Digitalisation strategy for the higher education sector 2017-2021

Strategies and Action Plans

The Digitalisation Strategy for the Higher Education Sector 2017-2021 outlines Norway’s approach to leveraging digital technologies to enhance education and research. This strategy is pivotal in ensuring that Norwegian higher education institutions (HEIs) remain competitive, innovative, and capable of meeting the needs of students and researchers in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

The strategy outlines several primary goals for digitalisation in the higher education sector: achieving high quality in education and research, fostering education and research for welfare and value creation, ensuring good access to education, and creating an efficient, diverse, and robust higher education sector. These goals align with the broader objectives of supporting welfare, innovation, and adaptation within society.

Specific objectives are detailed for various stakeholders within the sector. For students, the strategy aims to integrate digital opportunities into active and varied learning and assessment methods, providing them with essential digital skills and ethical awareness. Teachers are encouraged to develop high levels of digital and pedagogical skills, supported by incentives and access to digital tools and services. Researchers are expected to utilize ICT optimally in their research, with access to relevant scientific publications, research data, and advanced user support.

Management at all levels is tasked with leveraging digitalisation to achieve institutional goals, streamline administrative functions, and ensure effective governance. The strategy also emphasizes the importance of cohesive data and infrastructure management, with data stored and made available from a single source and infrastructure designed to be flexible and facilitate mobility.

Administrative systems are to be digitally accessible, user-friendly, and efficient, with a focus on standardization and digitalisation of workflows. The strategy calls for the development of a shared system portfolio to address transversal administrative needs and the potential for automation and self-service to enhance user experience.

The strategy includes a comprehensive plan for organizational and financial conditions to support digitalisation efforts. A new structure with two administrative agencies for quality development and one service agency for ICT-based services is proposed. These agencies will be responsible for implementing and developing sub-strategies in cooperation with HEIs.

Economic conditions highlight the principle that institutions must finance ICT infrastructure and services as part of their normal activities, with central funding catering to selected development projects and stimulation measures. Management at all levels is responsible for ensuring necessary funds are available for digitalisation initiatives.

To achieve the strategy’s goals, digitalisation efforts must be integrated into the overall governance of the higher education sector, supported by continuous improvement processes and regular revisions of sub-strategies. Each institution is responsible for governing its digitalisation efforts, aligned with sub-strategies and the overall digitalisation strategy.