Dr Janja Komljenovic ‘The Future of Value in the Higher Education Industry’

29th May 2020 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
University of Edinburgh, Moray House School of Education and Sport
Edinburgh EH8 8AQ

Centre for Research in Digital Education

This talk focuses on the processes of constructing new value in the higher education industry as it is digitalising all of its operations and innovating new digital products. Higher education industry and markets are normally understood in terms of commodifying and selling teaching and learning services. Some authors recognise that digitalisation of universities represents a hidden architecture for such marketisation of universities. I will expand this finding by arguing that it also represents the architecture for its financialisation. While the higher education sector has been marketised for decades, digitalisation brings yet a new quality into the processes of monetisation, and the forms of value construction. Following Birch, Doganova, Muniesa, Tyfield, and other authors, I argue that monetisation opportunities brought about by digitalisation in higher education are better explained as future assets than as commodities; and that the whole dynamic is better understood as capitalisation rather than marketisation. Assets and commodities have essential differences, which are consequential for legal and technical regulations of the industry. I will present a review of what is known about digitalising higher education industry and conclude with a proposal for future research.

Dr Janja Komljenovic, Lancaster University

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