Digital strategies in UK higher education: making digital mainstream

Digital technologies play a central role in all core business areas of higher education (HE) organisations.

Digital strategies in UK HE: making digital mainstream cover

Taking a strategic and organisation-wide approach to adopting, implementing and developing digital technologies is critical in underpinning the long-term success and sustainability of universities.

In 2020, Universities UK, Jisc and Emerge Education, together with technical partner Salesforce, developed a long-term digital strategy framework (Iosad, 2020). It aimed to help university leaders build on their rapid response experiences during the pandemic. Now, in 2023, how are UK universities articulating their digital strategies? The picture is varied. Some are creating specific digital transformation strategies, while others are incorporating digital across existing strategies.

Jisc commissioned this work to develop a better understanding of the current state of digital strategies in UK HE, and how Jisc can best help universities with ambitions to use digital in transforming their activities.

We interviewed ten digital leaders from UK universities with a range of roles and responsibilities, from vice-presidents to IT directors. We also reviewed written strategies from other universities and attended conferences and events across the sector where digital strategy was a key theme. We obtained an international perspective through reviewing research into digital transformation from EDUCAUSE and others.

This report is intended as a snapshot of the UK HE sector at this point in time. It describes the aspirations universities have for the future, but also the realities of where they are right now, the challenges they face and what they know they need to put in place.

Download the full report (pdf)

A framework for digital transformation

Our experts have worked with members at different stages of their digital transformation to build a digital transformation framework for higher education. This offers a comprehensive perspective on how the digital environment can support positive work, research and learning experiences, and promote a sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Get in touch with your relationship manager to discuss how we can support digital transformation in your university.

About the author

Nick Skelton