The Use of ICT for Tertiary Education in Agriculture and Research in Swaziland: The Case of University of Swaziland (UNISWA) Students

Micah Bheki Masuku, Raufu M. O., Tijani A. A.

Abstract


The primary goal of universities is to teach, provide community service, and conduct research. Empirical evidence has shown that innovative research can best be conducted with the aid of ICT. This study therefore, examines factors affecting the use of ICT for tertiary education and research for development among UNISWA students in the Faculty of Agriculture. Stratified random sampling technique was employed to select 113 UNISWA undergraduate and postgraduate students from whom data were obtained using structured questionnaires. Descriptive statistics and Tobit regression model were used to analyse the data.

The results revealed that the radio and television, audio-graphic, email, computer file transfer and multimedia products were the main ICT facilities available. Accessing research and relevant materials online and the use of ICT in improving efficiency of communication among students and lecturers were ranked high by the respondents. Weak wireless services and unemployment were the greatest challenges to the use of ICT facilities by students. Estimated Tobit regression results revealed that availability, accessibility and necessity for ICT facilities significantly influenced their use for learning and research among the undergraduate students while family size, availability, necessity and proficiency were the main factors affecting the use of ICT facilities among the postgraduate students.

In order to encourage the use of ICT among UNISWA students, the study is therefore recommending that (i) The university authorities should make ICT facilities available and accessible to all categories of students, (ii) Departments should incorporate the use of ICT facilities into their curriculum, and (iii) lecturers should give ICT based assignments and use ICT-based teaching methods.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jas.v4i1.8142

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Journal of Agricultural Studies   ISSN 2166-0379

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