Janja Komljenovic, Lancaster University
1-2.30pm, 6th March, Paterson's Land rm 1.19
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 is a Lecturer of Higher Education at Lancaster University. She is interested in the diversity and complexity of markets in and around universities, including the variety of actors that have entered the sector, their strategies, ways of working, and consequences for higher education and societies at large. She is especially focusing on the relation between the digital economy and higher education and how they might affect each other. She is published internationally on higher education policy, governance, and markets. She teaches PhD courses on higher education policy and research methodology.