Internet Access and Use by Students of Private Universities in Ogun State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Private university students are a unique population in Nigeria. The organization and administration of these institutions, the mode of admission, and facilities in place account for the uniqueness of their students compared with their counterparts in government institutions. Students in private institutions are provided with facilities that will enhance their academic performance, which includes hostel accommodation, sporting activities, a well-equipped library, information and communication technology (Internet access), and others. Payments for such facilities are always included in tuition fees. It is the aim of this research to determine the level of accessibility and use of Internet services in these universities.

Objectives

This study has the following objectives:

1. to determine if there are Internet facilities for students of private universities in Ogun State

2. to determine the level of accessibility of Internet facilities by students of private universities in Ogun State.

3. to identify for the purposes for which Internet facilities are used by students of private universities in Ogun State.

Literature Review

Gatenby (2003) states that the greatest phenomenon of recent years has been the explosion of the Internet. Salaam (2003), in a survey of the use of Internet services in Nigerian university libraries, found that access to Internet services in the libraries surveyed was restricted to staff only. The survey further identifies a poor telecommunication system, unreliable electrical supply, lack of Internet service providers in some parts of the country, and poor funding of the university system as major problems militating against access and use of Internet facilities.

Akporido (2005) in research carried out on Internet use in a Nigerian suburban setting- Abraka, Delta State, observes that in order to enable students at Delta State University, Abraka to use the Internet, users must pay for access in cybercafes. They are usually given a ticket password that is keyed into the system before getting access. As soon as the access time paid for expires, the system automatically logs the user off.

Jones (2002), in research carried out on the Internet and American life, found that college students use the Internet more to communicate socially than they do for academic work.

Nwokedi (2007) posits that lack of searching skills is still hindering good use of Internet. He asserts that acquisition of Internet skills can lead to discovery of valuable research and teaching resources, which would in turn cause the users to use the Internet to enhance their research and learning capabilities. Internet access ability would be expected to stimulate regular use of the Internet and minimize the perceived barriers to its use.

Methodology

A survey research design was adopted for this study. The research instrument is a questionnaire. The study population includes 120 undergraduate students of 4 private universities in Ogun State, Nigeria. A systematic random sampling method was also used. The readers service librarian of each of the universities was solicited to administer the questionnaire to the undergraduate students. There were 113 respondents, giving a response rate of 94.2 percent.

Data Analysis and Discussion

About half the respondents (58, 51.32%) were female, and about half (55, 48.67%) were males. A majority (70, 61.94%) were age 15-20, with 36 (31.85%) between 21 and 25, and 7 (6.19%) 31-35. More than one-third (44, 38.93%) are in their second year in the university and 51 (38%) spend more than one hour on the Internet each day. About one-third access the Internet in the university library (30.13%), and about one-third (34%) have been using Internet facilities provided by their institutions since being admitted to the university.

All the universities studied make Internet facilities available for their students. …