Framework for data sharing between satellite campuses in public universities : the case of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)
In the past decade Public Universities in Kenya have more than quadrupled in number from seven in 2002 to over thirty in 2013. This increase has contributed to the introduction of universities constituent campuses and colleges in all major towns in Kenya. With the satellite campuses dispersed all over the country the data being held by these campuses is distributed in heterogeneous formats and not being shared. Some campuses maintain data repository but there is no platform or policies for facilitating data sharing. Data is duplicated across satellite campuses, which makes accessibility, availability and reinforcing mechanisms for data security very difficult. There exists a major gap in data sharing with no clear framework for the universities to use. The study sought to identify the requirements for data sharing between public universities and their satellite campuses, identify platforms for data sharing between satellite campuses and use this information to propose and validate a framework for data sharing. The study was conducted through the applied research design; data was collected using structured questionnaire from JKUAT, ICT personnel and campus administrators, two questionnaires were administered to each of the 12 satellite campuses in JKUAT with an additional two for the main campus. The data was analyzed using descriptive analysis and presented in tables and figures. The study established that 83% of the respondents do not share data. Network infrastructure was the highest rated requirements for data sharing with 70.8%. A web based platform and data security were also preferred with 79.2% each. Framework that support virtualization and distributed systems was also preferred with 66.7% and 62.5% respectively. Other requirements for data sharing included data accessibility and availability. The study concludes that the university needs to come up with proper infrastructure and policies to implement data sharing due to the dispersed nature of its campuses. The study recommends use of Cloud for data virtualization and storage, combined with WebGIS and Grid technology to facilitate data sharing.