The ICT Development office is responsible for all information systems development, customization, deployment and continual improvement across the University and all its campuses. It administrate the University LAN, website and mail server including other content management systems.ICT Development office as well resolving systems issues and maintenance of office electronic and Networks. Indeed the office suggests different ICT solution inorder to facilitate the t-learning and administrative duties.
ICT in Research
The use of ICT in academic research has been growing in all Universities. This includes the use of powerful computers for complex calculations on very large data sets like in modeling and simulation applications; use of communication tools and the Internet ensures that research teams can be spread across the world; increased academic resources through the use of digital libraries. To take full advantage of the above, Bahir Dar University needs to allocate large amount of money for the required sustainable broad band connectivity, various software applications and technical expertise. It is highly recommended that BDU has to establish Digital Libraries learning from the experience of some other African country universities. So that it promote access to recent publications and to provide opportunity for research dissemination through on-line e-journals. The technical ICT infrastructure needed for research by university faculty and students requires major financial investments and as such should be based on well conceived national and Institutional policies.
ICT in Teaching
University faculties are now using computers in teaching taking advantage of the power of the computer in manipulation of words and symbols. Introduction of eLearning or on-line learning is also introduced at BDU. However the role of ICT in teaching and learning is more pronounced in the university after the implementation of SIMS. SIMS generates and manages various student support services and products such as faculty’s curriculum, Student statistics besides students’ online registration and retrieval of their grade. The university has implemented the moodle software, CMS which facilitate and registered course outlines, digitally recorded classroom material, discussion groups, lab. Assignments, lecture notes, live lectures for later viewing and re-viewing, links to specific websites, on-line tutorials and supplementary readings. On the library side Digital library and KOHA has introduced thus both Teaching staffs and Students use these application systems. Indeed it facilitates to get content at no or low cost instead of acquiring expensive text books, reference materials or journals. On-line content has in fact allowed Institutions to co-own content which they can use when and if a particular faculty who created it leaves the Institution. In general terms ICTs have been credited with improving quality, widening access and cutting costs in the t-learning function.
ICT in Administration
Universities are using ICT in managing students’ admission and records, tests/examination results and transcripts, managing human and financial resources and management of various assets. The highest impact of ICT on university governance can be felt in this area of administration when Institutions will start using more ICTs for better planning, setting standards, effecting change and monitoring results of core functions of the University. Many ICT applications such as HRM should be directed at improving the quality and capacity of management information systems to support strategic decision-making and policy implementation, stimulate and facilitate free flow of information through the university and to respond to the needs and demands of students for better and increased access to university services and information through the web.
Consultations and accountability can easily be facilitated by online discussion forums and mailing/sms lists with staff and students. Extensive use of the Intranet will enhance the
Collegiality feeling by giving access to minutes/records of decision making organs to all staff affected by those decisions; and at the same time allowing senior managers to have access to
background information and the thinking behind issues they are requested to make a decision on.
Various Management Information Systems are deployed in BDU; HRM inorder to facilitate the human resource management System, Store Management System inorder to manage the universities resource properly and Procurement Management System to facilitate the purchasing processes. The key challenge however is to integrate these systems and enhance their capacity to support strategic decision making. BDU has intended to develop ERP inorder to integrate these systems and the data they captured.
ICT in Community Engagement
Universities in the country are slowly but surely taking their rightful place in promoting community economic growth and social development. This calls for closer community engagement at various levels from project conceptualization, planning, execution and project monitoring and evaluation. In this aspect ICT has not only provided the tools for Universities but has also extended the scope of such engagement and reinforced the direct role of Universities in community development. When properly deployed, ICT enables universities to facilitate and be
part of developmental effort and do so without over extending their human, time and financial resources.
A university which is not contributing effectively to the regional/national economic growth through innovation is now perceived as not fulfilling its mandate. Through ICT networks, universities can now engage more with government and industry in the development of technology Parks and in the development of both production and consumer cooperatives.