Reports on change management in higher education institutions

Digivisio 2030 is a development project with extensive content that will trigger many types of changes in higher education institutions. The project is currently planning a change management support programme that will assist higher education institutions in implementing these changes.

In March 2022, two reports dealing with change management were completed as part of the Digivisio 2030 project. These reports were prepared with a light touch to underpin the planning of the change management support programme in the project and to support higher education institutions in drawing up their own programmes of change.  Professionals and experts from higher education institutions that participated in the background work on change management were involved in producing the reports. In addition, consultants who took part in the background work contributed to the report that focused on experiences of change management.

Experiences of change management in higher education institutions

The first report discusses experiences of change management in higher education institutions. The background work consisted of identifying changes in higher education institutions that are interesting from the perspective of the change management support programme and selecting the higher education institutions in which change information was to be collected. The information was gathered by means of questionnaires and interviews.

The report examines change management challenges that the higher education institutions have encountered and the successes they have achieved. In addition, individual reports on higher education institutions were produced and sent separately to each institution. The identified challenges experienced in change management included verbalising and scheduling the objectives and significance of the change and communicating about it. As critical success factors were recognised the management’s commitment to change as well as active communication, dialogue and participation, among other things. 

The lessons learned from experiences gained through major change processes carried out in line with the Digivisio 2030 project included the fact that a higher education institution should recognise and communicate about the change as an ongoing and evolving process, thus supporting the staff’s attachment to carrying through the change in their institution.

Read more about the report: download the material. (The language of the report is Finnish.)

Review of research literature on change management

The report on experiences of change management was accompanied by a review of research literature dealing with providing support for change management. The review describes change management in general, the digital transformation, pedagogical leadership and recent research on change management in higher education institutions. It also reflects on what research can contribute to the Digivisio project’s change management support programme.

The literature review notes that change management in higher education institutions can be facilitated by such factors as the academic and educational management’s commitment to change at all levels, taking the diversity of teaching staff into consideration, and understanding pedagogical leadership as part of change management.

Read more about the literature review: download the material. (The language of the review is Finnish.)

More info

More information on the change management support programme

Programme Manager Erika Maliranta