UK HE leaders lay out blueprint for sector’s digital-first strategy

Universities across the country have teamed up with Jisc, Emerge Education, UUK and Salesforce to plan for the future of digital technology in higher education

Vice-chancellors (VCs) and senior leaders from over 40 UK universities have assisted in mapping out a new digital framework for higher education, allowing the sector to plan for the future and realise the long-term benefits of a measured approach to digital educational technology.

Working alongside sector partners such as Jisc, Emerge Education, Universities UK (UUK) and Salesforce, university leaders collaborated on the project, Digital at the core: a 2030 strategy framework for university leaders, which forms part of the learning and teaching reimagined initiative.

Designed to serve the unique goals and needs of each institution, the framework presents a series of questions to empower senior leaders, allowing them to identify strategic opportunities that edtech can provide.

The questions span four key themes – leadership, staff, business model and investment – acting as prompts to encourage and support internal discussion. They provide the structure for leaders to take ‘deep dive’ explorations around big questions such as:

  • Is there sufficient digital awareness among the executive team for them to make informed decisions in core strategic areas?
  • How can we encourage and embed a culture of experimentation and continuous improvement that lets staff make the most of digital tools in their work?
  • How will our students’ needs and expectations change over the next decade and how can we provide a digital experience that will meet or exceed them?

“When the pandemic hit, some universities already had digital embedded throughout and were able to adapt quickly, while many found themselves casting around for ideas, skills and technologies. What it has shown is that developing a long-term strategy for digital is now more essential than ever, despite such evolving and uncertain circumstances,” said David Maguire, chair of the learning and teaching reimagined advisory board and interim VC and principal at the University of Dundee.

“Thanks to the generous contributions of my peers,” added Maguire, “we have been able to build a framework which addresses that challenge and supports better outcomes for students, staff and the sector as a whole.”

In other news: FE hamstrung by long-term under-investment in digital infrastructure, finds report


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