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State, Adoption and Use of ICTs by Students and Academic Staff at Mzuzu University, Malawi
ARTICLE

PELIS Volume 46, Number 4, ISSN 0033-0337

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to look at the state, adoption and use of ICTs by students and academic staff at Mzuzu University. Design/methodology/approach: The research used a survey method whose study population included students, academic and library staff. Data for the study were collected using an interview guide and questionnaires. Findings: The research found out the state of ICTs at Mzuzu University was poor. In spite of this, adoption and use of ICTs was high. ICTs were mainly used for academic-related word processing tasks, including internet access. However, most of the respondents used personal laptop computers connected to an MTL/TNM/AIRTEL dongle, a personal GSM phone, or commercial internet cybercafes off campus to access the internet. The university network was not used much. Obstacles to the adoption and use of ICTs included poor network infrastructure, the limited number of computers, the high cost of internet access, persistent power outages, and the lack of relevant ICT skills, among others. Research limitations/implications: The study did not involve postgraduate students because many of them pursue their studies by research, and hence they could have been difficult to contact. Adjunct academic members of staff were also excluded because of anticipated accessibility challenges. The findings of this study, therefore, may not necessarily apply to these groups. Practical implications: The paper makes some recommendations, which, if acted upon by Mzuzu University management, would help improve the state of ICTs at the institution. Originality/value: Malawi is a country that has generally lagged behind other countries in terms of ICT adoption and use. However, the magnitude of the problem, especially in institutions of higher learning, is relatively unknown owing to the lack of research undertakings in the field. This paper is therefore valuable because it gives a clear picture of the situation on the ground, and also suggests ways of how the problems faced could be solved. (Contains 8 figures and 8 tables.)

Citation

Chaputula, A.H. (2012). State, Adoption and Use of ICTs by Students and Academic Staff at Mzuzu University, Malawi. Program: Electronic Library and Information Systems, 46(4), 364-382. Retrieved April 13, 2021 from .

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