More and more universities are responding to the growing global demand for academic education with new online offerings. Small mobile learning units or larger comprehensive online courses are now offered on a variety of international platforms. Behind them are often individual universities and institutes as well as university consortia and alliances, also in entrepreneurial initiative or partnership. German universities are less visible compared to other countries. Against this background, the present feasibility study was intended to explore the possibilities for setting up a national higher education platform (with a European perspective) in a differentiated manner, to evaluate potential solution options and to recommend design variants.
In doing so, the feasibility study focuses on the development of a nationwide feasible concept in the sense of a design proposal. Practical operational requirements for an operational and service organization, on the other hand, could not be differentiated within the scope of the study. The question of feasibility with regard to a European-international orientation of the platform also remains largely open.
The study is based on comprehensive research as well as 14 expert interviews with representatives of existing platforms and four stakeholder workshops with different focus groups – students and teachers, platform providers, politicians, representatives of didactic centers and university administrations. “Although the study design cannot provide definitive answers to all questions about the design and implementation of a platform, the study should enable policymakers, higher education institutions, and committed stakeholders to engage in informed discussions about Germany’s way forward in digital higher education and to plan the next steps toward implementation,” say the authors.