Digitalisation is a game-changer set to reshape the world as we know it. It goes beyond IT and ushers in the fourth industrial revolution that is taking place at the crossroads of technology, human behaviour and market transformation.
The changes affect the higher education landscape the same as the rest of the world. Conventional modes of higher education are called into question, as the generation of digital natives develop new expectations and abilities, the need for lifelong learning grows, agile and international online learning opportunities become available, higher education institutions are shaking up their established division of responsibilities, the digitalisation of the humanities is moving forward, and artificial intelligence and robotics are advancing rapidly.
Previous research has demonstrated that digitally mature organisations are committed to promoting digital competencies and attitudes among their personnel. They tend to prefer operating models that foster internal and external collaboration and embrace a culture of corporate risk-taking. Research has shown that people prefer to work in organisations that are known as forerunners of digitalisation. Mature communities are especially seeking to change or renew their activities by developing digital visions or strategies. The creation of a bold digital transformation programme should not be based on the current state but a backcasting approach whereby one starts by defining a vision and then looks back to assess what is needed to get there.
The ‘Tampere3 Digivision 2023’ project is carried out to envision the opportunities that the digital transformation will open up for our higher education community in the 2020s. The digital vision is based on the general Tampere3-wide strategy and designed to support the achievement of our educational and research visions.
The project team will have the digital vision and related priority areas defined before autumn 2018. Concrete action plans will be drawn up later this year. Our team involves broad representation from our higher education community as well as external stakeholders.
An important part of the project is the identification of priority areas in which to focus our efforts and resources. The following themes have been brought up: temporal and spatial flexibility for employees, flexible study options that accommodate personal needs, automated routine tasks, measures to promote open science, and easy collaboration between external stakeholders and the members of our community. Further overarching themes are the development of digital competencies among staff and students and the creation of a bolder culture of experimentation.
The ongoing project has been an inspiring process that has allowed us to delve into trends that are expected to take off in the next decade and boldly explore visions for our future. I want to thank all the internal and external stakeholders who have contributed to the process by participating in our workshops and surveys.
Tampere3/Project Director, ICT
Photo: Jenni Toivonen