Survey Report

The main purpose of this e-readiness survey was to assess the preparedness of about 50 East African universities to use information and communication technology (ICT) for teaching, learning, research, and management. It was the first phase of a two-year "Accession of East African Universities Project" that aimed to develop generic and institutional roadmaps for universities committed to achieving higher stages of e-readiness.

Specific objectives of the project

  • Conduct a diagnostic assessment of overall e-readiness of 50 universities in the five East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, with a particular focus on the use of ICT for teaching, learning, and research.
  • Develop and disseminate generic roadmaps for accession of universities to stage 4 of e-readiness, which is the highest state of readiness to use ICT, according the 2008 staging framework [Kashorda and Waema, 2008].
  • Develop institutional roadmaps for accession to stage 4 of e-readiness in 17 indicators. The would include building the capacity for the ICT leadership in 10 universities selected on a competitive basis.
  • Identify and study at least two innovative projects that demonstrate the impact of ICT on learning outcomes in any degree program offered by universities in East Africa that are committed to developing institutional roadmaps.
  • Disseminate research findings in each of the five East African countries, in international conferences and refereed journals.

This report presents the results of the first two research objectives. It is divided into three: Part 1, comprising chapters 1 to 3, covers the methodology, data collection and analysis. Part 2 comprising chapters 4 to 8, covers the results for each category of indicators, while Part 3, comprising chapters 9 to 10, presents the conclusions and generic roadmaps arising from the proposed recommendations.

This e-readiness survey was conducted by Professor Meoli Kashorda (USIU, Kenya) and Professor Timothy Waema (University of Nairobi, Kenya) assisted by a coordinator, an assistant researcher and four associate researchers from each of the participating countries who coordinated the data collection. The survey was supported by a research grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, received through the Kenya Education Network (KENET), a trust created in 1999 by Kenyan universities to provide affordable Internet services to its member institutions.

Assessment framework and key results

The assessment framework used in this survey was derived from an e-readiness assessment tool originally developed by the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University. It was the same tool used in the the 2006 e-readiness survey of Kenyan Higher Education Institutions [Kashorda, 2007], with some minor modifications. It contained 17 indicators grouped into five categories: network access, networked campus, networked learning, networked society, and institutional ICT strategy. The staging for the 17 indicators was derived from the average of up to 60 sub-indicators similarly staged on a scale of 1 to 4 using the hard facts and perceptions data collected from the 48 universities included in the survey. Stage 1 means unprepared and stage 4 is the highest stage of prepared for the particular indicator. As in the 2006 e-readiness survey, 15 strategic sub-indicators were also staged.

Data collection and analysis

Sixty-eight universities from all over East Africa applied to participate in the survey and 53 universities were selected as follows: Burundi (5), Kenya (17), Rwanda (8), Tanzania (12) and Uganda (11). However, only 49 universities successfully completed the detailed hard facts questionnaire required for the e-readiness analysis. Although the Open University of Tanzania completed the questionnaire, it was excluded from the final e-readiness analysis because analysis tools assumed a campus-based university. Therefore, 48 universities were used in the detailed analysis although perception data for all 53 universities surveyed was entered into the database.

Two detailed questionnaires were used to collect data, as follows:

  • A hard facts questionnaire that was completed by heads of ICT and other senior university administrators such as finance managers and academic registrars.
  • A perceptions questionnaire (field data) that was filled by students and staff in each of the 53 universities surveyed.

The questionnaires were administered to a statistically significant sample for each university. The total sample was 1,253 faculty members, 1,092 non-teaching staff and 24,889 students. A total of 27,234 questionnaires were completed. The data (hard facts and survey data) was entered into a Web-based database by students from the different universities and is available to each of the universities. The data was analyzed using a comprehensive staging framework developed by the research team.