Digital transition

The influence of the digital transition is being felt across large swathes of society. This includes universities in their research, education and innovation missions, but also in their general organisation and management.

While this topic has been on the agenda for more than a decade, developments such as the provision of short online courses, or microcredentials, have increased its scope. The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly accelerated these dynamics, with universities quickly pivoting to remote learning.

The digital transition presents significant opportunities for innovation, but also requires universities to develop new infrastructure and enhance digital skills among staff. Policy and funding frameworks must be adjusted to reflect universities’ interests, both as adopters and developers of digital technologies and approaches.

The European University Association is taking a holistic approach to the digital transition of universities. This involves looking at the cultural and institutional changes that will allow universities to use digital technologies to enhance their activities and missions, while keeping control of their digital choices, tools and data and promoting university values. To facilitate this, EUA has developed a digital transition work programme the Digital Transformation Steering Committee and Advisory Board.

In addition, EUA supports its members in their ongoing strategic development, notably to develop a “high-performance digital education ecosystem”, including through the DIGI-HE project which explores strategic approaches to digitally enhanced learning and teaching. This is also one of the priorities of the EU’s 2020 Digital Education Action Plan, .   

As part of its work on Open Science, for many years EUA has actively promoted open access to data. The Association is a member of the governing board of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and is engaged in furthering skills to ensure Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) data through the FAIRsFAIR Project. Additionally, EUA has gathered data on universities’ innovation activities related to the digital transition via its recent innovation survey.


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