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Joel Hakkarainen, Luiz Alonso De Andrade, Michael Asante Oduro, Suddepika Liyanapathiranage

Joel Hakkarainen, Luiz Alonso De Andrade, Michael Asante Oduro, Suddepika Liyanapathiranage
Fakultet for samfunnsvitenskap
14. desember 2020

A valuable project on future Education: Digital Transformation in Scandinavian Higher Education

“Digital Transformation in Scandinavian Higher Education” is a project which researches the trends in higher education (HE) in the Scandinavian region.

The project focuses on how digitalization affects the HE, how to adopt digital tools, and proceeds in collaboration with governments and higher education institutions in the Scandinavian context. This project is also exploring the opportunities and benefits for the universities in the Scandinavian region, the responsibilities behind government agencies and leaders of the universities, possible challenges, and recommendations to uplift higher education. Moreover, the project team, due to the covid-19 pandemic, pays special attention to influences on the digitalization of higher education. 

The researchers and students associated in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Agder (UiA) and CeDiT (Centre for Digital Transformation), the Social Science research center at UiA are involved in this self-financed project. Prof. Romulo Pinheiro at the Dep. of Political Science and Management is the project coordinator. Sudeepika Liyanapathiranage, Luiz Henrique Alonso,  Asante Oduro Michael, and Joel Hakkarainen are engaging in the data collection process. The project team is curious whether the project results can lead to uplifting future financial revenues for universities as a result of digital transformation; e.g. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

"It is a pleasure to have a chance for me to join this project team at the UiA, whereby I was assigned to conduct in-depth interviews and generate the transcriptions in that regard. When I joined this project, I was reading for my final stage of the master´s program in UiA while working as a teaching assistant at the Dept. of Information Systems.  I am keen to engage in certain hands-on qualitative research projects. Therefore, I believe that being a member of this project team, it is an excellent opportunity for me to brush up on my research experience while listening to expertises´ ideas.

I extend my sincere thanks to the Dept. of Social Science for giving me this opportunity.  I also express my heartfelt appreciation to the project team, which makes available a novel experience for me.” - Said Sudeepika. 


“I was excited to take part in the research project, since I had worked as a research assistant on a quantitative study during the summer. Therefore, getting to participate in a qualitative study, which also revolves around themes that are somewhat close to my own field of study, gave me the opportunity to get a proper hands-on approach with 2 different starting points to research, within a short timeframe. 

My tasks have involved arranging, conducting and transcribing interviews. While at times these tasks have felt a bit tedious, I have gotten important experience about approaching people digitally and conducting structured appointments with people of differing backgrounds. Additionally, the observations and insights that the interviewees have provided have also expanded my own views about digitalization and work in higher education“ - Said Joel


“I was already eager to participate in some hands-on qualitative research tasks, such as in-depth interviewing, as this is something that I had little experience with. The experience until now has been really gratifying. Interviewees showed much interest on the topic, and shared amazing thoughts: some of their experiences match myr own as a student in coronavirus-times lectures, but some were surprising. I am sure that the information we have been collecting is precious for the study. Further, I have not only been learning about the HEI Digitalisation challenges, but also on interviewing strategies, which we share among us.” - Said Luiz


"My responsibilities have been to collect data through semi-structured interviews, transcribe and analyse the interviews.

It's really a great experience to get involved with the practical aspect of research and to build networks, collaborations and receiving constructive feedback from the project leaders and colleagues.

The project has also offered me the opportunity to showcase and improve the variant of research techniques that I am familiar with and also to learn new ones." - Said Michael