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Internet access and use: A study of undergraduate students in three Nigerian universities

Okon E. Ani (Library Department, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 10 August 2010

3801

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent and level of internet access and use by undergraduate students in three Nigerian universities as well as the electronic resources used by these students on the internet.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was the research method used for data collection. Questionnaires were distributed to undergraduate students in three public universities in Nigeria: University of Calabar, Calabar; University of Uyo, Uyo, and Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt.

Findings

The findings of the study reveal that the internet is extensively used by undergraduate students in the surveyed universities. There is inequitable access to the internet, as students mostly rely on private/commercial internet cybercafés – both on and off campuses – for their access and use. Access to the internet in the university libraries, departments/faculties and university computer/ICT centers is grossly poor; this is due to lack of poor internet infrastructure and connectivity and non‐sustainable internet services in these universities. In spite of the extensive use of the internet, there exists a poor level of use of electronic resources such as the electronic journals and online databases which are essential for learning and research. The findings of the study have also revealed the need for effective user education on internet access and use in university libraries in Nigeria for optimal utilization of electronic information sources.

Originality/value

The paper will be useful for those in decision‐making roles as it reveals the need for the provision of relevant internet infrastructural facilities in Nigerian universities to enhance equitable and sustainable access to the internet by the students to support their academic activities.

Keywords

Citation

Ani, O.E. (2010), "Internet access and use: A study of undergraduate students in three Nigerian universities", The Electronic Library, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 555-567. https://doi.org/10.1108/02640471011065373

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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