Digitalization of Higher Education in Ethiopia

Authors

  • Abebaw Yirga Adamu Addis Ababa University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v16i2.5978

Keywords:

digital transformation, digitalization, Ethiopia, higher education, ICT

Abstract

This paper examines the digitalization of higher education in Ethiopia. It mainly focuses on better understanding the policies, practices, and challenges of digitalization of higher education in the country. The necessary data were mainly generated from continental, national, and institutional policy and strategy documents. Publicly available transnational and national reports and other documents and the author’s views and lived experiences were also used to substantiate data generated through policy review. The data were analyzed using deductive thematic analysis. The themes were mainly developed based on prior research and existing literature. The findings indicate that there are sufficient and feasible policies and strategies to promote and ensure the digitalization of higher education in Ethiopia. The findings also reveal that there are initiatives that promote the practice of digitalization of higher education. However, poor internet connection, lack of adequate ICT infrastructure, lack of skilled human resources, and staff resistance to change were found to be the major barriers to enhancing the digitalization of higher education in Ethiopian higher education. The results imply that having feasible policies and strategies is a necessary but insufficient condition to ensure effective implementation of digitalization of higher education. It necessitates the government’s commitment as well as a shift in focus from the expansion of HEIs, which was the case in the last two decades, to ensuring the quality and relevance of HEIs through digital transformation.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Adame, B. O. (2021). The Ethiopian telecom industry: Gaps and recommendations towards meaningful connectivity and a thriving digital ecosystem. Heliyon, 7(10), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e08146

Adamu, A.Y. (2022). Women’s leadership in Ethiopian higher education: Development, contribution, quality, and preference. Bahir Dar Journal of Education, 22(1), 39-55.

Adamu, A. Y. (2021, October 28). Government change sets off and intensifies challenges in HE. University World News. https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php? story=20211024080 710189

African Union. (2016). The continental education strategy (2016-2025). Addis Ababa: African Union.

African Union. (2020). The digital transformation strategy for Africa (2020-2030). Addis Ababa: African Union.

Alemayehu, F. (2010). The practice of opting for open source solutions in higher education institutions of Ethiopia [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Addis Ababa University.

Alemu, B. M. (2015). Integrating ICT into teaching-learning practices: Promise, challenges, and future directions of higher educational institutes. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 3(3), 170-189. https://doi.org/10.13189/ujer.2015.030303

Bashir, S. (2020). Connecting Africa’s universities to affordable high-speed broadband internet: What will it take?. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Bekele, T. A. (2021). COVID-19 and the prospect of online learning in higher education in Africa. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 13(5), 243-253. https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v13i5.4060

Borte, K., Nesje, K., & Lillejord, S. (2020). Barriers to student active learning in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517. 2020.1839746

Bygstad, B., Øvrelid, E., Ludvigsen, S., & Dæhlen, M. (2022). From dual digitalization to digital learning space: Exploring the digital transformation of higher education. Computer and Education, 182, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2022

Castro, L. M., Tamayo, J. A., Arango, M. D., Branch, J. W., & Burgos, D. (2020). Digital transformation in higher education institutions: A systematic literature review. Sensors, 20(3291), 1-22. https://doi:10.3390/s20113291

Chankseliani, M., Qoraboyev, I., & Gimranova, D. (2021). Higher education contributing to local, national, and global development: new empirical and conceptual insights. Higher Education, 81, 109-127. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-020-00565-8

Crawford, J., Butler Henderson, K., Rudolph, J., Malkawi, B., Glowatz, M., Burton, R. & Lam, S. (2020). COVID-19: 20 countries' higher education intra-period digital pedagogy responses. Journal of Applied Learning and Teaching, 3(1), 1-20. https://doi.org/10.37074/jalt.2020.3.1.7

Dick, G., Akbulut, A. Y., & Matta, V. (2020). Teaching and learning transformation in the time of the Coronavirus crisis. Journal of Information Technology Case and Application Research, 22(4), 243-255. https://doi.org/10.1080/15228053.2020. 1861420

Ergado, A. A., Desta, A. & Mehta, H. (2021). Determining the barriers contributing to ICT implementation by using technology-organization-environment framework in Ethiopian higher educational institutions. Education and Information Technologies, 26, 3115-3133. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-020-10397-9

Fareen, J. A. M. (2022). Digital learning in higher education: A road to transformation and reform. European Journal of Interactive Multimedia and Education 3(1), e02206. https://doi.org/10.30935/ejimed/11493

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. (1994). Education and training policy. Addis Ababa: St. George Printing Press.

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. (2015). Education sector development plan V (2015/16-2019/20). Addis Ababa: Ministry of Education.

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. (2016). The national information and communication technology (ICT) policy and strategy. Addis Ababa: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. (2019). Communications service proclamation - proclamation No.1148/2019. Federal Negarit Gazette, 82, 11538-11577.

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. (2020a). A homegrown economic reform agenda: A pathway to prosperity. Addis Ababa: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. (2020b). Digital Ethiopia 2025: A digital strategy for Ethiopia’s inclusive prosperity. Addis Ababa: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. (2020c). Ten years development plan: A pathway to prosperity. Addis Ababa: Planning and Development Commission.

Ferede, B., Elen, J., Van Petegem, W., Bekele, A., & Goeman, K. (2022). Determinants of instructors’ educational ICT use in Ethiopian higher education. Education and Information Technologies, 27, 917-936. doi.org/10.1007/s10639-021-10606-z

Foley, M. (2016). The role and status of national research and education networks (NRENs) in Africa. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Gillwald, A., Moyo, M., & Stork, C. (2012). Understanding what is happening in ICT in South Africa: A supply- and demand side analysis of the ICT sector. https://www. researchgate.net/publication/291345764_Understanding_what_is_happening_in_ICT_in_South_Africa_Evidence_for_ICT_Policy_Action/citations

Grajek, S., & Reinitz, B. (2019). Getting ready for digital transformation: Change your culture, workforce, and technology. EDUCAUSE. https://er.educause.edu/articles /2019/7/getting-ready-for-digital-transformation-change-your-culture-workforce-and-technology

International Telecommunication Union. (2018). ICTs, LDCs, and the SDGs achieving universal and affordable Internet in the least developed countries. https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/LDCs/Pages/Publications/ LDCs/D-LDC-ICTLDC-2018-PDF-E.pdf

International Telecommunication Union. (2021). Measuring digital development: Facts and figures 2021. https://www.itu.int/ en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/facts/default.aspx

International Telecommunication Union /UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. (2019). The state of broadband: Broadband as a foundation for sustainable development. https://www. itu.int/pub/S-POL-BROADBAND.20-2019

Jensen, T. (2019). Higher education in the digital era: The current state of transformation around the world. Paris: International Association of Universities.

Kaputa V., Loučanová, E., & Tejerina-Gaite, F. A. (2022). Digital transformation in higher education institutions as a driver of social-oriented innovations. In C. Păunescu, K. Lepik, & N. Spencer (Eds.), Social innovation in higher education landscape, practices, and opportunities (pp. 61-85). Springer.

Kemp, S. (2022, February 15). Digital 2022: Ethiopia. https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2022-ethiopia.

Kholiavko, N., Djakona, A, Dubyna, M, Zhavoronok, A., & Lavrov, R. (2020). The higher education adaptability to the digital economy. Bulletin of National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 4(386), 294-306. https://doi.org/10.32014/ 2020.2518-1467.130 UDC 330.101

Martínez-Pérez, S., & Rodríguez-Abitia, G. (2021). A roadmap for digital transformation of Latin American Universities. In D. Burgos & J. W. Branch (Eds.), Radical solutions for digital transformation in Latin American Universities: Artificial intelligence and technology 4.0 in higher education (pp. 19-36). Springer.

Ministry of Education. (2018). Ethiopian education development roadmap (2018-2030). Addis Ababa: Ministry of Education

Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. (2006). A plan for accelerated and sustained development to end poverty (2005/6-2009/10). Addis Ababa: Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Mohamed, H., M., Tlemsani, I. & Matthews, R. (2022). Higher education strategy in digital transformation. Education and Information Technologies, 27, 3171–3195. https:// doi.org/10.1007/s10639-021-10739-1

Mok, K. H. (2008). Singapore’s global education hub ambitions: University governance change and transnational higher education. International Journal of Educational Management, 22(6), 527–546. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513540810895444

Molla, T. (2018). Higher education in Ethiopia: Structural inequalities and policy responses. Springer.

Ministry of Science and Higher Education. (2020a). Institutional ICT policy for higher education in Ethiopia.

Ministry of Science and Higher Education. (2020b). Differentiating the higher education system of Ethiopia: Study report.

Ministry of Science and Higher Education. (2020c). Digital skills country action plan for higher education and TVET (2021-2030).

Ministry of Science and Higher Education. (2020d). Higher education policy and strategy.

Ministry of Science and Higher Education. (2020e). National ICT policy for higher education and TVET.

Ministry of Science and Higher Education. (2020f). National ICT strategy for higher education and TVET (2021-2030).

Ministry of Science and Higher Education. (2020g). Online higher education program accreditation directive.

Ministry of Science and Higher Education. (2019). Introduction to emerging technologies course module.

National Planning Commission. (2016). Growth and transformation plan II (GTP II) (2015/16-2019/20).

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2020). Digital transformation in the age of COVID-19: Building resilience and bridging divides, digital economy outlook 2020 supplement. www.oecd.org/digital/digital-economy-outlook-covid.pdf

Rampelt, F., Orr, D., & Knoth, A. (2019). Bologna digital 2020 white paper on digitalisation in the European higher education area. Research Document. Hochschulforum. https://hochschulforumdigitalisierung.de/de/news/white-paper-bologna-digital-2020

SIEMENS (2017). African digitalization maturity report. https://assets.new.siemens. com/siemens/assets/api/uuid:342ebb4f8c3596edb6ead62987e60ae6bea10e0d/siemens-African-digitalization-report.pdf

Tomte, C. E., Fossland, T., Aamodt, P. O., & Degn, L. (2019). Digitalisation in higher education: mapping institutional approaches for teaching and learning. Quality in Higher Education, 25(1), 98-114. https://doi.org/10.1080/13538322.2019.1603611

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2015). Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Woldegyiorgis, A. A., & Adamu, A. Y. (2022). Ethiopian higher education and the COVID-19 pandemic: Opportunities, challenges, and lessons. In F., Netswera, A. A., Woldegyiorgis, & T. Karabchunk. (Eds.), Higher education and the COVID-19 pandemic: Cross-national perspectives on the challenges and management of higher education in a time of crisis (pp. 24- 41). Brill.

World Bank and Knowledge Consulting Ltd. (2021). Feasibility study to connect all African higher education institutions to high-speed internet. Washington DC: World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/36042

World Bank. (2021). Ethiopia digital foundations project (P171034). https://documents1. worldbank.org/curated/en/421681619316030132/pdf/Ethiopia-Ethiopia-Digital-Foundations-Project.pdf

Yigezu, M. (2021). Digitalization in teaching and education in Ethiopia. Geneva: International Labour Organization.

Yonazi, E., Kelly, T., Halewood, N. & Blackman, C. (Eds.). (2012). The transformational use of information and communication technologies in Africa. Washington DC: World Bank and African Development Bank, with the African Union.

Downloads

Published

2024-05-22

How to Cite

Adamu, A. Y. (2024). Digitalization of Higher Education in Ethiopia . Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v16i2.5978

Issue

Section

Empirical Article