Alma Mater
ISSN 1026-955X
Vestnik Vysshey Shkoly (Higher School Herald)
The best way to learn all about Higher Education


Digitalization in the Higher Education System: Sociological analysis

I.A. Aleshkovski, A.T. Gasparishvili, О.В. Крухмалева

UDC 378-042.4:004+308        


I.A. Aleshkovski is Cand. Sci. (Economy), Director of the Center for Education Development Strategy at Lomonosov Moscow State University e-mail:; A.T. Gasparishvili is is Cand. Sci. (Philosophy), Deputy Director of the Center for Education Development Strategy. at Lomonosov Moscow State University; Ass. Prof. at RUDN University; Senior Researcher at Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences e-mail:; O.V. Krukhmaleva is Cand. Sci. (Sociology), Head of Department of the Center for Education Development Strategy at Lomonosov Moscow State University; Ass. Prof at RUDN University  e-mail:


Examined are problems of modern digital transformation of Russian universities and the impact of restrictive measures related to the pandemic on the acceleration of these processes. The work is based on the results of two stages of the sociological study “Peculiarities of the work organization of Russian universities in the period of restrictions in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic (opinions of students and teachers)”, conducted by the researchers of the MSU and RUDN in 2020-2021. The purpose of the study was a comprehensive analysis of the opinions of teachers and students of Russian universities about working in a remote format during the period of forced restrictions, their assessment of their digital skills and competencies and the level of digitalization of their universities. The article analyzes the main achievements and problems of the transition to modern digital tools for organizing the educational process in the country's universities. As practical recommendations for improving the process of digital transformation of higher education, the authors propose a number of possible measures to optimize the digitalization of universities and that are aimed at smoothing out a number of restrictions that imminently comes amid this process. The work is addressed to a wide range of readers, all those who are interested in the problems of higher education, the introduction of digital technologies in the organization of training.

Key words: education, digitalization, LMS-platform, digital resources, distance learning, COVID-19 pandemic, sociological research.



  1. Andryuhina, L.M., Sadovnikova, N.O., Utkina, S.N., Mirzaahmedov, A.M. Digital professional education: perspectives and unseen barriers. The Education and Science Journal. 2020. Vol. 22. No. 3. DOI: 10.17853/1994-5639-2020-3-116-147 (In Russ.).
  2. Speech by V.V. Putin in conference on development of the system of professional education na soveshchanii po razvitiyu sistemy srednego profobrazovaniya. Ekaterinburg, 6 March 2018. URL: (accessed on: 01.03.2021).
  3. Higher education: lessons from the pandemic (operational and strategic measures for the development of the system). Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. Moscow, 2020 October. URL: (accessed on: 10.01.2021) (In Russ.).
  4. Materials of panel discussion: Fears of pedagogues: with whom to begin educational year, in what and how to teach? MMSO-2020 (Moskovskii mezhdunarodnyi salon obrazovaniia). 30.05.2020. URL: (accesseded on: 01.03.2021) (In Russ.).
  5. Problems and perspectives of digital transformation of education in Russia and China. II Russian-China conference of researchers in education “Digital transformation of education and artificial intellect”. Moscow, Russia, 26–27 September, 2019. NIU “Vysshaya shkola ekonomiki”. Moscow: Izd. dom Vysshei shkoly ekonomiki, 2019. 155 p. URL: (accessed on: 11.03.2021) (In Russ.).
  6. Difficulties and perspectives of digital transformation of education. Moscow: Izd. dom Vysshei shkoly ekonomiki, 2019. 343 p. (In Russ.).
  7. University of future: how would be image of higher education online. Institut razvitiia RF. 16.04.2020. URL: (accessed on: 01.03.2021) (In Russ.).
  8. Digital education; let nobody to be unnecessary. Kommersant.25.11.2019. URL: (accessed on: 01.03.2021) (In Russ.).
  9. Digital technologies in higher education. Konferenciya EdCrunch. 01.10.2019. URL: (accessed on: 01.03.2021) (In Russ.).
  10. Bond, M., Marín, V.I., Dolch, C. et al. (2018). Digital transformation in German higher education: student and teacher perceptions and usage of digital media. International Journal of Education Technology in Higher Education. Vol. 15 (48). URL:
  11. Carvalho-Silva, D., Garcia, L., Morgan, S.L., Castañeda, L., Selwyn, N. (2018). More than tools? Making sense of the ongoing digitizations of higher education. International Journal of Education Technology in Higher Education. Vol. 15 (22). URL:
  12. Feenberg, A. (2017) The Online Education Controversy and the Future of the University. Found Science. Vol. 22. P. 363–371. URL:
  13. MacKay, J.R. (2019). Show and “Tool”: How lecture recording transforms staff and student perspectives on lectures in higher education. Computers & Education. Vol. 140, URL: (accessed on: 2019.05.019).
  14. Niedlich, S., Kallfaß, A., Pohle, S., Bormann, I. (2021) A comprehensive view of trust in education: Conclusions from a systematic literature review. Review of Education. February 2021. Vol. 9. No. 1. P. 124–158. URL:
  15. The change with digital: Phenomenal Education. 2019. URL: (accessed on: 01.03.2021).
  16. Watermeyer, R., Crick, T., Knight, C. et al. (2021). COVID-19 and digital disruption in UK universities: afflictions and affordances of emergency online migration. Higher Education. Vol. 81. P. 623–641. URL: