Creating a Digital University

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digital university

To remain competitive in today’s digital era, the university will require a strategic vision, a vision led by senior management with support from the various departments.

The global higher education sector is becoming increasingly competitive and only those who stay relevant and tap onto new digital technologies will set to reap the benefits. Many universities lack the vision, capability or commitment to execute them comprehensively. Therefore, they have a tendency to carry out large investments  in IT system that fail to produce the expected benefits and results. These institutions fail to acknowledge that they do not need a digital strategy, but rather what is needed is a business strategy that is relevant for the digital age.

To remain competitive in today’s digital era, the university will require a strategic vision, a vision led by senior management with support from the various departments. Digital literacy amongst academics, students and staff are required to establish the right support networks needed to achieve continual change within the institution.

In addition, students are now stakeholders who bring their own digital world expectations to the universities and see the institutions as one of the key approaches to land a job rather than just for the mere purpose of learning and self-development; thereby demonstrating the raising importance of employability and student experience.

In today’s context where customers opinions matter more than ever, turning these stakeholders into advocates of the university is one of the most effective marketing strategies possible. However, at present, many institutions still either lack an in-depth comprehension of the disruptive impact that digitalisation has brought about on the higher education sector or are unable to react effectively to the disruption. This is because universities still (1) lack understanding in how to engage the future generations and how to compete with their competitors using alternative methods (2) failure to change the current working style while adding new techniques, tools and capabilities concurrently (3) has a culture that hinders the exponential growth technology (4) has a lack of trust in digital services and cloud technologies.

Digital literacy is another key impediment to the adoption of digital technologies in universities. Even though academics and staff are constantly digital connected, they lack the essential skills to use the technology in a learning environment. They tend to refrain from using such tools because of the lack in confidence and are concern about being involved in digital networks where they can feel at disadvantage to students. As such, universities have an actual responsibility to embrace digital, particularly when teaching, to ensure students are getting the most from new technology.

Source: PWC

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