CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Digital Transformation of Research and Practice in the Reform Universities: Past, Present and Future
Internet and the new digital technologies brought globally the most important socio-cultural transformation during the last few decades. Universities, as all other educational institutions, are among the most affected by this transformation. As a factor of reform the digitalization acts at least in three major directions:
1) as an opportunity to bring a qualitative leap inside the university structure, providing a completely new level of communicative interaction among scholars, digitalized laboratories, virtual conferences, etc., thus multiplying the range and efficacy of research; this combined with unprecedented access to global repositories of research literature, raw data, archives, digital simulation of social and natural events, etc. At the same time new educational multimodal platforms facilitated teaching and assessment, reducing considerably the geographical and spatial limitations of didactics;
2) the second factor comes from the same phenomenon but seen from the perspective of the “outer world”. Internet has “democratized” access to knowledge and information (try to think of Wikipedia and YouTube among many others), with strong impact on the privileged position which academia held for centuries. Alternative non-academic educational services are flourishing, claiming to deliver the same results with less time and effort. Industry and tertiary sector, thanks to the new technologies, provide their own training without the need to collaborate with academia and even openly discouraging their employees to graduate.
3) we may think even the considerable decline in the interest in humanities as a result of the digital transformation. The pace with which the labor market of the new economy changes and requires updates of the qualification of the graduates, the early age in which digital natives can start working good jobs and studying as a “second occupation”, supported as well as by EU policies, coping with the aging of the population brought to a general economization of socio-culture life where liberal arts are dropped somewhere in the vacuum between work and leisure.
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