Rīga Stradiņš University Embarks on a Major Digital Transformation Journey
Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) is one of the first higher education institutions in the Baltic States to create its own digital transformation roadmap. This will help develop competences in digital technologies and their strategic use. It is planned that the objectives of the digital transformation roadmap will be completed between 2023 and 2027. As the result, RSU will improve its study, research, and governance processes by leveraging the opportunities that technologies offer. The roadmap has been developed with the help of KPMG in Latvia, which has extensive experience in implementing similar digitalisation projects in the Baltics, the UK, Australia, the US, the Netherlands, and elsewhere.
In order to develop the digital transformation roadmap, a digital maturity assessment was initially carried out in eight areas covered by digital transformation in the higher education sector. The results of the digital maturity mapping indicated that RSU would need to make significant improvements in the areas of data and analytics in the following processes: research and governance, measuring student experience and outcomes, and developing the digital skills of students and staff. Based on the digital maturity assessment, RSU identified action directions, goals, and targets for digital transformation with clearly defined timelines, responsibilities, and deliverables.
The study action direction includes objectives such as improving the learning experience, measuring learning outcomes, and expanding digital technology support for lecturers, etc. One of the objectives in research is to expand digital capacity. Among the objectives in governance are improving data quality and enhancing the digital skills of RSU staff.
Digitalising universities is a challenge of the modern era. RSU has carried out an analysis of the digital maturity of the organisation and developed a roadmap and action plan for the digital development of the University. Digitalisation of governance, research, and, more importantly, of the learning process and study content are the objectives of the RSU digital development strategy. We plan to evaluate the progress that has been made on the digital transformation path in the next 3–4 years in order to become an example for other higher education and research organisations.
RSU Vice-Rector for Administration and Development
During the preparation of the roadmap, experts from KPMG not only assessed the current situation at RSU, but also drew on experiences from similar global cooperation projects. The experts contacted universities in Tartu, Basel, Aarhus, and elsewhere to learn and draw on their experience.
Elīna Jokuma, digitalisation expert at KPMG, said that globally there is a trend for higher education institutions to pay more and more attention to improving their digital competences. She concluded that it was good to see that RSU has managed to implement several important projects in recent years and that the University is paying even more attention to digital development, trying to improve it not only on its own, but also using international experience.