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  • Author or Editor: Christopher Stolz x
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Abstract

In digital transformation, universities take a pivotal role in relation to the scientific basis of new digital technologies and the provision of digital education in an academic context. A university system, properly equipped with digital-related human and real capital is essential for driving a country’s digitalisation agenda. This chapter evidences the challenges faced by Germany in the development of societal digital potential and digital universities. German universities find the development of a digital university difficult as the process of digitalisation requires collective cross-discipline working and cultural change. Research activities need to be reconceived in the context of digitalisation, in terms of better and new data and methods. Respective digital solutions need to be communicated to secure engagement. Through digitalisation, teaching approaches will become less didactic and more personalised. Here again, universities need to pursue their ways of reform. Furthermore, the university administration will face a cultural change from pure budgetary administration to sophisticated strategic management. Several logics are evolving, the research logic and the educational logic, the communication logic in research and teaching, and the administrative and control logic. Higher education systems around the world have gone through large reforms during the past decades – although with different speeds and to varying degrees of success. However, it seems clear that Nordic and Baltic university systems are much further developed and more successful than the German one. The case of Germany is one where the need for improvement, for learning from others, and for a positive stance toward self-reflection and criticism is quite obvious. The COVID-19 crisis and the uncovering of many digital weaknesses in the German university system have proven to be powerful push factors. A number of improvements are already visible, such as in online teaching formats, digital exams, and video-conferencing. Nevertheless, policy makers and university managers are still obliged to take further, more purposeful steps.

In: Transformation Fast and Slow