2003-05-24Konferenzveröffentlichung DOI: 10.18452/1157
Implementing an Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Initiative within the South African Context
Issues and Challenges for Higher Education Libraries
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
The end of 'Apartheid' in 1994 left Higher Education in South Africa with an unfair divide with two distinct groups, the so-called Historically Disadvantage Institutions (HDIs) and the ones that benefited from the ideology. This divide is still visible after eight years of democracy. In the South Africa context the term 'Higher Education' is predominately used to refer to learning that takes place in universities and technikons. Numerous challenges like the depreciating currency (an effective devaluation of 73% in 2001), shrinking budgets, lack of IT infrastructure and skilled IT staff are making the implementation of ETD initiatives on an institutional level very difficult for these HDIs. Fortunately working together in consortia or being part of an international project like the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) makes it possible for these Historical Disadvantage Institutions to make their theses and dissertation available electronically. There are currently five regional and one national Higher Education library consortia in South Africa. With the cooperation within a consortium comes the prospect of foreign donor funding like in the case of the South Eastern Library System (SEALS) one of our regional consortia who received a grant for $79 600 to buy the required infrastructure for an ETD initiative. The paper based on a case study of the implementation of an ETD pilot project at the Rand Afrikaans University. Special reference is given to the criteria that impact on the implementation of these kinds of initiatives in the South African context. By implication the regional, national and international level initiatives are best suited for the Historical Disadvantage Institutions.
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