La transformació digital en el sector universitari i l'impacte en el model de negoci: abans, durant i després del xoc COVID-19

Rof Bertrans, Albert
This thesis explores the digital transformation (DT) phenomenon in the higher education sector, and its impact on the business model (BM) and in the learning value proposition. A qualitative research methodology based on the study of two cases of contrasting profile, a traditional university (Case 1) and a born digital university (Case 2), was used. Empirical data has been obtained from multiple sources, but the main element has been the in-depth interview, using a semi-structured protocol, complemented by questionnaires, observation, and documentary study. In total, 876’ of face-to-face interviews were conducted with 10 different interviewees, selected for their foreseeable in-depth knowledge of the research questions. The thesis is presented as a compendium of two articles for journals, a book chapter and a publication for a conference, with a total of 6 research questions. A longitudinal study has been constructed, before, during and after the emergency phase of COVID-19, to explore its impact on the DT / BM intersection. In a pre-pandemic context, the results present an understanding of the DT concept, the main tensions of this process for each of the business model dimensions, the solutions envisaged and, as a result, the existence of an emerging business model. The results reveal that the effects of forced digitization by COVID-19 have been uneven among the cases studied. As a reaction, new opportunities arise, such as the development of new semi-face-to-face or hybrid modalities in the case of the traditional HEI, or becoming fully digital, and a growing importance of personalized learning, in the case of the digital born HEI. All these changes, aggravated by the proliferation of EdTech (educational technologies), cause a change in the competitive landscape. The findings presented should be of high value to the selected HEIs and beyond, as they are illustrative of the future vision of the transformation of the higher education sector ​
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