Digitization in higher education

With Luca Tratschin affiliated with the CHESS – Center for Higher Education and Science Studies

This project assumes that universities, as places of research and teaching, are important contexts in which the digital transformation is being shaped. It therefore examines how universities as organizations and the scientific disciplines institutionalized at them act and react with regard to the socio-technical development of digitization. To this end, the project focuses in particular on the organizational field of the Swiss higher education area and the organizational, scientific and regulatory actors active in it. The project aims to examine digitization at the level of the Swiss higher education area. Based on this overall view, selected universities and scientific disciplines will then be examined in in-depth case studies. The project thus contributes to the understanding of the digital transformation of society using the example of universities and science. At the same time, the project also represents a contribution to the study of the Swiss higher education and science system by illuminating them at an important development - digitalization. The project is based on the assumption that societal legitimation constraints and multiple competitions have a decisive influence on the dynamics and structures of higher education and science and examines digitization against this background. The project therefore draws in particular on neo-institutionalist research, which on the one hand emphasizes in its basic assumptions the need for legitimacy of social actors, especially organizations, and in recent years has particularly examined the emergence and consequences of competition from a social constructivist perspective. Furthermore, the project also draws in particular on higher education research, science and technology studies, and organizational sociology in general. Methodologically, the project follows a mixed methods approach.

This project is funded by the National Research Programme - NFP 77