Digitalisation of Higher Education in Zimbabwe: A Challenging Necessity and Emerging Solutions

Authors

  • Charles Nherera University of Zimbabwe
  • Ms Fungai Mukora University of Zimbabwe

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v16i2.6040

Keywords:

digitalisation, economic development, Education 5.0, e-learning, government policy, industrialisation, innovation, higher education institutions, Zimbabwe

Abstract

This article examines the current thrust to digitalize higher education in Zimbabwe as the country strives to attain its vision to become an upper middle-income economy by 2030. In this regard, Innovation and Industrialisation have been added as missions of special emphasis at all education levels. This entailed that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) adopt the Education 5.0 model and accelerate digitalisation of their operations and curricula. Further impetus of the digitalisation drive emerged from the responses to the COVID-19, such as lockdowns and travel restrictions. This article examines the policy framework that was put in place to digitalise curricula and operation systems in HEIs. A desk review of literature was conducted to examine efforts underway to embrace digitalisation as a new feature and future of higher education. The study established that the majority of institutions have tended to adopt externally developed digitilisation models without adequately adapting them to local circumstances. The study recommends the need for distinct digitalisation policies at both Ministry and HEIs levels, to guide and prepare for the ‘disruptive’ effects of digitalisation.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Ms Fungai Mukora, University of Zimbabwe

Dean, Faculty of Computer Engineering, Informatics and Communications, University of Zimbabwe

References

Abdulrahim, H., & Mabrouk, F. (2020). COVID-19 and the digital transformation of Saudi higher education. Asian Journal of Distance Education, 15(1), 291-306. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3895768

Alhumaid, K., Ali, S., Waheed, A., Zahid, E., & Habes, M. (2020). COVID-19 & e-learning: Perceptions & attitudes of teachers towards e-learning acceptance in the developing countries. Multicultural Education, 6(2), 100-115. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4060121

Borgman, C. L. (2018). Open data, grey data, and stewardship: Universities at the privacy frontier. Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 33(2), 365-412. https://doi.org/10.15779/Z38B56D489

Brand, J. E., & Todhunter, S. (2016). Digital Australia Report 2016. Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) http://www.igea.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Digital-Australia-2016-DA16-Final.pdf

Brohi, S. N. & Zaman, N. (2020, May 12). Ten deadly cybersecurity threats amid COVID-19 pandemic. TechRxiv. https://doi.org/10.36227/techrxiv.12278792.v1

Chirume, S. (2020). Sustainable professional development of primary school mathematics teachers in Zimbabwe through philosophy of education 5.0: Challenges and prospects. Sumerianz Journal of Social Science, 3(12), 150-161. http://dx.doi.org/10.47752/sjss.312.150.161

Dinh, L. P., & Nguyen, T. T. (2020). Pandemic, social distancing, and social work education: Students’ satisfaction with online education in Vietnam. Social Work Education, 39(8), 1074-1083. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2020.1823365

Edet, A. O., & Ekpoh, U. I. (2017). Administrative challenges of academic heads of department in tertiary institutions in Cross River State. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 8(2), 129-135. http://dx.doi.org/10.5901/mjss.2017.v8n2p129

Farnell, T., Skledar Matijevic, A. & Šćukanec Schmidt, N. (2021). The impact of COVID-19 on higher education: A review of emerging evidence – analytical report. European Commission.

Flores, N. (2016). A tale of two visions: Hegemonic whiteness and bilingual education. Educational Policy, 30(1), 13-38. https://doi.org/10.1177/0895904815616482

Fouad, N. S. (2021). Securing higher education against cyberthreats: from an institutional risk to a national policy challenge. Journal of Cyber Policy, 6(2), 137-154. https://doi.org/10.1080/23738871.2021.1973526

Gisbert, M. & Lázaro, J. L. (2020). De las aulas a los espacios globales para el aprendizaje [From the classrooms to the global spaces for learning]. Barcelona: Octaedro.

Godin, B. (2018). The Spirit of Innovation. INRS

Guvhu, R. and Museva, L. (2020, September 12). Exploring management styles of university department chairpersons in improving the quality of education in Zimbabwe. International Conference on Business Management, Innovation & Sustainability 2020. https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3713833

Händel, M., Stephan, M., Gläser-Zikuda, M., Kopp, B., Bedenlier, S., & Ziegler, A. (2020). Digital readiness and its effects on higher education students’ socio-emotional perceptions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 54(2), 267-280. https://doi.org/10.1080/15391523.2020.1846147

Humayun, M. (2020). Blockchain-based secure framework for e-learning during COVID-19. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 13(12), 1328-1341. https://doi.org/10.17485/IJST/v13i12.152

Gilbert, P. (2021, December 04). Sub-Saharan Africa has world’s most expensive data prices. Connecting Africa. https://www.connectingafrica.com/author.asp?section_id=761&doc_id=768680

Kiriti-Nganga, T. B., & Mbithi, M. (2021). The digital trade era – opportunities and challenges for developing countries: The case of Kenya. In M. Smeets (Ed.), Adapting to the digital trade era: Challenges and Opportunities (pp. 93-115). World Trade Organization.

Lisene, L. N., & Jita, T. (2018). Exploring the integration of modern technologies in the teaching of physical science in Lesotho. Perspectives in Education, 36(1), 111-127. http://dx.doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v36i1.8

Lépine, V. and Martin-Juchat, F. (2020). Communicational issues of partnership research in the context of open lab. Communiquer, 30(30), 71-88. https://journals.openedition.org/communiquer/7396

Manalu, E. P., Muditomo, A., Adriana, D., & Trisnowati, Y. (2020, 13-14 August). Role of information technology for successful responses to covid-19 pandemic. 2020 International Conference on Information Management and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICIMTech50083.2020.9211290

Mhlanga, D., Denhere, V., & Moloi, T. (2022) COVID-19 and the Key Digital Transformation Lessons for Higher Education Institutions in South Africa. Educational Science, 12(7), 464. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12070464

Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development (2019). Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023. https://planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/en/2019/strategic-plan-2019-2023-7206

Ministry of Information Technology, Postal and Courier Services. Zimbabwe National Policy for ICT 2016. https://www.veritaszim.net/sites/veritas_d/files/Zimbabwe%20National%20Policy%20for%20ICT%202016.pdf

Morgan, H. (2022). Conducting a Qualitative Document Analysis. The Qualitative Report, 27(1), 64-77. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2022.5044

Mpofu, F. Y. & Amos Mpofu, A. (2023). The Covid-19 pandemic and digital transformation in Zimbabwean state universities: Opportunities, challenges, and implications for the transition to online learning. International Journal of Social Science Research and Review, 6(3), 64-88. http://dx.doi.org10.47814/ijssrr.v6i3.957

Muchemwa, S. (2017). University quality assurance in Zimbabwe: A case of Solusi University. International Journal of Social Sciences and Educational Studies, 4(1), 93-103. https://doi.org/10.23918/ijsses.v4i1p93

Ndume, V., Tilya, F. N., & Twaakyondo, H. (2008). Challenges of adaptive e-learning at higher learning institutions: A case study in Tanzania. International Journal of Computing and ICT Research, 2(1), 47-59.

Ng, H. W., Nguyen, V. D., Vonikakis, V., & Winkler, S. (2015, November 9). Deep learning for emotion recognition on small datasets using transfer learning. 2015 ACM on international conference on multimodal interaction. https://doi.org/10.1145/2818346.2830593

Nie, N. H., & Erbring, L. (2000). Our shrinking social universe. Public Perspective, 11(3), 44-45. https://ropercenter.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/2018-07/113044.pdf

Ozili, P. K. (2020). Contesting digital finance for the poor. Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, 22(2), 135-151. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/DPRG-12-2019-0104

Peters, M. A., & Roberts, P. (2015). Virtues of Openness: Education, Science, and Scholarship in the Digital Age. Routledge.

Peterson, D. (2016). EdTech and Student Privacy: California Law as a Model. University of California, Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 31, 961-996. http://dx.doi.org/10.15779/Z38T840

Reimers, F. M., & Schleicher, A. (2020). A framework to guide an education response to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. OECD

Remko, V. H. (2020). Research opportunities for a more resilient post-COVID-19 supply chain–closing the gap between research findings and industry practice. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 40(4), 341-355. http://www.doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-03-2020-0165

Republic of Zimbabwe (2020). Towards a Prosperous & Empowered Upper Middle-Income Society by 2030: National Development Strategy 1, January 2021–December 2025. https://www.veritaszim.net/sites/veritas_d/files/NDS.pdf

Shehzadi, S., Nisar, Q. A., Hussain, M. S., Basheer, M. F., Hameed, W. U., & Chaudhry, N. I. (2021). The role of digital learning toward students' satisfaction and university brand image at educational institutes of Pakistan: a post-effect of COVID-19. Asian Education and Development Studies, 10(2), 276-294. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEDS-04-2020-0063

Singar, A. V., & Akhilesh, K. B. (2020). Role of cyber-security in higher education. Smart Technologies: Scope and Applications, 249-264. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-13-7139-4_19

Thuy, N. T. H. (2019). Research on e-learning activities of students – case study on Thu Dau Mot University, Vietnam. European Journal of Research and Reflection in Educational Sciences, 7(12), 1097-1115.

Tichenor, P. J., Donohue, G. A., & Olien, C. N. (1970). Mass media flow and differential growth in knowledge. Public Opinion Quarterly, 34(2), 159-170. https://doi.org/10.1086/267786

Tsvuura, G., & Ngulube, P. (2020). Digitalisation of records and archives at two selected state universities in Zimbabwe. Journal of The South African Society of Archivists, 53, 20-34. https://doi.org/10.4314/jsasa.v53i1.2

UNCTAD (2018). Technology and innovation report 2018: Harnessing frontier technologies for sustainable development. https://unctad.org/publication/technology-and-innovation-report-2018

Wang, L., & Alexander, A. C. (2021). Cyber security during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aims Electronics and Electrical Engineering, 5(2). 146-157 http://dx.doi.org/10.3934/electreng.2021008.

Downloads

Published

2024-05-22

How to Cite

Nherera, C., & Mukora, F. N. . (2024). Digitalisation of Higher Education in Zimbabwe: A Challenging Necessity and Emerging Solutions. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v16i2.6040

Issue

Section

Empirical Article