Digital Transformation Policy

Current capacity and available resources

The current state of the IT infrastructure of the university can be characterized by the following indicators:

  • More than 90% of the computer equipment used in the educational process was purchased in the period before 2014. Updating of personal computers and software versions is required to ensure the specified quality of IT infrastructure;
  • The share of classrooms equipped with multimedia presentation equipment in the total number of classrooms is 17.5%[1]. It is necessary to increase the number of interactive panels, which will improve the quality of the educational process, including through the use of online courses provided by partner universities;
  • The educational process in the remote mode is implemented only with the use of foreign free video conferencing services. The risk of imposing restrictions on the use of such services in the educational process requires a transition to alternative solutions available on the Russian market;
  • The share of classrooms with Internet access via Wi-Fi network is 10%[2]. Access to Wi-Fi-network is provided only to the employees of the university;
  • The intra-university local network is not segmented into subnets; its security is at a low level, while the share of academic computers connected to the network is 98.5%.
  • Information security tasks are mainly focused on the technical support of information systems, working with means of cryptographic protection of information.

The “Directum” electronic document management system is implemented in ASU, the share of administrative and managerial staff with access to EDMS is 27.3%. At the same time, many scientific, administrative and household tasks in ASU are not automated. Most business processes involve working only with paper documents, which significantly increases the time of approval and execution of tasks.

Over the past 10 years the number of objects connected to the IT-infrastructure[4] of the University has significantly increased, the load on computing power and data transmission channels has increased, the number of information systems in use has increased. The proposed reorganization of ASU through the joining of Astrakhan State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering will entail an additional increase in the load and will require solutions to the problems of network infrastructure integration and organization of export-import of data between information systems.

Key areas of digital transformation

  • Stage I (short-term perspective of 1-2 years):
  • The IT-infrastructure updating to the specified quality parameters (100% updating of the training PCs of average performance, equipping 40% of classrooms with multimedia equipment, the formation of a mobile computer reserve – up to 40% of the teaching staff).
  • Transition to the use of domestic software, including operating systems and office applications. Providing at least 40% of the faculty with videoconferencing licenses.
  • Modernization of the local ASU network and expansion of Wi-Fi coverage in the academic buildings to 100%.
  • Improvement of digital literacy of teaching staff – implementation of professional development programs aimed at the formation of digital economy competencies (increase in the proportion of the teaching staff who have undergone retraining or advanced training in mastering digital tools to 100%).

Stage II (Medium-term perspective 3-5 years)

  • University business processes transformation, the transition to task automation at the university using robotic software (Robotic process automation), reducing the processing time of standard documents.
  • Design and implementation of a universal integration data exchange bus of university information systems, which will increase the efficiency of data use and provide a single entry point for obtaining information about the current state of educational, scientific, administrative and economic processes. Unification of information entities and data types used in the university information systems, creating opportunities for seamless integration with information systems and services of the RF Ministry of Education and Science and partner universities.
  • Organization of the rector’s situation center (which provides receiving and analytical processing of a set of operational data from the university’s information systems) to monitor and support management decision-making.
  • Providing university faculty with a technical and technological base that enables them to participate in the creation of digital content for educational activities.
  • Providing stable wireless Internet access for students campus-wide.
  • Development of a set of programs to continuously improve the digital literacy of university employees.

Stage III (Long-term perspective 6-10):

  • Transition of the university to a single integrated solution to computerize all business processes of the university, optimize the administrative staff maintaining the educational process.
  • Providing the university professors with a technical and technological base that will enable them to participate in the creation of digital content using augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) tools;
  • Providing university researchers with access to virtual laboratories, including augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) facilities;
  • Implementation of the Smart Campus system using artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), digital controllers, the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to improve the efficiency of the university’s engineering networks and the campus as a whole.

Expected outcome

The implementation of a digital transformation policy will have the following outcome:

  • High level of equipment of teachers, research staff, administrative staff and students with modern technical means, the ability of IT-infrastructure of the university to provide educational, scientific and administrative processes without interruptions and limitations in the 24*7 mode.
  • The availability of digital services that enable the formation of a digital profile and record the digital footprint of the student to form individual educational trajectories, develop supraprofessional skills, and get involved in innovative scientific and entrepreneurial projects.
  • Formation of individual educational trajectories, based on the use of digital tools, including with artificial intelligence technologies.
  • Expanding the range of educational content through the introduction of augmented and virtual reality technologies, video games, simulators, digital simulators in the educational process, creating a new generation of textbooks and teaching materials with AR/VR, as well as integration into the ASU educational process online courses of partner universities.
  • High level of digital economy competencies among university students and compliance of ASU graduates with the employers’ demand for digital technology skills.
  • High level of digital literacy of ASU professors, enabling the wide use of modern educational technologies and digital tools for the generation of educational content, in Russian and foreign languages, demanded in Russia and foreign countries.
  • Improving the efficiency of management decisions at the university through the use of data-driven management using the “Smart Campus” system, IoT, a single data exchange bus between information systems of the university, operational control in the rector’s situation center.

[1] Currently, the university has prepared a digital development program for 2021, the implementation of which will result in an indicator of 28.3%.

[2] In 2021, the purchase of cross connect equipment is planned and funded, which will increase the figure to 50%.

[3] As part of the program of digital development in 2021 it is planned to implement “Russian Moodle” LMS in order to expand the functionality of the LMS. Read more –

[4] In 2016, the TP educational building was commissioned, and new locations were introduced.