Digital Transformation Applications in Higher Education in COVID-19 Pandemic Process

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Mustafa Kocağlu, Hikmet Salahaddin Gezici


Throughout history, human beings feel the need to make some classifications, depending on some important developments that they regard as turning points. The classification on hunter-gatherer (Primitive), agriculture, industry, and information society is always a result of this approach. The information age and the information society emerging related to it exist on a very different ground than the previous ones. Nowadays, almost every phase of human life comes under the influence of digitalization that becomes evident with the development of technology. Therefore, the fact that should be emphasized and paid attention first is ‘digital transformation’. It is stated that a multi-directional change and accordingly transformation start with the digital transformation process, not only individually but also organizationally.

With the COVID-19 pandemic process, institutions of higher education also feel the need to adapt themselves to digital transformation more quickly. With the pandemic, higher education institutions are now shaping all their managerial processes, their relations with internal and external stakeholders with the effects of digital transformation. It is envisaged a holistic transformation of human, business processes, and technological elements within the framework of changing social needs from the opportunities offered by information and communication technologies for the organization to function more effectively and efficiently.

By the COVID-19 pandemic, the versatile effects digital transformation in worldwide influence Turkey at the same direction and intensity. The efforts to keep up with the pace of digital transformation in higher education, as in many other fields, have been increasing recently. The universities that are seen as the actual application platform of digital transformation among the primary institutions in Turkey make a point of taking action without departing from goals of digital transformation and in accordance with the spirit of these objectives while conducting basic activities. As a matter of fact, the Council of Higher Education has started to implement the Digital Transformation Project in Higher Education and has shown the importance given to digital transformation at higher education level.

In this study, a conceptual framework for the concept of digital transformation is drawn firstly. After discussing digital transformation conceptually and theoretically, it is focused on the subject of digital transformation in higher education that gains importance by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, it is shortly mentioned the work done in this field in Turkey and discussed the Digital Transformation Project in Higher Education in detail. Therefore, on the one hand, the current situation is evaluated regarding the project in question and on the other hand, it is made future projections on the subject.

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