community development, 2016-17, HEIF, CI

Mapping Learning City Infrastructures Under Austerity Governance, CURA, 2017-18 

Professional esteem indicators

I have examined thirteen Ph.D candidates, one at M.Phil.,and one at M.Res..

I am a Trustee of the Open Library of Humanities.

I was Associate Editor of the Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics (2011-15).

I am a member of the Review Board for the Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics (since 2010).

I am a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (since 2012).

I am a member of the TripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique Editorial Board (since 2015).

I am a member of the Teaching in Higher Education Editorial Board (since 2015).

I am a member of the Research in Learning Technology (formerly ALT-J) Editorial Board (since 2009).

I am a member of the Postdigital Science and Education Editorial Board (since 2017).

I am a reviewer for: the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (since 2014); the Higher Education Research and Development journal (since 2016); the Journal of Learning, Media, and Technology (since 2010); the Interactive Learning Environments journal (since 2010); Computers and Education (since 2010); and the Electronic Journal of e-Learning (since 2005).

I am Editor for the DMU education and pedagogic research journal, Gateway Papers.


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