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Data, Society and the University: Facets of a Complex Problem

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Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY,volume 59)


This chapter complements the introduction to the book “Data Cultures in Higher Education: Emerging Practices and the challenges ahead”. This chapter explores policy-making areas that impact higher education directly or indirectly. These areas are (a) transformation of higher education (from discourses of modernisation to the problem of managerialism, (b) open science and data connected to research practices and (c) the evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In our view, the aforementioned areas support the initial theoretical assumption that data practices are based on several perspectives on how data are produced and used; hence, they encompass complexity. Moreover, this complexity sets the basis for different reactions from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), which shape their situated institutional data cultures. Through the evidence of concrete evolution of policy-making around data in society and in education, our goal is to provide a frame to understand the relevance of the cases and proposals presented in each of the following chapters.


  • Policy making
  • Data practices
  • Higher education
  • Datafication
  • Managerialism
  • Platformisation

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Correspondence to Juliana E. Raffaghelli .

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© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

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Raffaghelli, J.E., Sangrà, A. (2023). Data, Society and the University: Facets of a Complex Problem. In: Raffaghelli, J.E., Sangrà, A. (eds) Data Cultures in Higher Education . Higher Education Dynamics, vol 59. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-24192-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-24193-2

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