The effects of ICT on Higher Education in Mexico

Authors

  • Wietse de Vries Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla
  • Germán Álvarez-Mendiola Departamento de Investigaciones Educativas - CINVESTAV - IPN

Keywords:

ICT, digital society, knowledge production, academic capitalism, organizational change, working conditions

Abstract

This article analyzes how information and communication technology (ICT) changes higher education in Mexico. While it has modified operations and working conditions in almost all sectors of the economy, such as banking and services, its impact on higher education remained limited until 2019. In 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic led to its rapid adoption in most higher education institutions.

The analysis considers three perspectives. The educational perspective analyzes how universities use ICT for teaching and learning. It generally stresses that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks but that, before 2020, few students and teachers have embraced these technologies. However, it hardly ever looks at the implications for academic staff or the university as an organization.

Another view is organizational theory, which analyzes how the structures and rules of the game change when institutions adapt to outside demands. In this field, research on the effects of ICT in various institutions shows that organizations can become more efficient, competitive and provide better client services. However, there is little research on whether ICT has caused an organizational change in higher education.

Academic capitalism provides a third view. Higher education institutions are knowledge-producing organizations, and incorporating ICT can change the mode of production from a pre-capitalist to a capitalist one. This change affects who owns, manages, commercializes, and profits from knowledge.

Considering changes from these perspectives, we conclude that digitalization favors ICT providers but hardly benefits academic staff. At the same time, the national government is unconvinced of online teaching and has cut the budget during the pandemic. As a result, Mexican higher education will probably de-digitalize and return to traditional forms of instruction.

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Author Biographies

Wietse de Vries, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla

Full professor and researcher

Germán Álvarez-Mendiola, Departamento de Investigaciones Educativas - CINVESTAV - IPN

Full professor and researcher

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Published

2024-05-22

How to Cite

de Vries, W., & Álvarez-Mendiola, G. (2024). The effects of ICT on Higher Education in Mexico. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 16(2). Retrieved from https://ojed.org/index.php/jcihe/article/view/5690

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Section

Empirical Article