Digital strategies: universities and fields of study as the agents of change?
For universities and other academic institutions, digitalisation represents both an opportunity and a challenge. We will investigate how higher education institutions, different types of these institutions as well as different fields of study position themselves strategically, and in what way they play a decisive role in shaping the digital transformation through their research and teaching activities.
This project will develop a map of digital activities in the Swiss higher education system. The map will show how digitalisation strategies differ between regions, institutions, types of academic institutions and fields of study. We will reconstruct how each establishment and discipline deals with digitalisation and what initiatives they derive from their analysis. The project will also highlight the approaches and perspectives distinguishing each institution and discipline, as well as the professional fields or social sectors accordingly of interest to them. Alongside the development of an overall picture, we will conduct in-depth case studies at selected institutions and in various fields. By comparing the strategies and perspectives, we will shed light on the prerequisites, implementations and consequences of digital strategies in different higher education establishments and fields of study.
In recent years, Swiss higher education institutions have come to realise that digitalisation is a relevant development in which they, as organisations, want to strategically position themselves and to which they wish to contribute. Scientific disciplines too are addressing the digital transformation and are positioning themselves by setting appropriate priorities in research and teaching. The fields of interest range from the natural and technical sciences to medicine, the social sciences and the humanities.
By means of empirical research, we aim to visualize the diversity of strategic initiatives in higher education. Using case studies, we will show how academic institutions and scientific disciplines are turning the digital transformation into a relevant topic. By doing so, we will contribute to the understanding of the various perspectives and strategies represented in the Swiss higher education system.
This project is the first systematic study on the significance and consequences of digitalisation in the Swiss higher education system. We place this development in the context of the new governance of academic institutions and science. The project contributes to the understanding of the role played by higher education establishments and science in the digital transformation. It generates relevant knowledge and provides actors and stakeholders in the academic system with a basis for decision-making.
Universities and scientific disciplines as drivers of digital innovation and catalysts of digital change. Societal expectations, strategic positioning, and competition for relevance in Swiss Higher Education.