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  • Research Articles
  • Open Access

Innovation in Ibero-American Universities

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201310:10010240

  • Received: 15 October 2011
  • Accepted: 15 March 2012
  • Published:


Innovation in universities is not a new object of study. Indeed, such innovation used to be considered an individual, sporadic and isolated phenomenon. This article presents it as a fundamental process for the transformation of today’s universities, which are essential instruments for promoting the major social and scientific changes that will be required to progress effectively towards the future information and knowledge society (Castells, 2001). Research and graduate studies are key elements for underpinning innovation, as are pertinence, virtualisation and integration (Casas, 2005).

The globalisation process is irreversible. It transforms societies, changing them at an unequal yet very dynamic pace. Universities become an indispensable instrument for supporting and replicating change. Education systems must shift towards the knowledge society and generate the meaningful knowledge it needs. Innovation should be understood as a process and not simply as a product. The crucial part of educational innovation will involve not only training teachers to use ICTs, but also changing the educational paradigm of their teaching practice, in order to build an organisational model that allows them to adapt to their complex, changing environment.


  • globalisation
  • knowledge
  • online distance education
  • innovation