Digital strategy | University of Oxford
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Oxford skyline
Credit: Greg Smolonski. This image is from Oxford University Images.

Digital strategy

Vision

The University’s reputation in research, education, and engagement will be underpinned by an innovative and holistic digital capability. This will support the significance, capacity, and impact of the University’s research; the variety and distinction of the learning, teaching and student experience that it provides; and will inform its present strategic priorities of interdisciplinary scholarship and global reach.

The University will sustain and enhance its excellence in scholarship by embracing the opportunities afforded by digital technologies. The Digital Strategy will enable us to maintain a position of leadership by providing a foundation for the transformative enhancement of research, teaching and innovation through digital technologies and communications. Effective digital communications will also ensure that this digital shift benefits society on a national and a global scale.

We will enhance the creation and discovery of knowledge and content through digital means and improve the utilisation and exploitation of digital technologies within our teaching and research. In delivering these aims, the University will support and engage with digital initiatives generated by our staff, students, alumni, and those outside the University.

A strong and coherent online presence will direct those seeking knowledge about any area of academic activity to relevant work carried out at Oxford. We will develop our globally available teaching and learning resources. Access to the University’s research outputs and data will be open to all and access to collections will be improved through programmatic digitisation. This will extend and enhance the role Oxford plays in preserving and sharing the record of human existence and cultural achievement.

Strategic Aims

  1. To facilitate the creation, preservation and discovery of knowledge:
    • Enable new modes of research especially across disciplines;
    • Promote new ways of generating, curating, and engaging with data (e.g. visualisation, data analytics, digital collections, augmented datasets, health);
    • Extend the reach and effectiveness of scholarly communications.
  2. To improve utilisation and exploitation of knowledge:
    • Enhance teaching and research through effective use of digital technologies and data;
    • Empower staff and students through the provision of digital skills training;
    • Develop outreach, online learning, educational resources and student support.
  3. To enable knowledge exchange in a digital environment:
    • Draw in new audiences and collaborators from across the globe;
    • Provide access to expertise and know-how;
    • Establish new communities involving industry, commerce, government, civil society both locally and globally.

Investment

To meet the vision and strategic aims above, the University will invest in:

1. Creating an Innovative Digital Community, focussed on significant innovations, cutting-edge thinking, and sharing and implementation of best practice e.g. through the creation of a university-wide conversation on digital innovation.

2. Training and skills for staff and students to broaden and deepen the capability of all members of the University to embrace digital.

3. IT infrastructure to support the digital enhancement of teaching, research and widening engagement that includes a digitization platform, digital collections management (including research data), and digital curation.

4. Facilitating access to research outputs and data, in order to support open, rapid and broad dissemination and take-up of the fruits of our research.

5. Rapid as well as slow experimentation to explore new ways to enable departments, colleges and collections to support teaching and research and to identify ways of utilising digital technologies and resources to enable the University’s mission.

Implementation

The University will form a Digital Strategy Group whose remit will be to oversee implementation of the digital strategy over the next two years, in liaison the academic divisions and with all major committees of Council. It is expected that specific projects delivering the Digital Strategy will be owned by and embedded in the divisions, the Department for Continuing Education or ASUC.

Terms of reference

1. To communicate the digital strategy to all members of the University.

2. To encourage local initiatives to implement the strategy.

3. To identify and prioritise strategic actions for implementation across the University (i.e. not as local initiatives).

4. To facilitate communication between existing activities.

5. To co-ordinate support for digital skills training.

6. To keep the digital strategy under review.

Membership

PVC (Research)

One member nominated by each of the following:

  • Research Committee
  • Education Committee
  • PRAC
  • IT Committee
  • Each of the four divisional boards
  • ASUC Strategy Group
  • Continuing Education Board
  • Public Affairs Directorate
  • OUP

Chief Information Officer

Two external members

The Group may also co-opt additional members.