Factors affecting the adoption and diffusion of Internet in higher educational institutions in Kenya

  • J Macharia
  • E Nyakwende


Several studies have shown that the importance of the Internet in higher education has continued to rise over the past decade. However, researchers and practitioners have shown that resistance to end-user systems by users such as students is a widespread problem. This phenomenon has created the need to better predict, explain and increase user acceptance of technology in higher education. To fulfill this need, the understanding of the factors that encourage or hinder Internet use in learning, teaching, research and university management function has become critical in modern times. As university administrators continue investing in Information & communication Technologies (ICTs) such as the Internet, Learning management systems(LMS) such WebCT, and plagiarism and originality tools like Turnitin to improve quality and to support learning, as well as help in dealing with educational budget cuts and increased enrollment, instructors are increasingly making their teaching materials available on the Internet. However several studies have shown that the question of whether students are making full use of the Internet to justify these investments and learning materials efforts by faculty has not been fully answered. Consequently, while administrators and instructors would like to make the Internet an effective educational tool, they need to understand what their students\' attitudes towards using it are. Since the use of the Internet in higher education is still in its early stages especially in developing countries like Kenya, many issues regarding its adoption, diffusion, infusion and use have not been fully addressed. This study was therefore conducted to provide a better understanding of how ICTs particularly the Internet are adopted, diffused, infused and used in institutions of higher learning in Kenya from a student\'s perspective. This paper focuses on the influence of environmental factors to the adaption and diffusion of the Internet by a selected sample of university students. The research framework is based on the Theory of Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). We use a survey conducted among university students to explore these environmental factor issues that have been neglected by previous studies. The research establishes that Competition Pressure, Government Support, ICT Vendors Support, and Perceived Socio Economic factors influence the adoption and diffusion of the Internet. These findings provide some useful insights for governments, university administrators, educators and policy makers.

Keywords: ICTs, Internet, technology acceptance, diffusion of technology.

Journal of Language, Technology & Entrepreneurship in Africa Vol. 1 (2) 2009: pp. 6-23

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eISSN: 1998-1279