"Digital Universities_Europe", one of the leading conferences in the field of digital transformation of universities, organized by the renowned magazine "Times Higher Education", took place in Barcelona from 23-25 October 2023. Professor Peter Parycek, Vice-Rector for Teaching/Academic Continuing Education and Digital Transformation (CDO), spoke about university leadership in the context of digital transformation.

"The path to digital, fair and green higher education" is the overall theme of this year's "Digital Universities_Europe" conference. Universities across Europe are facing growing challenges: They need to adapt to uncertainties, meet rising expectations and innovate digitally to increase their impact with students and society.

Implementing digital transformation in universities

From the very beginning, the University for Continuing Education Krems has been intensively involved with the opportunities and possibilities of digitalization and technology-supported teaching and is one of the leading universities in this field. In his role as Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs/Academic Continuing Education and Digital Transformation (CDO), Prof. Peter Parycek is responsible for the successful implementation of the university's digitalization strategy and innovations in academic teaching.

At the Digital Universities_Europe conference, Parycek shared his wide-ranging experience from different perspectives in the session "What is expected of university management to drive the digital transformation of universities?”  Peter Parycek listed the critical factors for successful digital transformation. He emphasized the importance of clear governance with defined roles and responsibilities, and that the rectorate must not only initiate the process, but also continuously develop it. He also stressed the importance of having concrete projects that cover all areas of the university, from teaching and research to administration, and that demonstrate the added value for staff and students. For Parycek, it is also important to promote a digital culture of thinking and to include different points of view. He concluded by emphasizing that user-centricity, commitment, and personal responsibility during implementation foster a culture of innovation and create space for experimentation.

His invitation to the conference is a recognition of his personal expertise and at the same time further evidence of the international reputation that the University for Continuing Education Krems, with over 25 years of experience as a leader in the field of university continuing education, is gaining.

About the person

Peter Parycek has been Vice Rector for Educational Affairs/Academic Continuing Education and Digital Transformation (CDO) at the University for Continuing Education Krems since 2021. He is University Professor for E-Governance and Head of the Department for E-Governance and Administration at the University for Continuing Education Krems. Since 2017, he is head of the Competence Center Public IT (ÖFIT) at the Fraunhofer Fokus Institute in Berlin. He advises governments (including the German Federal Government under Angela Merkel in the past) and institutions such as the Council of Europe and has been an inspiring keynote speaker at numerous international conferences. As a legal IT specialist, Parycek works at the intersection of technical, legal and societal developments in an inter- and transdisciplinary approach with a research focus on the transformation of the public sector.


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