White Paper "Bologna Digital 2020": Digitalisation of Higher Education in Europe

3.6.2019

Europe needs new visions for higher education in the digital age. Digitalisation is not only an additional challenge, but also an effective means to address key challenges for higher education in the 21st century. The new publication “Bologna Digital 2020 – White Paper on Digitalisation in the European Higher Education Area” highlights opportunities and challenges as well as examples of good practice.Bologna Digital: European visions neededBologna Digital: Towards a digital European Higher Education Area. Bild: [https://unsplash.com/photos/TiDa-gEog-s Joshua Fuller]

Since December 2018, a large group of European experts have discussed priorities for digitalisation in higher education, exchanged innovative ideas and collected many impressive examples of good practice. Two "Bologna Digital 2020" workshops in Berlin and Vienna gathered university representatives, European higher education stakeholders, governmental staff from different member states and other experts active in European higher education.

Participants included representatives from public authorities in Austria, Germany, the Holy See, Italy, the Netherlands and Romania as well as European stakeholder organisations such as the European University Association (EUA), the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE), the European Students' Union (ESU), the European University Foundation (EUF) and the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR).

This European exchange on digitalisation in higher education discussed priorities, different contexts and future visions and the authors have summarised and elaborated on these insights in a White Paper "Bologna Digital 2020". To this aim, the publication focuses on prospective developments in six focus areas:

  1. More Proactive Preparation, Admission and Transition
  2. Skills for the Digital Age
  3. New Mobility Patterns: Virtual Exchange and Blended Mobility
  4. Recognition of (Prior) Learning
  5. Quality Assurance
  6. Strategies for Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age

For each area, the authors, Florian Rampelt, Dominic Orr and Alexander Knoth, name important opportunities and challenges that digitalisation brings to this specific field of higher education. In addition, each section is complemented by a list of examples of good practice that have been provided by the experts and stakeholder organisations who contributed to discussions.

The White Paper "Bologna Digital 2020" is intended to set the framework for further fruitful discussions and serves as a basis for the development of a common European vision of higher education in the digital age. A next step will therefore be the publication of a Position Paper in summer 2019 with the aim of gaining support and adoption of the recommendations from a wide range of organisations.