New information and communication technologies (ICTs), and above all the internet, hold out many promises for higher education institutions in terms of flexibility, efficiency, quality and access. The vision is that of a virtual institution. Putting the university online seeks to uncover what the pursuit of that vision means for an institution, its staff, students and other stakeholders, and consequences, intended and unintended, for the role and identity of the university. This study is based on detailed analysis of what "putting the university online" actually means for those involved and the wider institutions. James Cornford and Neil Pollock draw both on theories from the sociology of technology and on a large and diverse body of empirical research in order to explore how universities are attempting to build and use new ICTs to sit alongside, complement and, in some cases, replace established means of delivering, organizing and managing higher education. Their book should help sensitize policy makers, academics, university managers, and students to the limits to, and implications of, the pursuit of a virtual future for higher education.