The University Digital Strategy

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The University is developing its first Digital Strategy to set out our vision for digital to enhance our teaching, learning and research and improve the student experience. Here, Bulletin speaks to the team leading on this work.

A man sits in a cafe with his laptop and a notepad.

Can you share a bit more about what the University Digital Strategy is?

The Digital Strategy is an initiative that sets out the future vision for digital at the University. The strategy outlines key elements that will support the delivery of Strategy 2030, to create a digital environment that will enhance all aspects of our teaching, research and professional services.

It has been co-created with involvement from academic, student, and professional services colleagues with accessibility, equality, diversity and inclusion at its core.

The vision for the strategy is to enable a digital experience that is personalised, intuitive, consistent, sustainable, resilient and reliable. We will ensure we get the basics right creating an environment that will be accessible and inclusive; empowering the University community to experiment and innovate; and taking advantage of new opportunities.

Why does the University need one, and why now?

Over the last 50 years, digital has been an integral part of change, improvement and transformation here at the University. We have adopted digital technology more and more into our teaching and learning to develop and enrich the student experience. This was demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic, accelerating the adoption of digital at the University in a short time period.

The University Digital Strategy is a key element in supporting Strategy 2030 and the future vision of digital. Outlining the key elements required, this strategy works alongside other University initiatives such as Curriculum Transformation and the People Strategy, to achieve our strategic goals.

Can you share more about the work done so far and what is planned for the future?

The creation process of the University Digital Strategy has now been through a series of workshops, show and tell sessions, surveys, a town hall, and two full University-wide consultations that have provided many opportunities for the entire community to contribute. Although our consultation process finishes at the end of December, there will be opportunities to input into the ongoing development of the strategy as it evolves over the next few years. The iterative review process allows for continuous refinement and ongoing engagement with the community as we adapt to the changing digital landscape.

Ultimately the University Digital Strategy is a continuously evolving project; we will review and update it on an ongoing basis, while measuring the process and strategic outcomes to determine the success and where changes are needed.

How does the Digital Strategy related to the University strategic goals?

The strategy is structured around five key focus areas:

People: to enable every member of our University community to have the relevant and accessible digital services, tools, training and skills to thrive in their teaching, learning, research or business activities.

Research: digital will enable innovation and research excellence, be fit for purpose and be driven by the needs of the researchers.

Teaching and Learning: we will align with Curriculum Transformation to support greater consistency, better assessment and feedback, hybrid teaching, digital transformation of student services, and support for community and belonging.

Social and Civic Responsibility: we will have a continuous programme of green IT with the aim to reduce the digital carbon footprint, underpin data driven innovation, and provide the public with the widest possible open access to our wisdom and knowledge.

Digital Estate and Infrastructure: we will enable a great user experience through an accessible estate that is driven by user need, protects us from cyber threats, and offers a seamless and flexible experience when working or studying in person or virtually.

What governance do you work under and what are your timescales?

The University Digital Strategy is governed by a diverse board representing the different areas of the University. This board reports into University Executive and Knowledge Strategy Committee. We are working towards a launch date of the end of March 2023.

Visit the Governance page on the Digital Strategy SharePoint.

Find out more about the Digital Strategy.


Photography: Douglas Robertson