1 University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Economics Subotica (SERBIA)
2 Academy of Technical-Educational Vocational Studies – Department of Vranje (SERBIA)
3 Universite EDUCONS (SERBIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2024 Proceedings
Publication year: 2024
Pages: 7284-7290
ISBN: 978-84-09-59215-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2024.1913
Conference name: 18th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-6 March, 2024
Location: Valencia, Spain
Universities affect their communities and ecosystems both directly and indirectly. The strategic plans of Serbian universities with Higher Education Council accreditation were thoroughly examined within this context. An ecosystem where digital technologies are used more efficiently and extensively is necessary for the ideal of a more sustainable environment and a world with happy people.

This study's main aim was to discover how universities in Serbia predict the digital age via the emphasis they place on digital themes in their future plans.
Study design/methodology/approach: The content analysis technique utilized within the scope of document analysis was chosen as the best method to satisfy this study's objectives.

The study found five main themes regarding the future of higher education based on codes obtained from university strategic plans. Digital transformation, digital campus, digital education, digital infrastructure, and future-focused units were these themes. We analyzed the content of these five areas in connection with four types of universities around the country to see if there was a significant difference in attitude towards the digital age. Only future-focused units significantly distinguished these four types of universities, it was found. It was evident that studied universities were focused on supporting the quality of education with advanced technology and increasingly effective education solutions in their future plans.

Limitations/future research:
The research primarily examined the digital age themes that are evident in the strategic plans of universities. Academic studies for future research may involve an examination of the content of strategic plans in relation with different themes and categorizations. The collected results might be subjected to comparisons in order to assess the effectiveness of strategic plans.

Originality/Value of paper:
To find answers to the questions presented at the outset of our research process, concepts relevant to future plans were scanned for in each strategic plan, and the findings of these scans were tabulated. There were specific work units referenced in the future plans of universities that are directly related to the digital era. Due to the specific skills that individuals in these units possess and the unique tasks they do, these units were identified with the future. This study’s findings suggest that the digital transformation components of the strategic plans of Serbian universities did not differ by university group. “Innovation” was the most frequent digital transformation term referenced by Serbian universities in their strategic plans. The scientific infrastructure and transformation potential of the innovation notion make it acceptable as the foundational concept of digital transformation in this country's universities.
Strategic plans, universities, digital age, content analysis.