An Investigation into Utilizing Current Information Technologies to Provide Engineering Education to Sub-Saharan Africa

Nicholas T. Kirkland, Valentine Vitanov, Dirk Schaefer

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Abstract

Engineering education is one of the key factors for the development of any nation.
Nowhere is this more true than in Sub-Saharan Africa, where a dearth of engineers has
contributed to the lowest regional standard of living of anywhere in the world. The
need in this region is so vast and immediate that it could only be met by the use of
ICT-based education. This paper presents the findings of an investigation into the
feasibility of providing tertiary level engineering education through current
information and communication technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Data collected
includes an extensive review of the available literature, contact with current providers
of ICT-based engineering education, and a survey of 250 engineering firms in
Sub-Saharan Africa, the end-users of engineering education in that region. The findings
indicate that it is indeed feasible to deliver tertiary level engineering education to
Sub-Saharan Africa, assuming that resources could be found for course development
and to enhance the technological capacity of local institutions. This paper complements
the picture of a ‘flat world’ draw by Thomas L. Friedman [43] who in his recent book
focused on well developed countries only.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventMUDD Design Workshop VI: Design and Engineering Education in a Flat World - Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, California, USA United States
Duration: 23 May 200725 May 2007

Conference

ConferenceMUDD Design Workshop VI: Design and Engineering Education in a Flat World
CountryUSA United States
CityClaremont, California
Period23/05/0725/05/07

Keywords

  • Distance Learning
  • Engineering Education
  • Africa

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