8. Yuliya V. Vertakova

The Role of Universities in the Digital Transformation of the Economy

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Yuliya V. Vertakova

Head of Department of the Southwest State University (Kursk), Doctor of Economics, Professor

50 let Oktyabrya Str. 94, Kursk, Russian Federation, 305040

As part of the transition toward a new technologicalparadigm, development of the digital economy has intensified. Digitalization affects many social spheres, including the political, economic, and cultural ones. Education is one of the industries that transform economic structure to the benefit of knowledge-intensive industries. The present study examines changes in Russia’s higher education system with respect to digitalization.
Aim. The study substantiates the role of universities in the transformation of the Russian higher education system pertaining to digitalization, analyzes the implementation of the priority project, “Universities as centers of the innovation creation space,” simulating the transformations that universities need to undertake in order to proactively meet the changing requirements of the labor market during the formation of the digital economy.
Tasks. In order to achieve the objective set forth, the authors substantiate strategic vectors for the development of universities that are necessary for them to become the intellectual, technological, scientific, innovative, cultural, and educational core of the regional socio-economic system. Moreover, it highlights their role as being centers of creative and sports development of their region’s youth through the formation of socially oriented and balanced value-based personal development of students—and the region’s population as a whole.
Methods. This study uses general scientific methods of cognition, comparative and statistical analysis to identify major directions for the transformation of universities in the context of economic digitalization. The practical guidelines provided are based on the example of university centers for innovation, technological, and social development established in the Southwest State University in the Kursk region.
Results. The study proves that the implementation of projects on the transformation of universities into university centers for innovation, technological, and social development allows them (1) to form the intellectual, technological, scientific, innovative, cultural, and educational core of the regional socio-economic system; (2) to facilitate project-based development of the university’s scientific and educational capacity and to make a breakthrough in scientific and innovative technological developments, including those associated with digitalization; (3) to create regional innovative and scientific technological ecosystems on the basis of universities; (4) to lay the groundwork for the development of technological, innovative, and social entrepreneurship and start-up accelerators; and (5) to train more soughtafter specialists in view of the new requirements of the digital economy.
Conclusion. The study substantiated the need to implement a project to transform the Southwest State University into a university center for innovation, technological, and social development, identifying major directions for university transformation in the context of economic digitalization.

Keywords: university, transformation, digitalization, higher education system, regional development

Citation: Vertakova Yu. V. Rol’ universitetov v protsessakh tsifrovoy transformatsii ekonomiki [The Role of Universities in the Digital Transformation of the Economy]. Ekonomika i Upravlenie, 2018, no. 7 (153), pp. 54–64.

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