Annex C. Summary of comparative research on digitalisation in higher education

As part of the European Commission-Hungary-OECD “Supporting the Digital Transformation of Higher Education in Hungary” project, the OECD conducted a study of international policies and practices that support the digitalisation of higher education. This annex provides a summary of key insights from the study.

The study of international policies and practices was a desk-based exercise conducted in fall 2020, which informed the analysis and recommendations provided in the report (see Chapter 3). The study aimed to:

  1. review recent research on the digitalisation of higher education

  2. identify practices and policies targeted at the digitalisation of higher education across a range of OECD countries to better understand at what level, with what aim, and with what degree of success these have been implemented

  • organise insights obtained from an analysis of available resources on Hungarian higher education and digital transformation, as well as from stakeholder interviews (see Annex A), through a comparative lens.

The analysis includes a range of international examples relevant to digital higher education and general insights drawn from the literature. The selected examples may take the form of: 1) guiding principles to be taken into account before designing a policy (e.g. taxonomy); 2) institutional practices or policies that address an existing challenge (e.g. teacher training programme); or 3) instruments to provide a better understanding of user needs (e.g. survey).

The scope of the findings and examples in this analysis is broad, as the digitalisation of higher education can affect all functions of higher education systems, from the management and operations of higher education institutions (HEIs) to their core activities, i.e. teaching and learning, research and engagement.

The selection of the case studies was not restricted to specific stakeholders, geographies or research publications. Bearing in mind limitations in the body of examples and research in the area of digital higher education, the OECD team selected examples that:

  1. addressed issues identified as relevant in the Hungarian context based on inputs collected by the OECD team

  2. showcased the use of a variety of policy instruments (scorecard, procurement system, platform-based solution, etc.)

  3. are implemented through a combination of bottom-up and top-down mechanisms

  4. included some monitoring and evaluation information.

Table C.1 provides key insights from this exercise, discussing policy frameworks supporting digitalisation; digital infrastructure; digitally enhanced teaching and learning, research and engagement; and learning processes and outputs.


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