E-Readiness 2008 - Purpose and Participants
Foundation to support the implementation of the East African Universities ICT Accession Project. This project was a follow-up of an E-readiness survey of Higher Education Institutions in Kenya that was conducted in the academic year 2006/2007. The project covered Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.
This Accession Project had the following components:
- Detailed e-readiness assessment of about 50 universities in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Data will be collected to measure 17 ICT indicators of readiness that have been developed by researchers from KENET member institutions.
- Development of roadmaps for accession to higher state of e-readiness of East African universities
- Dissemination of e-readiness survey results and roadmaps to Vice Chancellors and senior leadership of East African universities
- Revision and development of detailed ICT strategies for up to 10 universities in East African that will be selected on the basis of the e-readiness survey results.
- Selection and partial funding of at least two innovative e-learning projects. Universities will be invited to submit proposals for partial or challenge funding. The projects could be in any degree area but emphasis will be e-learning projects that support teaching and learning of degree-level science and technology courses.
To facilitate coordination of the project in the different countries, KENET was working with the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in the respective countries. Associate Researchers from the participating NRENs were recruited to this end.
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.
The 2006 e-readiness survey introduced 15 strategic sub-indicators. The 2008 survey for Kenyan universities did not show any significant accession to higher stages. This would suggest that most the Kenyan universities were not tracking the strategic sub-indicators and that ICT was still not considered a strategic tool by the university leadership. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that even universities that had adopted some of the 2006 survey recommendations were only using a few of the 15 strategic sub-indicators.
This was the second detailed e-readiness survey of universities in Kenya but the first for the other East African countries. Although Kenyan universities found it relatively easy to complete the hard facts questionnaires, getting student enrollment and financial data, still posed a challenge. For the other universities, completing the financial data was very challenging, as had been the case for Kenya in 2006. This was partly due to lack of integrated information system, but the relatively low profile of the heads of ICT who mainly focused on technical rather than business issues.
This survey was an accession project that developed generic roadmaps that most of the universities could use for accession to higher stages. Ten universities were selected that would participate in the development of institutional roadmaps to help in refining of the indicators. A time series of the data would show how the indicators are changing in response to the staging analysis.
Stages of the Project
- Invitation to participate in the Project
- Recruitment of Assosciate Researchers
- Selection of Universities
- Data Collection
- Data Analysis
- Report Release
Invitation of Universities to Participate in Project
The Accession Project provided for 50 universities in EA to participate. Universities were invited to apply to join the project. The process of invitation was carried out by placing advertisements in the leading newspapers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. In addition individual universities were invited by way of directed letters to the vice chancellors of all universities. The communication to the institutions was carried out jointly with the NRENs in all the countries.
After the expiry of the deadline for applications a total of 68 universities had formally expressed interest in participating in the project by submitting a signed application form. In addition to expressing interest in the project, the institutional heads also committed to provide data for the first stage of the project. A final list received from all countries was compiled on 20th August 2008.
A per country summary of applications was as follows:
- Burundi: 6
- Kenya: 26
- Rwanda: 9
- Tanzania: 13
- Uganda: 14
- Prof. Meoli Kashorda
- Prof. Tim Waema
- Dr. Patrick Mangheni - Uganda
- Ms. Magreth Mushi - Tanzania
- Mr. Albert Nsengiyumva - Rwanda
- Mr. Albert Nsengiyumva - Burundi
- John Matogo
- Caleb Ouma
- Robert Kimiti