Book An apropos overview of the accelerating digitalisation of higher education

Written during the COVID pandemic, Andreas Kaplan’s latest book offers a unique, timely insight into the acceleration of digital transformation and disruption, even, of higher education.

“Somehow reflecting higher education’s reputation of being fairly inflexible and highly change averse, the sector’s digital transformation has been a rather moderate process until recently. A nearly unprecedented and worldwide health crisis, COVID-19, had to emerge in order to compel academia to advance and take huge steps forward in its digitalisation journey. Indeed, with universities and schools having moved entirely online both in their academics as well as in their extracurriculars within just days, the worldwide higher education sector might have witnessed the biggest edtech (educational technology) experiment ever conducted,” explains Andreas Kaplan in the preface of Digital Transformation and Disruption of Higher Education. “The post–COVID-19 period therefore seems both logical and sensible timing for a publication that decodes the current situation as well as the likely future of academia’s digital transformation and potential disruption.”

A balanced, critical account of the sector’s digitalisation

This book analyses higher education's accelerating digitalisation from a holistic point of view, providing a balanced and critical account from a variety of interdisciplinary viewpoints. It looks at case studies on educational and emerging technology, their impact, the potential risk of digital transformation disrupting higher education, and also offers a glimpse into what the future of digitalisation will likely bring.

In thirty chapters, researchers and practitioners alike from all continents share their knowledge and understanding of this rapidly evolving field, analysing academia’s digitalisation along the broad areas and topics of the sector’s general digital (r)evolution. The book looks at changes in instructional formats, from the Massive Open Online Courses to Small Private Online Courses and artificial intelligence. It also provides analysis on how skills, competences and social networks demanded by future jobs and job markets can be further integrated into higher education.

This compilation is also intended as an adamant call for action to higher education.

“Last but not least, this compilation is also intended as an adamant call for action to higher education,” adds Andreas Kaplan. “Academia’s digitalisation – propelled, accentuated and accelerated by the COVID pandemic – should push all universities and higher education institutions worldwide to reflect on what to do differently and what new paths and future directions they should take in order to fully benefit from the current digitalisation dynamic. During the pandemic, higher education proved its ability to pivot and rapidly adapt to unforeseen events. The sector should therefore clearly avoid falling back into old patterns of inflexibility and change aversion. Time tends towards tough transformations.”


Andreas Kaplan - ESCP Business School Andreas Kaplan Professor of marketing at ESCP Business School