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This study measures expert opinion of Pakistani higher education system (HES) experts on what role Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play in shaping the future of Pakistani HES. Suggestions are formulated in higher education (HE) policy & planning, and provision of essential technological infrastructure. For this purpose, a 35-item literature-based questionnaire was developed for modified version of Delphi study which spanned to two rounds; and administered to 30 participants randomly selected from urban and rural areas of Pakistan. Results revealed significant gaps in ICT demand and supply, ICT use, ICT-based HE problems, reasons for delays in ICT integration, and gave suggestions for developing ICT-driven HES in Pakistan. Participants suggested that an effective ICT integration in Pakistani HES will play a crucial role and brighten its future. They look it a way, how Pakistan can add his share in fostering this knowledge-based society.
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Abstract This study measures expert opinion of Pakistani
higher education system (HES) experts on what role
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play
in shaping the future of Pakistani HES. Suggestions are
formulated in higher education (HE) policy & planning, and
provision of essential technological infrastructure. For this
purpose, a 35-item literature-based questionnaire was
developed for modified version of Delphi study which spanned
to two rounds; and administered to 30 participants randomly
selected from urban and rural areas of Pakistan. Results
revealed significant gaps in ICT demand and supply, ICT use,
ICT-based HE problems, reasons for delays in ICT integration,
and gave suggestions for developing ICT-driven HES in
Pakistan. Participants suggested that an effective ICT
integration in Pakistani HES will play a crucial role and
brighten its future. They look it a way, how Pakistan can add his
share in fostering this knowledge-based society.
Index TermsHigher education, information and
communication technology, modified delphi method, Pakistan.
I. INTRODUCTION
State of any education system is determined through
quality of its HES. Developed world considers HE of utmost
importance for social/economic progress & creation of
knowledge-based society. This „new‟ society requires
embracing new development challenges & opportunities that
recent rapid evolution in ICT has brought about. Researchers
[1]-[3] suggest ICT a powerful tool in HE in less developed
countries in their study and [4]-[5] consider ICT a strong
agent for change among many educational practices
especially at HE level. Today HESs of world face diverse set
of problems, [6]-[7] found out that HESs of less developed
world are under immense external & internal pressure to
improve on their policy & delivery performance as (1) most
students enter university under-prepared; (2) growth in
enrollment; and (3) of rapidly changing society pressures due
to the emergence of ICTs in everyday life. Ather and Qamar
[8] highlighted in their research that Pakistan considers ICT
the life-line for growth in 21st century, consequently it
designed cautious ICT policies to encourage use of ICT in
education, but due to paucity of resources & political issues
such as inconsistencies in policies, the Government of
Pakistan is constrained to follow a non-optimal strategy for
enhancement in the ICT sector. Thus, for Pakistan, to succeed
Manuscript received October 18, 2012; revised December 7, 2012. This
work was supported in part by the Higher Education Commission of
Pakistan.
The authors are with the Faculty of Computer Science, Institute of
Business Administration, Karachi, Pakistan. (e-mail: zashaikh@iba.edu.pk,
skhoja@iba.edu.pk).
in 21st century, design & implementation of an effective &
robust ICT policy for its HES is critical.
II. METHODOLOGY
A 35-item instrument (32 items of Round-I and three more
suggested during Round-I responses) was designed. Using
modified Delphi method with two rounds, this study
surveyed 30 HE experts selected from five categories
faculty members, students, parents, administrative staff, and
ICT policy makers. Each one of them from: Karachi,
Islamabad, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, and
Sindh.
III. ANALYSIS OF DATA
Out of 36 participants, 30 were selected & were requested
to be there throughout the end of study. Participants included
both male & female, out of which 21 (70%) were male & 9
(30%) were female.
The Delphi instrument designed for this study consisted of
two parts in Round-I; Part-A (Questionnaire Form-1 &
Form-2) & Part- B (Suggestions/comments) & only one part
(Part-A) in Round-II. Questionnaire Form-1 asked
participants their views on which & to what extent ICTs use
today & in near future, that Faculty/Students/Staff use in their
job-related tasks & Questionnaire Form-2 focused on need of
ICTs, ICT-related problems/challenges & their solutions,
recommendations & forecast for future of HES of Pakistan.
In Round-II Questionnaire, participants were requested to
review their response with that of group mean response &
once again rate each task in order to reach on final consensus.
Any suggestions/comments given in Round-I were included
in italic print in Round-II Questionnaire. Results were
calculated and ≤ 0.5 average variability in responses was
considered for required level of consensus building process
among participants.
A. Analysis
Analysis of data is done with MS Excel; responses
percentages, mean scores for central point of data set, SD for
variability in responses and consensus of percent use or
percent agree are calculated.
Mean scores were calculated by assigning values from 5 to
1 with 5 assigned to strongly agree, 4 to agree, 3 to uncertain,
2 to disagree & 1 to strongly disagree. Table I describes
results of study in detail.
IV. FINDINGS
Please refer Table I for Question numbers & description.
Higher Education in Pakistan: An ICT Integration
Viewpoint
Zaffar Ahmed Shaikh and Shakeel Ahmed Khoja
International
Journal of Computer Theory and Engineering, Vol. 5, No. 3, June 2013
410
DOI: 10.7763/IJCTE.2013.V5.720
1) (Questions 1-10), 49% present use with mean score of
3.00 & 100% future use with mean score of 4.96 was calculated. Response rate remained around 96% in both
rounds of Delphi.
2) (Questions 11 & 12), 100% present use of common tools
with mean score of 4.97 & 50% educational /research
tools with mean score of 3.10 was calculated. And 100%
future use of common tools with 5.00 mean & 100% of
educational/research tools with mean of 5.00 was
recorded. Response rate remained 98%.
3) A consensus of 75% rely on ICTs, 75% ICT tools usage
& 75% help being provided by ICTs to
TABLE I: SHOWING DELPHI RESULTS
# ROUND-I ROUND-II
DESCRIPTION OF ITEMS Partici
pation Mean SD Conse
nsus
Partici
pation Mean SD Conse
nsus
1.
Tasks that Faculty/Students/Staff Perform in their
work Planning, Developing & Organizing instruction
Present 97% 3.43 .73 50% 100% 2.93 .45 50%
Future 100% 4.87 .35 100% 100% 5.00 .00 100%
2.
Housekeeping & Record keeping Tasks Present 100% 3.37 .81 50% 100% 3.07 .58 50%
Future 100% 4.87 .35 100% 100% 5.00 .00 100%
3.
Managing Student Conduct Present 100% 3.03 .96 50% 100% 3.07 .58 50%
Future 100% 4.73 .79 100% 100% 4.97 .18 100%
4.
Presenting Subject Material / Teaching Present 100% 3.47 .68 50% 100% 3.13 .43 50%
Future 100% 4.87 .35 100% 100% 4.97 .18 100%
5.
Assessing Student Learning Present 100% 2.77 .77 50% 100% 2.97 .49 50%
Future 100% 4.63 .61 100% 100% 4.87 .35 100%
6.
Academic Research Present 100% 2.97 .85 50% 100% 2.90 .40 50%
Future 100% 4.83 .38 100% 100% 5.00 .00 100%
7.
Administrative Support Present 100% 3.83 .79 75% 100% 3.10 .31 50%
Future 100% 4.73 .45 100% 100% 4.90 .31 100%
8.
Meeting Professional obligations / Self Study:
Using Social networks / forums in quest of knowledge
Present 97% 2.67 1.09 50% 100% 3.03 .49 50%
Future 100% 4.73 .64 100% 100% 5.00 .00 100%
9.
Database / Library Research & Information e.g. IEEE,
ACM
Present 93% 3.46 .88 50% 100% 3.20 .41 50%
Future 87% 4.85 .46 100% 97% 5.00 .00 100%
10.
Group Discussion/Supervision/Training (Live supervision
by video camera, conducting training workshops
Present 97% 2.79 1.32 50% 97% 2.21 .56 25%
Future 97% 4.41 .68 75% 100% 4.93 .25 100%
Results showing Average of ‘Professional obligations’ Present 96% 2.97 1.10 50% 99% 2.81 0.49 42%
Results showing Average of ‘Professional obligations’ Future 95% 4.66 0.59 92% 99% 4.98 0.08 100%
Average Results of Questions (1-10) showing PRESENT USE 99% 3.23 0.84 53% 100% 3.00 0.47 49%
Average Results of Questions (1-10) showing FUTURE USE 99% 4.77 0.48 99% 100% 4.96 0.14 100%
11.
Common ICT tools/applications Present 93% 4.82 .93 100% 100% 4.97 .18 100%
Future 97% 4.8 .40 100% 100% 5.00 .00 100%
12.
Educational/Research ICT tools: Present 100% 3.43 .50 50% 100% 3.10 .31 50%
Future 100% 4.70 .40 100% 100% 5.00 .00 100%
13.
Rely on ICTs 100% 4.13 .78 75% 100% 4.07 .25 75%
14.
Use of ICTs 100% 4.30 .60 75% 100% 4.07 .25 75%
15.
Help by ICTs 100% 3.87 1.11 75% 100% 4.00 .37 75%
16.
Causes: Poor distribution of ICTs, lack of robust ICT policy 100% 4.17 1.15 73% 100% 4.53 .68 87%
17.
Integration: EPP : Inadequate technological infrastructure 100% 4.23 .82 83% 100% 4.40 .67 90%
18.
Under funding, high cost of sustainability of the technology 93% 4.11 .79 75% 93% 4.29 .66 86%
Average Results of Questions (17-18) 97% 4.17 0.81 79% 97% 4.35 0.67 88%
19.
Expertise: Staff training, lack of ICT experts, lack of ICT skills 100% 4.30 .79 93% 100% 4.47 .51 100%
20.
Language & Educational Content Development 97% 2.79 1.01 31% 90% 3.93 .77 89%
Average results of Questions (17-18,19,20) 98% 3.75 0.87 68% 96% 4.25 0.65 92%
21.
Reasons for Delay : Teachers’ lack of ICT competencies 100% 4.30 .70 87% 97% 4.47 .57 93%
22.
Lack of money leading to limited access to computers & software 97% 4.55 .69 97% 100% 4.60 .50 100%
23.
Lack of creativity & unwillingness to change the running system 100% 4.43 .68 90% 100% 4.53 .51 100%
24.
Difficulty in linking ICT to the curriculum 100% 2.77 1.28 37% 100% 2.37 .49 0%
25.
Needing ICT facilities in lecture halls rather than in computer labs 100% 4.10 .71 80% 100% 4.30 .60 93%
Average Results of Questions (21-25) 99% 4.03 0.81 78% 99% 4.05 0.53 77%
26.
Suggestions : Guidelines, time-bound targets, political commitment 100% 4.53 .63 93% 100% 4.65 .55 97%
27.
Rigorous analysis of the present state of the HES 100% 4.47 .57 100% 100% 4.61 .50 100%
28.
Piloting of the chosen ICT-based model. For testing 100% 4.30 .53 97% 100% 4.58 .50 100%
29.
Specification of existing sources of financing 100% 4.47 .57 97% 97% 4.65 .49 100%
30.
Authorities should provide high tech ICT facilities & scholarships 100% 4.60 .62 93% 97% 4.80 .41 100%
31.
HES of Pakistan demands target-oriented, robust & effective ICT
policy 100% 4.70 .47 100% 100% 4.77 .43 100%
32.
Effective ICT integration will enlighten the future of HE of Pakistan 100% 4.67 .55 97% 100% 4.80 .41 100%
Average Results of Questions (26-32) 100% 4.53 0.56 97% 99% 4.69 0.47 100%
33.
ICT Demand in HEIs -- -- -- -- 90% 3.12 .61 75%
34.
ICT Supply in HEIs -- -- -- -- 93% 2.31 .67 50%
35.
Problem of Attitude. Grabbing resources & misuse them. -- -- -- -- 93% 4.53 .73 100%
International
Journal of Computer Theory and Engineering, Vol. 5, No. 3, June 2013
411
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
Lack of ICT
skills among
teaching staff
Lack of
money Lack of
creativity Difficulty in
linking ICT to
the curriculum
ICT facilities
in lecture
halls
Reasons
Rating
Round-1 Round-2
4
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
4.8
4.9
Comprehensive
guidelines Piloting ICT
scholarships Future of
Pakistan
Suggestions
Rating
Round-1 Round-2
12345678
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
282930 31 32
Round-1
Round-2
Faculty/Students/Staff is recorded with mean scores of
4.07, 4.07 & 4.00. Response rate remained 100%.
4) Causes of deprived standard of HE of Pakistan rated 4.53
with 87% participants agree on these causes. Response
rate recorded is 100% (Question 16).
5) On ICT integration challenges an agreement of 88% with
mean score of 4.35 for educational policy & planning
challenges, 100% & 4.47 for expertise challenges, & 89%
& 3.93 for language & educational content development
challenges was recorded. Response rate remained 98%.
An overall agreement of 92% is recorded (Questions
17-20).
6) (Questions 21-25). 77% participants with 99% response
rate & 4.05 mean score showed their agreement on
reasons of delay in integration of ICTs (Refer Fig. 1).
Fig. 1. Reasons for delay in integration of ICTs in HEIs
7) Implications/suggestions for ICT-enhanced HE & future
of HES of Pakistan were rated 4.69 with 100%
agreement (Questions 26-32) (Refer Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. Suggestions for ICT-enhanced HE
8) ICT demand & supply topics (suggested by participants
in Round-I responses), demand of ICTs rated 3.12 with
75% demand & supply of ICTs rated 2.31 with 50%
supply.
9) Attitude problem is also recommended as one of the
problems/causes of deprived standards of HE. A
Consensus of 100% with 4.53 mean is recorded.
10) Variability in responses (data of SD column) from higher
values in Round-I to lower values in Round-II shows
consensus building process (Refer Fig. 3).
11) In response to participants suggestions/comments in
Round-I, Part-B, only 10% participants (3 participants)
came up with comments/suggestions.
Fig. 3. Consensus building process among participants
V. RESULTS
The conclusions have been drawn on the basis of findings
of the study:
1) Although current use of ICT tools/applications in those
HEIs of Pakistan is sufficient which are in big cities, but
on country basis, their use is 50% as suggested by this
study, half as compared to near future (Year
2019)/developed countries (where ICTs use is 100%).
2) Educational/research tools are supposed to be used
extensively in near future but unfortunately, as suggested
in this study, their current use is 50% which is not a good
figure.
3) This study concludes that university personnel should
use 75% ICT tools/applications in their job related tasks
and 75% rely on ICTs, cutting behind 25% due to local
infrastructure, policy mechanisms & confidence level of
participants on ICTs. In participants‟ views, help
provided by ICTs to university personnel in their job
related tasks is 75%.
4) Major causes of deprived standard of HE are: (1) poor
/uneven distribution of ICT resources/infrastructure, (2)
high ICT expenditures & lack of money, (3) poor/lack of
robust & effective ICT policy, (4) defining the role of
ICT as cure-all for organizational transformation, (5)
making ICT responsive to the organizational vision &
mission, and (6) developing a non-systemic method of
implementation of ICT policy.
5) Participants highlighted inadequate technological
infrastructure, under funding & high cost of
sustainability of the technology as Educational policy &
planning challenges, ongoing teachers/staff skills
development trainings/workshops, lack of ICT
competencies among support/teaching staff as
challenges related with expertise & they suggest that
major portion of educational material is available in
English language & there is a need to develop/design
that material in local/regional language as language &
educational content development challenges.
6) Reasons for delay in integration of ICTs in HE include:
(1) Teachers‟ lack of ICT competencies as they spend a
little time to learn ICT skills (2) Lack of money leading
to limited access to computers & software (3) Lack of
creativity & willingness to change the running system (4)
Needing ICT facilities in lecture halls rather than in
International
Journal of Computer Theory and Engineering, Vol. 5, No. 3, June 2013
412
computer labs etc. However, difficulty in linking ICT to
the curriculum was not considered very important.
7) This study suggests (1) Development of a systemic &
politically committed method of implementation of
robust, effective & target-oriented ICT policy (2)
adequate provision of technological resources such as
fast/affordable internet connectivity, availability of
latest/contemporary ICTs in HES, sustainable
availability of electricity & telephony, access to
computers in schools/communities & households,
affordable teleconferencing facilities, free access to
digital libraries /online books/articles/magazines etc., (3)
modifications in HE ICT curricula emphasizing both
theoretical as well as practical use of ICTs (4) Piloting of
the chosen ICT-based HE model before implementation
on ground, (5) Rigorous analysis of the present state of
the HES such as curriculum, pedagogy, infrastructure,
capacity building, language & educational content &
financing (6) Specification of existing sources of
financing & development of strategies for generating
financial resources to support ICT use over long term (7)
identification of stakeholders & harmonizing of their
efforts across different interest groups. Participants of
this study suggest that HES of Pakistan demands ICT
policy with clear & specific objectives, guidelines &
time-bound targets, with mobilization of required
resources & the political commitment at all levels to see
the initiative go through to enhance & reform HE
through ICTs.
8) Participants identified a major gap in demand & supply
of ICTs in HEIs i.e. 25%. In their views current demand
of ICTs is 75% but only 50% is provided.
9) This study strongly agrees on the attitude problem &
comments that: HEIs have the biggest problem of
attitude. They mostly have the finance but they don‟t
know how to utilize it properly for ICT. They sometime
spend money in terms of ICT with doing cost benefit
analysis due to which they acquire inappropriate items.
Similarly grabbing resources & misuse them is a
common culture in Pakistan, due to which nothing ends
up in a right way.
10) Overall variation in views is less than 0.5 which
suggested that participants have reached to a strong
consensus level.
11) Only 3 participants (10%) came up with comments
/suggestions (ICT demand, supply & problem of attitude)
which declares that the instrument designed was
comprehensive.
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Microsoft Executive Breakfast
Zaffar Ahmed Shaikh was born on 18th June, 1977,
in Khairpur Mir‟s, located in northern part of Sindh
province of Pakistan. He completed Matriculation
degree in science from Govt. Naz Pilot High School,
Khairpur in 1993, and Intermediate in Pre
Engineering from Govt. Superior Science College,
Khairpur, in 1995. In 1996, he joined undergraduate
program of University of Sindh, Jamshoro, where he
received his M.Sc. degree in Computer Science in
2000. After a small break in studies due to joining on government service,
again, in 2008, he got admission in MS (CS) program of Iqra University,
Karachi. In December 2009, he passed MS (CS) with highest distinction and
was awarded the Gold Medal. Currently, he is pursuing doctoral studies from
IBA, Karachi.
In June 2000, he joined „MARK CFACE‟, a private organization
providing IT infrastructure and networking services to open market and
government, as IT coordinator. Later on, in year 2001, he became pioneering
faculty member of Bahria Foundation College, Benazirabad. He joined
government service as lecturer in computer science in Govt. of Sindh,
Education & Literacy Department in the year 2002. In year 2008, he
proceeded on study leave to earn his MS leading to PhD degree. Currently,
he is a PhD learner at Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Pakistan.
His research interests include: personal learning environments, user interface
design and implementation, information retrieval and web search, theoretical
foundations of information systems, human computer interaction, ICT
integration in higher education, etc.
Mr. Shaikh has been serving as TPC member in many international
conferences, such as: ECEL, BEIAC, SHUSER, CHUSER, ICBEIA,
ISBEIA, ISGTS, to name a few. He has been reviewer of a very highly
reputed journal in the field of educational technology named „IJEDICT‟
since 2009. Mr. Shaikh is also a professional member of ACM.
Shakeel Ahmed Khoja is a Commonwealth Academic
Fellow. He received his Ph.D. from the University of
Southampton, UK, in 2001, and is working as a
Professor at Institute of Business Administration,
Karachi, Pakistan. His research interests include
Learning Technologies, Web Technologies, and
Internet programming. He has a professional career of
over 15 years and has fifty research publications to his
credit.
International
Journal of Computer Theory and Engineering, Vol. 5, No. 3, June 2013
413
... Lack of technological facilities such as inadequate equipment in labs, local area networks, projectors, and other important equipment is the technological factors that hinder the ICT usage in education (Rahim et al., 2017;Shaikh & Khoja, 2013). Inadequacy of uniform transformation or poor distribution of ICT based education integration (Shaikh & Khoja, 2011 especially in rural areas of Pakistan (Hussain, 2018) is reported as major challenges in various studies. ...
... Making systematic strategies as well as following up the plan accurately is a key to its success. Unfortunately, the lack of systematic planning and lack of follow up are the barriers reported in different case studies (Nawaz & Kundi, 2010;Shaikh & Khoja, 2013). Some other factors that hindrance effective planning are ignoring the mismatches between technologies and context, culture, and practices, inadequate support from the government, and ignoring the learning gaps in curriculums (Nawaz, 2013;Nawaz & Kundi, 2010;Shahid, 2016). ...
... Higher education institutes of Pakistan in big cities like Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi have sufficient infrastructural facilities whereas other cities of Pakistan are facing difficulties. It is analyzed in a study that the success rate of ICT implementation is 75% at higher education level whereas it is not more than 25% at school level education (Shaikh & Khoja, 2013). There is a need to develop new activities to incorporate technology more effectively and efficiently (Suleman et al., 2011). ...
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Information and communication technology (ICT) integration in the education sector plays an important role in the socio-economic growth of any country. The developing countries are facing hindrances in effective implementation of ICT in the education sector. Pakistan is one of the developing countries of Asia and facing challenges in ICT integration in the education sector. This study aims to identify the challenges being faced in the implementation of ICT in the education sector of Pakistan at all levels of education. The second objective of this study is to explore the best practices to overcome the identified challenges. The PRISMA statement has been used to achieve the objectives of the study. The qualitative synthesis and descriptive analysis are used to demonstrate the findings of this systematic literature review. The findings of this study highlight the need to improve the ICT infrastructure to facilitate students with digital online resources, economical solutions, technical facilities, and self-efficacy.
... There are mediating factors which infl uence technology use, including teachers' knowledge, attitudes and content (Penuel, 2006); among these, the teacher is a central factor in determining the extent to which technology integration can be effective (Bebell, & Kay, 2010). Nonetheless, teachers are linked to dismal outcomes of education for their lack of competencies, lack of willingness to improve educational systems, and time limitation to learn ICT skills (Shaikh, & Khoja, 2013). More reasons to underperform are ascribed to teachers' lethargic attitude, unclear focus and lack of commitment and passion (Aziz, Akhtar, & Rauf, 2012). ...
... Motivation is the internal push that gets and keeps one going, and clears the path one tries to follow (Slavin, 2012). Motivation as an essential factor has been studied in several researches. ...
... Our system is a client-server application with a ReactJS [23] front and a Flask [24] back end. The Fraud detection module was developed using the open-source deep learning framework PyTorch [25][26][27][28][29][30][31]. The Detection module is deployed on the server where the input data is prepossessed and sent to the front end for visualization. ...
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... Medical teachers should facilitate the use of internet as an important tool of learning. Shaikh, Z. A., & Khoja, S. A. (2013) reported that the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools and applications in the Higher Education Institutions of Pakistan is sufficient in develop cities only. However over all in Pakistan is not satisfactory. ...
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... Other studies, for instance, Bingimlas (2009) According to Nikolopoulou and Gialamas (2015), funding is perhaps implicit in many barriers impeding ICT integration in education, such as 'lack of access to equipment/resources' and 'lack of training'. Therefore, a number of research studies (Nikolopoulou & Gialamas, 2015;Suliman, Fie, Raman, & Alam, 2008;Shaikh & Khoja, 2013) explicitly identified funding or budget limitations as a barrier to ICT integration in higher education institutions. ...
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The authors wish to thank several people and institutions for their generous contributions, comments and documents, particularly from Mexico (RedEscolar), Costa Rica (Fundación Omar Dengo), WorldLinks, Chile (Enlaces) and the World Bank.
ICT in Education: e-Primers for the information economy, society & policy
  • V L Tinio
V. L. Tinio, ICT in Education: e-Primers for the information economy, society & policy, New York: United Nations Development Programme, 2003.
Higher Education Challenges & Solutions
  • J C Taylor
J. C. Taylor, " Higher Education Challenges & Solutions, " presented at Microsoft Executive Breakfast