The RUFORUM ICT Program
The RUFORUM Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Program focuses on strengthening the ICT capacity at the RUFORUM Secretariat and supporting the RUFORUM member universities to effectively harness the ICT opportunities. The program covers the following areas:
- Building the secretariat capacity to manage the information needs of the RUFORUM Secretariat and Network,
- Supporting member universities to implement technology-mediated learning, teaching and research
- Supporting the member universities to create and use open educational resources,
- Using ICT to publish and disseminate agricultural information and knowledge effectively.
The RUFORUM Secretariat views ICT as a strategic tool for effectively servicing the growing membership. The Secretariat strives to ensure that ICT opportunities are used by the network to rationalize training and research infrastructure. The Secretariat continues to think of creative ways of generating value for the member universities through the development and sharing of information products that are in line with the network member needs and are shared effectively through ICT-enabled platforms.
ICT Use and e-readiness in RUFORUM Member Universities
The RUFORUM Secretariat undertook several assessments on ICT use and e-readiness of the member universities:
- The analysis of existing ICT infrastructure & readiness for e-learning in 4 RUFORUM universities conducted in 2007 revealed that the universities visited were aware of the potential benefits of e-learning. However what was clearly lacking was a coordinated approach to implementing e-learning.
- The ICT situation analysis of 25 RUFORUM universities in 2009 found that 86% of the RUFORUM universities had campus backbones, 80% were active in National Research & Education Networks, 58% had ICT Policies in place and 60% had central ICT units to manage and monitor ICT projects. However the Colleges of Agriculture were lagging behind in use of ICT for teaching, learning and research compared to others in the same university.
- The e-learning maturity analysis of 29 RUFORUM universities in 2011 revealed that 59% member universities had placed the rationale for e-learning within an explicit institutional plan, 45% had distinct e-learning policies compared to 26 % in 2009 and 32% had specific e-learning units to implement e-learning. However teaching content from the Colleges of Agriculture was almost negligible on institutional learning management systems.
A review of the status of sharing and publishing of agricultural information and knowledge (October 2012) by the 30 RUFORUM member universities revealed that 12 universities had institutional repositories (41%). However the repositories of the 12 universities contained very small percentages of agricultural information and knowledge.