Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is increasingly utilized by higher education institutions worldwide. ICT is emerging as a part of on-campus delivery as well as open and distance modalities of higher education delivery. UNESCO actions in this area focus on assisting Member States to develop robust policies in ICT and higher education.
ICT in higher education is being used for developing course material; delivering content and sharing content; communication between learners, teachers and the outside world; creation and delivery of presentations and lectures; academic research; administrative support, student enrolment. Higher education institutions in developing countries are on the whole making the most of computers and software available to them even though challenges including insufficient telephone and telecommunication infrastructure, lack of training resources for teachers, and lack of skilled and experienced information technology specialists to assist with development, maintenance and support of ICT usage in higher education institutions (HEIs) remain.
Positive ICT policies and investments are clearly beneficial to HEIs, even though ICT has not replaced classroom-based modes of learning or teaching. Undoubtedly, ICT can provide greater access for different target learners, and has become a vehicle for enriched pedagogical experiences, particularly for distance educators and learners separated by time and space. Coordinated implementation of new or revised policies will likely require the involvement of outside Ministries (such as Telecommunications, Trade, Health) and national private and non-government educational boards and agencies (for accreditation and recognition where applicable).