Developing the policy model of digital university (qualitative approach)

Document Type : Scientific - Research


1 Professor, Department of Educational Administration, Faculty of Management, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Educational Administration, Faculty of Management, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

3 Ph.D. Graduated, Department of Educational Administration, Faculty of Management, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran


Objective: The present study aims to present the policy model of the digital university. The digital university is an emerging concept that has recently emerged with the presence of technology in higher education. The best way to guide emerging concepts is to make the right policies about that emerging phenomenon, and the digital university is no exception. In order to make good use of the capacity of the digital age and technology in higher education and the academic system, the first step is to formulate policies in this field so that the concept is in its original mission and position and gradually grows.
Materials and Methods: In order to conduct the present study, a qualitative approach and meta-synthesis were used. The research community included all 2000 articles, books, work reports, and university publications, of which 67 were selected and analyzed In order to analyze the data, coding method was used, so that first the open coding was done, then the primary central codes were compiled and finally by combining the primary codes, the secondary codes were formed and thus the dimensions and components of digital university policy were developed.
Results and Discussion: The research findings indicated the identification of five dimensions of policy, including educational, structural, technological, cultural and economic policies. Educational policy included the components of digital evaluation, the quality of digital education, the digital learning ecosystem, digital content, the digital curriculum, and the digital learning learning process; Structural policy included digital policies and laws, digital management and leadership, digital evaluation and control, and digital human resources, and technology policy included software policies, hardware policies, and support policies. Also, cultural policy included the management of digital communications, international higher education courses, knowledge and attitudes toward digital courses, and access to higher education (digital courses) - social equality. Finally, economic policy included financial management, funding methods, and digital university funding methods. Attention to the five dimensions of policy at the University of Digital is strongly recommended, as each of these dimensions addresses part of the phenomenon of the digital university and together will lead to the realization and development of the digital university.


Aliahmadi, A. & Gholizadeh, H. (2003). E-learning and familiarity with the features and standards of the virtual university. Management tomorrow. No. 1- 67-76.
Arinto, P.B. (2016). Issues and challenges in open and distance e-learning: Perspectives from the Philippines. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(2).
Chawinga, W.D & Zozie, P.A. (2016). Increasing access to higher education through open and distance learning: empirical findings from Mzuzu University, Malawi. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(4).
Chawinga. W.D & Zinn. S. (2015). Lecturers’ use of Web 2.0 in the Faculty of Information Science and Communications at Mzuzu University, Malawi. Mousaion: South African Journal of Information Studies 33(4): 62–85.
Chronicle Research Services. (2009). 1he college of2020: Students [Executive summary]. Retrieved from archivesICollegeof2020ExecSum.pdf.
Dunn, S. L. (2001). Fuel for the future. USA Today. January, 28-29.
Garrison, D.R. (2011). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice. Taylor & Francis.
Ghorchian, N. Gh. & Jafari, P. (2003). Review of virtual universities in order to provide a suitable model for setting up a virtual university in the country. Management: Futurism Management. No. 58. pp. 49-52.
Goodfellow, R. & Lea, M.R. (2013). Literacy in the digital university: critical perspectives on learning, scholarship and technology, Routledge.
Johnston. B., MacNeill, Sh. & Smyth, K. (2018). Digital Education and Learning: Conceptualising the Digital University the Intersection of Policy, Pedagogy and Practice. Springer.
Joksimović, S., Siemens, G., Gašević, D. & Dawson, S. (2015). The history and state of online learning, Preparing for the Digital University: A Review of the History and Current State of Distance, Blended, and Online Learning, pp.93–132.
Khanifar, H. & Moslemi, N. (2019). Principles and foundations of qualitative research methods (Vol. I). Tehran: Danesh Negah.
Khalid J. Rahul Ram, B., Soliman, M., Janee Ali, A., Khaleel, M. & Shamimul Islam, M.D. (2018). Promising digital university: a pivotal need for higher education transformation J. Management in Education, Vol. 12, No. 3, 264-275.
Major, C. H. & Savin-Baden, M. (2010). An Introduction to Qualitative Research Synthesis: Managing the Information Explosion in Social Science Research. New York: Routledge.
Maltese, V. & Giunchiglia, F. (2016). Foundations of Digital Universities. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 55(1), 26–50.
Mammadova, H.A. & Gasimov, H. (2017). E-university: conceptual, technological and architectural approaches. Journal Problems of information technology, NO2, 51–62.
Mansour, A. Sh. (2004). A virtual university: A proposed model. Library & Information Science.
Mayadas, A. E, Bourne, J. & Bacsich, P. (2009). Online education today. Science, 323, 85-89.
McCluskey, F.B. & Winter, M.L. (2012). The Idea of the Digital University: Ancient Traditions, Disruptive Technologies and the Battle for the Soul of Higher Education. Policy Studies Organisation. Washington: Westphalia Press.
Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (2003). National Virtual University Development Plan. Accessed June 8, 2019 Available at
Montazar, G.H. (2012). Development of comparative studies in educational status of various countries around the world [Internet]. cited 2012 Des Available from:
Moore, MG & Kearsley, G. (2004). Distance education: A systems view. 2nd edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.
Moore, M.G. (1993). Theory of transactional distance. In: Keegan D (ed.), Theoretical Principles of Distance Education. New York: Routledge, pp.22–38.
Noam, E. M. (1995). Electronics and the Dim Future of the University. Science. 270, 247-249.
P.W.C. (2018). The 2018 Digital University: Staying Relevant in the Digital Age.
 Sandelowski, M, Barros, J. (2007). Handbook for synthesizing qualitative research. Springer publishing company Inc.
 Selwyn, N. (2014). Digital Technology and the Contemporary University: Degrees of Digitization. Abingdon/New York: Routledge.
Siegle, Del. (2010). The Changing Nature of Universities: going online. Gifted Child Today. Vol 34, No 3.p.56-61.
Siemens G, Gašević, D. & Dawson, S. (2015). Preparing for the digital university: A review of the history and current state of distance, blended, and online learning. Arlington: Link Research Lab. Retrieved October 24, 20119 from
Singh, G. & Hardaker, G. (2014). Barriers and enablers to adoption and diffusion of eLearning. EducationTraining, 56(2–3): 105–121.
Smirnova, N. V. (2015). Literacy in the digital university: critical perspectives on learning, scholarship and technology. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 31(1), 79–84.
Sousa, M.J. Rocha, A. (2019). Digital learning: Developing skills for digital transformation of organizations. Future Generation Computer Systems. 91. 327–334.
Tarah, A. (2007). Syrian Virtual University: An Infrastructure Dependant University EuroMed workshop on e-infrastructure.
Tjong, Y. & Harjanto, P. (2016). Key Successful Factors for Virtual University Implementation: A Literature Study. Journal of Telecommunication, Electronic and Computer Engineering. Vol. 8 No. 3.p.89-92.
Valentine, D. (2002). Distance learning: Promises, problems, and possibilities.