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A study on how university students in Durban, KZN, use the Internet during their spare time.

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Various studies have been conducted around the world on students and Internet usage. These studies have been conducted on students of different age groups, from entry level, up to and including students at colleges and universities. In view of studies conducted elsewhere, the researcher was keen to investigate how local students, from Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, used the Internet during their spare time. The study was a qualitative study based on the experiences of a few students who were chosen as participants using snowball sampling. The data was produced using interviews and a mini survey. Data was analysed by generating themes which emerged. The research findings indicated that students do use the Internet occasionally for educational purposes, such as research or communication with their lecturers. However, the responses revealed that they used the Internet mainly as a leisure activity. Common activities included social networking, e-mail, network games and downloading music. A disturbing find was that students had little or no knowledge regarding the legal and ethical use of the Internet. Similarly, students had minimal knowledge of netiquette. Due to the above findings, a sample Internet usage policy, a sample agreement, as well as guidelines for Internet usage (including netiquette) has been compiled as part of the recommendations for education managers to adopt in order to promote a healthy and safe culture of Internet use at their respective institutions.


Thesis (M.Ed.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2007.