University of Tasmania

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The academic ICT gap

posted on 2023-05-27, 23:39 authored by Price, JL
This study investigates the Academic ICT Gap that exists between the information and communications technology (ICT) skills required by Western universities and the ICT skills of commencing foreign students educated in developing countries. Commencing students and university instructors have expectations that are at odds. ICT are ubiquitous in Western higher education and all incoming students are expected to have mastered the basic ICT that support both coursework and the learning and content management systems students use daily for academic and administrative purposes. Yet there is no uniform ICT instruction in the foreign primary through secondary (P-12) schools in which many of these students are educated. Higher education is a competitive and profitable global service-sector driven by supply and demand and the foreign student market brings unique challenges. Commencing foreign students expect their new institutions to teach the ICT they need: similar to the practice of providing remedial English-language services. By accepting students with ICT skill discrepancies, institutions accept the onus of ICT remediation. This study takes the initial step in defining the Academic ICT Gap. The Survey of Higher Education asked 353 Australian university instructors to rank the importance of 28 ICT items to their coursework. The Survey of Primary through Secondary asked 135 pre-tertiary International teachers to review these same 28 ICT items and indicate their students' graduate mastery levels. A comparison of survey data identified discrepancies in a range of important skills required for academic work. Among the myriad uses of this unique research is the creation of the Academic ICT Baseline, a transparent tool, created by Western universities, to guide ICT curriculum in International P-12 education.


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Copyright 2016 the Author Appendix 1 is a paper presented at Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE) Adelaide, 2014. ACCE's policy provides that published material can be reproduced in whole or in part licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License ( that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication by ACCE.

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