Digital Technology and the Contemporary University  examines the often messy realities of higher education in the ‘digital age’. Drawing on a variety of theoretical and empirical perspectives, the book explores the intimate links between digital technology and wider shifts within contemporary higher education – not least the continued rise of the managerialist ‘bureaucratic’ university. It highlights the ways that these new trends can be challenged, and possibly changed altogether.

Addressing a persistent gap in higher education and educational technology research, where digital technology is rarely subject to an appropriately critical approach, Degrees of Digitization offers an alternative reading of the social, political, economic and cultural issues surrounding universities and technology. The book highlights emerging themes that are beginning to be recognised and discussed in academia, but as yet have not been explored thoroughly. Over the course of eight wide-ranging chapters the book addresses issues such as:

    • The role of digital technology in university reform;
    • Digital technologies and the organisation of universities;
    • Digital technology and the working lives of university staff;
    • Digital technology and the ‘student experience’;
    • Reimagining the place of digital technology within the contemporary university.


This book will be of great interest to all students, academic researchers and writers working in the areas of education studies and/or educational technology, as well as being essential reading for anyone working in the areas of higher education research and digital media research.

part I|33 pages

Beyond the rhetoric of the digital university

chapter 1|18 pages

Universities and digital technology

Hype, hope and fear

part II|71 pages

The realities of universities and digital technology

chapter 3|18 pages

Digital systems

Digital technology and the organization of universities

chapter 4|19 pages

Digital labour

Digital technology and the working lives of university staff

chapter 5|16 pages

Digital study

Digital technology and the ‘student experience’

chapter 6|16 pages

Digital ‘stuff’

Digital technology and the materialities of the university

part III|35 pages

So what now?

chapter 7|16 pages

Looking back

Making sense of universities in the digital age

chapter 8|17 pages

Looking forward

Reimagining digital technology and the contemporary university