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The establishment of strategic international and local partnerships through a Masters’ level degree in information technology: A faculty perspective

Marlene Amanda Holmner (Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)
Theo J.D. Bothma (Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 6 June 2018

Issue publication date: 25 October 2018

1145

Abstract

Purpose

The Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria (UP), with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, has, for the past six years, offered a fully funded specialized two-year coursework degree at Masters’ level in Information Technology (M.IT degree). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the technological and teaching methodologies as well as the unique advantages and challenges of collaboration between four partner institutions on two continents as well as local industry partners and local and international academic and public libraries, in offering a blended learning program to students from six different countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The contribution is based on a pragmatic and reflective analysis of the success of the strategic partnerships formed during the M.IT program. The data-gathering instrument used was a questionnaire containing open-ended questions.

Findings

Analysis of the comments shows that it is evident that faculty still prefer face-to-face classes. Furthermore, to experience an effective online blended learning, the technology would have to improve. The complicated levels of partnerships were important to provide the necessary expertise for this broad-based program. Lecturers from industries and libraries brought different perspectives based on their day-to-day work and practical experience and, through this, a level of reality as opposed to the theory that can be learnt from textbooks.

Originality/value

This is a descriptive analysis of the program and feedback of co-workers that has not been reported before.

Keywords

Citation

Holmner, M.A. and Bothma, T.J.D. (2018), "The establishment of strategic international and local partnerships through a Masters’ level degree in information technology: A faculty perspective", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 558-572. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-08-2017-0165

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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