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Uses of Information and Communication Technologies in Europe's Higher Education Institutions: From Digital Divides to Digital Trajectories

  • Adel Ben Youssef


    (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis)

  • Ludovic Ragni


    (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis)

ABSTRACT This paper has two objectives, firstly, to identify the three basic levels of educational digital divides and to discuss them in the context of the European Union, and secondly, to develop an alternative hypothesis for educational digital trajectories instead of looking at educational divides.Section one identifies the three levels of digital divides. The first level of educational digital divide concerns differences in ICT equipment. We identify the sources and the mechanisms that help to bridge this divide (Market Dynamics and Public Policies). Then, focussing on the second level of digital divide (usages divide) we analyse why this seems to be the main problem nowadays in Europe. Finally, a third level of digital divide concerns the performance of ICT in education. We give some possible explanations for the productivity paradox which is observed in European higher education.Section two is devoted to the explanation of the diversity of usage of ICT between countries and universities. ICT allows different contextualisation and adaptation to the local context. Universities are developing several digital trajectories and instead of benchmarking universities we look at the explanations for this diversity. Two key elements were explored here: competition strategy of universities and students' attitudes towards the technologies.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00937212.

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Date of creation: 24 Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in RUSC: Universities and Knowledge Society Journal, Fundació Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 2008, 5 (1), pp.72-84. <10.7238/rusc.v5i1.327>
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00937212
DOI: 10.7238/rusc.v5i1.327
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  1. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001. "How To Compete: The Impact Of Workplace Practices And Information Technology On Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 434-445, August.
  2. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1992. "General Purpose Technologies "Engines of Growth?"," NBER Working Papers 4148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "The Architecture of Economic Systems: Hierarchies and Polyarchies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 716-27, September.
  4. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
  5. Kim Sosin & Betty J. Lecha & Rajshree Agarwal & Robin L. Bartlett & Joseph I. Daniel, 2004. "Efficiency in the Use of Technology in Economic Education: Some Preliminary Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 253-258, May.
  6. Byron W. Brown & Carl E. Liedholm, 2002. "Can Web Courses Replace the Classroom in Principles of Microeconomics?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 444-448, May.
  7. Adel Ben Youssef, 2004. "Les quatre dimensions de la fracture numérique," Post-Print halshs-00937293, HAL.
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  9. repec:oup:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:4:p:1449-1492 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. repec:oup:qjecon:v:113:y:1998:i:4:p:1055-1089 is not listed on IDEAS
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