Alleviating higher education challenges through strategic integration of technology: a case of selected universities in Africa.
Abatan, Omotayo Kayode.
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The higher education sector in Africa is evolving and information technology continues to play a key role in driving these changes. Information and communications technologies are improving the creation and transmission of knowledge. This is attributed to the way people learn and create ideas as well as disseminate information within the educational environment and in the public sphere. In this study, an exploratory research was conducted to identify and understand the challenges and opportunities associated with information technology integration in higher education. A survey of 592 staff at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and University of South Africa was undertaken to address the research problem. The study makes use of a blend of theoretical frameworks to provide the foundation for identifying, proposing, planning and suggesting information technology strategies that can be integrated into higher education to alleviate higher education challenges in order to enhance teaching and learning outcomes. The three models used are: The Change Management Model; Model of Technology Adoption in the Classroom; and the Diffusion of Innovation Theory. The study evaluates the role of ICTs in higher education and also identified issues, challenges and instances of ICT strategic integration in higher education institutions at the selected universities in Africa. In the process of understanding the strategic integration of information technology in higher education institutions at the selected universities, the study identified what was considered successful technology integration strategies, what were not as successful, and why this was the case. The study further identified the factors that influence information technology integration in higher education. Having identified the limitations to technology integration and the significance of information technology in higher education at the selected universities, the study proffered recommendations and proposed a strategic framework. The framework offers strategies for the integration of information technology into higher education which can be used to alleviate higher education challenges, enhance teaching and learning outcomes, sustain the integrated information technologies and achieve ICTs promised benefits to higher education.