The French Thematic Digital Universities – A 360° Perspective on Open and Digital Learning

Deborah Arnold
AUNEGE, France


This paper presents a 360° analysis of the role of the French Thematic Digital Universities, national consortia of Higher Education Institutions, from the perspectives of policy (macro), institutions (meso) and support for digital teaching and learning (micro). We trace the history of the development of these organisations since their creation in 2005, including insights from a recent report by the General Inspection of the Administration of National Education and Research, highlight the interactions between international, national and local initiatives and provide concrete examples of how the Thematic Digital Universities are contributing to the development of Open and Digital Learning. Key questions include how to reinforce the visibility and reputation of these consortia, including recognition of their transversal role in the French higher education landscape, how to develop engagement with Open Educational Resources and Practices on the part of both teachers and students and how to contribute to furthering interdisciplinary research in the field.

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