Conclusion: Advancing the Digital and Open Education Agenda

  • Bill Johnston
  • Sheila MacNeill
  • Keith Smyth
Part of the Digital Education and Learning book series (DEAL)


In this concluding chapter of the book, the proposition of the digital university as a contested space is revisited in the context of current political and sector developments and their resulting implications for key aspects of universities and the student and academic experience within our higher education institutions. Major themes and recurring motifs within the book are summarised and synthesised, in addressing the digital university as a liberating social force, prospects for future practice, and agendas for change. In exploring the latter area, a number of potential themes and foci for future research are proposed. The chapter closes by underlining the need to re-position the university as a public good committed to critical thinking, and to situate digital space, place, and practice in relation to extending higher education, and the opportunities to engage with or benefit from the knowledge created within and through higher education, to our wider communities and society.


  1. Darder, A. (1994). Institutional Research as a Tool for Cultural Democracy. New Directions for Institutional Research, 81, 21–34. Jossey-Bass.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Mason, P. (2015). Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future. London: Alan Lane.Google Scholar
  3. Observatory Magna Charta Universitatum. (n.d.). The Magna Charta Universitatum. Last Accessed 10 May 2018.
  4. Reid, J. (1972). Alienation, Rectorial Address, University of Glasgow. Last Accessed 29 June 2018.
  5. Srnicek, N., & Williams, A. (2016). Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work. London/New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  6. UNESCO. (2016). Riga Recommendations on Media and Information Literacy in a Shifting Media and Information Landscape. Last Accessed 30 June 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bill Johnston
    • 1
  • Sheila MacNeill
    • 2
  • Keith Smyth
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Psychological Science and HealthUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Academic Quality and DevelopmentGlasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgowUK
  3. 3.Learning and Teaching AcademyUniversity of the Highlands and IslandsInvernessUK

Personalised recommendations