Information Technology for Educational Management at a Ugandan Public University

  • Ronald Bisaso
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP – The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 292)


This article discusses the introduction of information and communication technology in educational management (ITEM) into the academic and financial administrative activities of Uganda’s oldest and largest university. This university has seen the relevance of ITEM especially in enhancing its efficiency and effectiveness in view of increased enrolment. Data used were collected through documentary analysis and thematic interviews. The interviews involved 17 respondents comprising two top managers, eleven deans and directors of faculties, schools or institutes and four administrative personnel knowledgeable about the academic and financial ITEM systems. Data were transcribed and emergent themes identified. The findings illuminate a mixture of optimistic expectations and lamentations to the ITEM systems that have been aimed at integrating the highly decentralized administrative structure in the university. These comprehensive ITEM systems have been a vendor-developed and donor-funded venture. Consequently, adopting the systems has in some instances been compounded by incompatibility to the existing administrative practices. In light of these findings, it is suggested that ITEM systems ought to be first piloted in a few units prior to university-wide deployment in this developing setting with its peculiarities. Besides, on-site ITEM development would more likely remedy the mismatch between ITEM systems and the administrative processes it is meant to support even though they are projects and time-bound.


Information technology in educational management (ITEM) information systems, management university 


  1. Allen, D., Kern, T., & Mattison, D. (2002). Culture, power and politics in ICT outsourcing in higher education institutions. European Journal of Information Systems, 11, 159–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amaral, A., Jones, G. A., & Karseth, B. (2002). Governing higher education: Comparing national perspectives. In A. Amaral, G. A. Jones & B. Karseth (Eds.), Governing higher education: National perspectives on institutional governance. (pp. 279–298). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Birnbaum, R. (1988). How colleges work. the cybernetics of academic organization and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  4. Burgess, T. G. (1996). Planning the academic's workload: Different approaches to allocating work to university academics.Higher Education, 32, 63–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clark, B. R. (1983). The higher education system. academic organization in cross-national perspective. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. Court, D. (1999). Financing higher education in Africa: Makerere, the quiet Revolution. Washington D.C.: The World Bank and The Rockefeller Foundation.Google Scholar
  7. Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Epelu-Opio, J. (2002). Higher education reform at system and institutional level. the case of Makerere university. British Council International Seminar, Barnet Hill Conference Centre, London.Google Scholar
  9. Gorr, W., & Hossler, D. (2006). Why all the fuss about information systems? or information systems as golden anchors in higher education. New Directions for Higher Education, (136), 7–20.Google Scholar
  10. Greenberg, A., & Versluis, G. (2005). Sida supported ICT project at Makerere University in Uganda No. Sida Evaluation 05/17). Stockholm: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Department for Research Cooperation.Google Scholar
  11. Hölttä, S. (1995). Towards the self-regulative university. University of Joensuu. University of Joensuu Publication in Social Sciences, 23 Google Scholar
  12. Hölttä, S., & Karjalainen, K. (1997). Cybernetic institutional management theory and practice: A system of flexible workload for university teachers.Tertiary Education and Management, 3(3), 229–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Inyaga, A. (2002). The utilisation of information and communication technology (ICT) in the management of Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi. Unpublished Masters thesis, Makerere University.Google Scholar
  14. Luboobi, L. S. (2007). Address by the vice chancellor on occasion of the 54th and 55th graduation ceremonies. Freedom Square, Makerere University:Google Scholar
  15. Maassen, P. A. M., & van Vught, F. A. (2002). Strategic planning. In I. Jenniskens (Ed.), Management and decision-making in higher education institutions (pp. 225–240). The Hague: Lemma Publishers.Google Scholar
  16. Magara, E. (1999). Automation of students records system at Makerere University: An analytical approach. Unpublished Masters thesis, Makerere University.Google Scholar
  17. Magara, E. (2006). A framework for an integrated student information management system for higher education in Uganda. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of South Africa.Google Scholar
  18. Makerere University. (2000). Makerere university strategic plan 2000/01 – 2004/05. Kampala-Uganda: Planning and Development Department Makerere University.Google Scholar
  19. Makerere University. (2007). Makerere university. “we build for the future”. Retrieved September, 28th, 2007, from
  20. Mamdani, M. (2007). Scholars in the marketplace. the dilemmas of neo-liberal reform at Makerere University, 1989–2005. Kampala: Fountain Publishers Ltd.Google Scholar
  21. Mayanja, M. K. (2001). Makerere University and the private students scheme.International Higher Education, 25, 11–13.Google Scholar
  22. McClea, M., & Yen, D. C. (2005). A framework for the utilization of information technology in higher education admission department.International Journal of Educational Management, 19(2), 87–101.Google Scholar
  23. McCredie, J. (2003). Does IT matter to higher education? Educause Review, 15–22.Google Scholar
  24. Mulira, N. K. (1995). Managing information technology in Uganda: Strategies and policy formulation.Information Technology for Development, 6, 95–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Musisi, N. B., & Muwanga, N. K. (2003). Makerere university in transition, 1993–2000. Oxford and Kampala: James Currey and Fountain publishers.Google Scholar
  26. Nolan, P. C. J., Brown, M. A., & Graves, B. (2001). MUSAC in New Zealand from grass roots to system-wide in a decade. In A. J. Visscher, P. Wild & A. C. W. Fung (Eds.), Information technology in educational management: Synthesis of experience, research and future perspectives on computer-assisted school information systems(pp. 55–75). Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rodrigues, A. J., & Govinda, S. (2003). Towards an integrated management information system: A case of the University of Mauritius.Information Technology for Development, 10, 41–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tatnall, A., & Davey, B. (2005). Future directions in ITEM research. In A. Tatnall, J. Osorio & A. Visscher (Eds.), Information technology and educational management in the knowledge society (pp. 209–217). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tusubira, F. F. (2005). Supporting university ICT developments: The Makerere university experience.African Development, XXX(1 & 2), 86–97.Google Scholar
  30. Visitation Committee to Public Universities 2006. (2007). Report of the visitation committee to public universities. Kampala: Author.Google Scholar
  31. Wakanyasi, N. (2002). C,apacity utilization of information technology in organizations: A case study of Nkumba University. Unpublished Masters Thesis, Nkumba University.Google Scholar
  32. Wild, P., & Walker, J. (2001). The commercially developed SIMS from a humble beginning. In A. J. Visscher, P. Wild & A. C. W. Fung (Eds.), Information technology in educational management: Synthesis of experience, research and future perspectives on computer-assisted school information systems (pp. 19–38). Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zziwa, G. (2001). Computer utilization in the management of students' information at Makerere University. Unpublished Masters Thesis, Makerere University, Kampala.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Bisaso
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Management StudiesUniversity of TampereTampereFinland

Personalised recommendations