University Challenges in Information Society


Mario Arias-Oliva, Leonor González and Raúl Santiago


Both information technologies and communication itself are changing wideworld the ways of working, communicating and spending the leisure time in nowadays society. The number of people using multimedia systems and internet both at work and at home has increased a lot in the last years. The education and training environment themselves can not be kept away when dealing with new technologies and both their managing structures and the academic field must get adapted to already referred usage of new technologies. many academic institutions have started to use new technologies programs in their managing structure : academic and learning methods. This kind of attitude towards information technology are becoming more and more specialized and numerous. In this sense, we think that a new and coherent use of new technologies is needed not only in the educative and training field but also in methodology plans. This change can only be successful if the “old attitudes” are left behind. A new attitude related towards new technologies must be taken into account to cope with new university challenges.

The new targets of the teacher will only be useful when the teacher has a good command of the new technologies, when he /she takes into account the added value that the academic contents will have, and making the product be attractive in its design. The product must also be versatile and rigorous when developing contents. The university environment must be able to give a general and efficient answer to these principles since it is supposed to guaranty a high quality education. Research, methodology and management must be readapted in order to improve the quality of the education and must solve all the problems that the society requires.

This work will analyse the procedures in the University of La Rioja, Spain. In Spain ,the ministry of education thinks that in the next fifteen years, people attending the university in Spain will decrease in a 33%, this fact will make the university readapt its resources. The decline in birth rates registered in the 80s is now causing problems in the university. This report also shows some of the possible solutions: one of them is the settlement of the L.O.U ( Law of universities) where the ministry states ” The university is getting ready for a great change . This law will be the basis for the University of the Future, a modern university that will take into account the new circumstances”. But in the opposite way, we will find a greater demand in knowledge services. It will be imperative to balance this situation. The strategy must let an approach in the university towards an offer thought according to the knowledge society in which we are involved. Related to this, the permanent training of professionals must be taken into account ,it is say “we have to go forward and in this new contest the university of the future must play and important role in lifelong training”. The need of a change in teaching and managing methods coming from the usage of ICT. If we want this change to have an important effect, old attitudes must be left behind when dealing with new technologies, we have to go on and help the change to be successful. As it was stated the teacher has to get a new role and his / her new objectives must undergo a major change. The lecturer must know well the new technologies and the result of this process must be attractive , versatile and well designed. In this scenary it is compulsory to insist on the needs of developing new models in which the whole community can take part. The university of La Rioja is the first Spanish public university that organised and developed two degrees through the internet (degree in History, music science and work science). The experience of offering these degrees through the internet, has been a success, and has overpasses the most optimistic thoughts. We will analyze the successful strategy of this university to COPE with new information society challenges.


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