Digital Capability in Higher Education. Initial Insights.

312 University Leaders and Industry Executives from 30 countries shared their initial insights about digital capability in higher education, painting a global picture of current performance, gaps and priorities.

Education Intelligence Unit

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December 17, 2020

Initial insights from our first survey on digital capability in higher education suggests that process & people are the biggest capability gaps and 'Learner Experience' is ranked last on performance. 'Learning Design' & 'Learner Experience' are the main priority for higher education institutions globally.

Initial Insights Report

Based on responses from 300+ University Leaders and Industry Executives from 30 countries, the report provides perspectives on the current state of digital capability in higher education, including performance and priorities across the student lifecycle.

Download the report

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Gaps, Performance & Priority.

Institutional processes that combine to deliver an integrated digital journey for students have been identified as the greatest gap by higher education institutions around the world. Universities rank their current digital capabilities in the Learner Experience segment as weakest, and are focusing their efforts in developing digital capability in the core areas of Learning Design and Learner Experience.

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Outsourcing and Partnership Strategy.

Except for very large institutions, around one third of university respondents indicated that their institution takes a ‘strategic partnership approach’ to outsourcing digital capability, while others use such arrangements as a short term ‘gap fill’ until they can build their own set of capabilities.

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Digital Capability Gaps.

Across all university sizes and types, ‘process’ is viewed as the area of greatest need vis a vis digital capability followed closely by ‘people’. Organizational issues, such as ‘silos across units and divisions’ and ‘archaic structure and faculty governance’ are cited some of these process challenges.

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HEDC Framework

Informed by global academic research and with input from higher education leaders globally, the HEDC framework offers an overarching view for institutions to map and benchmark digital capabilities across the learner lifecycle, ultimately to support practical and sustainable approaches to digital services and online learning.

Explore the Framework

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