• Hans Schuetze UBC Vancouver
  • Wietse de Vries
  • Germán Alvarez Mendiola



Digitalization, Higher Education, International Study


This article is an introduction to and overview of the main topics addressed by the authors of this Special Issue. Their emphasis is on the policy issues that are relevant to higher education, not the technical dimension of digitalization. The articles, covering 14 countries or regions from five continents, show the many communalities and challenges of the transformation to digital state and society, but also significant differences between them, especially between the countries of the ‘global North’ and the ‘global South’. These challenges and divides are clearly visible from the analysis of digitalization of Higher Education in the countries and regions covered in this issue.


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European Union (2022). The digital economy and society index (DESI) - EU countries' performance in digitisation. EU.

Franzen, M. (2017). Die digitale transformation der wissenschaft (The digital transformation of science).

International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Measuring digital development: Facts and figures 2021.

McClure, M. W. (2015). MOOCs: Hype or hope: Conflicting narratives in higher education policy. In P. Zgaga, U. Teichler, H. G. Schuetze & A. Wolter (Eds.), Higher education reform: Looking back - looking forward (pp. 385-400). Peter Lang.

McClure, M. W. (2019). MOOCs, students, higher education and their paradoxes. In W. Archer & H.G. Schuetze, (eds). Preparing Students for Life and Work: Policies and Reforms Affecting Higher Education’s Principal Mission, (pp. 157-178). Brill.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2021), The state of Higher Education, one year after the Covid-19 pandemic. OECD.

Papadimitriou, A., & Boboc, M. (Eds). (2020). Re-envisioning Higher Education’s Public Mission – Global Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan.

Schuetze, H. G. (2010). The 'third mission' of universities: Community engagement and service. In P.Inman & H. G. Schuetze (Eds.). The community engagement and service mission of universities (pp. 13-32). NIACE.

Schuetze, H.G. (2014). From adults to non-traditional students to lifelong learners in higher education: Changing contexts and perspectives. Journal of Adult and Continuing Education 20(2):37-55.

Trow, M. A. (2010). Twentieth-Century higher education: Elite to mass to universal. Johns Hopkins University Press.

United Nations (2021). Road map for digital cooperation: implementation of the recommendations of the high-level panel on digital cooperation. Report of the Secretary-General.

Vescera, Z. (2019, March 26). ‘Double-edged sword’ – Canvas is tracking your data. What is UBC doing with it? The Ubyssey.




How to Cite

Schuetze, H., de Vries, W., & Alvarez Mendiola, G. (2024). DIGITALIZATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ISSUES. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 16(2).



Issue Introduction