The Directorate of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) was established in April 2007 at the inception of the University as a Directorate under the office of the Vice Chancellor. The idea of having an ICT Directorate at the inception is not far-fetched as it is expected to facilitate achieving the University’s key mission of having an ICT driven institution. The Directorate started with only two staff, but to date it has expanded to a team of twenty five professionals with specialization across the various fields of Information Technology. It is organized to form two functional units, the Management and Information System (MIS) and the Network and System Administration (NSA) units.
The Directorate serves as the local provider of ICT services at the University with the MIS unit supporting all applications and systems used for academic and non-academic purposes. On the other hand, the NSA unit handles the end to end maintenance of the University’s network and hardware devices including the Fibre Optic, Local Area Network (LAN), Wide Area Network (WAN), Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), Wireless Distribution System Network, IP-phones, Core Network Elements, Computers and peripherals and other IT devices.
THE GOAL OF DICT
To facilitate sustainable collaboration with other higher institutions and industry players at home and abroad, in delivering contemporary teaching and learning methodologies through the application of ICT that will enhance and promote modern research, development and consultancy for the advancement of value-based information systems at Umaru Musa Yar’adua University and the host community.
The University is equipped with an ultra-modern Data Center located at the heart of the University which serves as the hub of the Campus Fibre Optic Network. At inception, Fiber Optic Cable was used to link the University Library, the three premier Faculties and the Senate Building with the Data Center while each of these buildings were independently networked over Local Area Network (LAN). In the year 2014, thirteen (13) new structures were integrated to the Fiber Optic Network to achieve a 100% physical connectivity within the University.
From 2010 to date, the University gradually transformed from a wired network to a wireless cloud community as a result of series of Wireless Distribution Systems deployed by the State Government, the University, Nigerian Communications Commission and Nigtel Consultancy Services among other notable ICT donors.
In the year 2010, the University’s internet service was over a C-Band VSAT Satellite System on a shared 512kbps/2Mb bandwidth plan and was only accessible from 0900Hrs to 1600Hrs working days owing to insufficient power backup. However, by the year 2013 the University migrated from VSAT to a more robust internet service platform using Fiber/Microwave over MTN Broadband. With this development, the University realized over 800% increase in the internet bandwidth used previously and was made to run 24/7 daily after deploying sufficient hybrid power solution. Additional 5Mb dedicated internet bandwidth was deployed by NCC as part of USPF Digital Acquisition Center Project to boost the internet capacity of the University in October 2014.
The System and Network unit of the DICT is equipped with experienced resources that maintains and operate the network infrastructures and elements within the university. The staff have Fibre optic troubleshooting capacity using OTDR and Power Meter to isolate faults which occur along the Fiber Network and use modern Fibre Splicing Machine to splice and fix identified cuts. Whereas, the Management and Information System Unit houses the programmers, system analysts, database administrator, web and content developers and graphics/data entry operators. The MIS team ensures the online visibility of the University and its activities while keeping the community abreast of latest events within the campus.
- The ICT Directorate maintains the University campus wide area network, operational support and maintenance of network equipment and computing devices.
- Provide network support for voice and data services.
- Provide users support for web and mail services.
- Maintain university domain and website.
- Provides support for the University registration / academic portal.
- Provides support for the Enterprise Solution within the University.
- Provides computer Hardware/Software and Helpdesk support services.
- Provide training workshops for staff and students.
- Participate in program for the promotion of ICT awareness within the community.
- ID Card Production for staff and students.
The Directorate is committed to promoting knowledge and understanding of ICT among the University’s students and Staff and in the wider community. Furthermore, it encourages critical thinking about the use of ICT and its importance for national development.
TRAININGS ORGANIZED BY DICT
The ICT Directorate offers ICT related trainings and refresher programs to the University Staff, Students and the host community. Some of the training conducted from 2010 to date are listed below:
- COMPUTER APPRECIATION PROGRAMME
Training programme organized in-house for Secondary School Teachers in Katsina State to increase their knowledge on IT Essentials and application of Microsoft Office Package.
- TRAIN THE TRAINER PROGRAMME
National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) organized training for ICT staff, and Lecturers from Computer Science Department of Umaru Musa Yar’adua University to boost their knowledge on IT Essentials, PHP, MySQL, and Java Programming Language.
- ONLINE GRADING SYSTEM USING PORTAL
Due to the new portal registration system introduced in 2011, the University organized training for Lecturers, Staff of the Directorate of Examination and Records and Academic Office on how to use the portal for students’ registration.
- ADVANCED DIGITAL APPRECIATION PROGRAMME FOR TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS (ADAPTI)
Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) has annually organized 5 days training on IT Essentials and Microsoft Office sponsored by NCC for University Staff from 2012 to date.
- FIBRE SPLICING TRAINING
Fibre Splicing Training is regularly being organized to boost the ICT Staff on how to use the Splicing Machine.
- OFFICE EQUIPMENT OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
Two(2) days in-house training organized for Secretaries and Office Assistants of the University on how to operate and manage Printers, Scanners, Photocopiers, and how to refill printer and photocopier cartridges.
- USE OF INTERNET APPLICATIONS
Visafone organized training on Internet Applications for Senior Executives of the University in order to boost their knowledge of Internet Application in Education and Management.
- GOOGLE APPS DEPLOYMENT TRAINING
UpperLink Limited organized 7 days training for all Staff and Student of Umaru Musa Yar’adua University on how to use Google Apps. They also train some ICT Staff on the Administrative aspect. The university now enjoys a collection of free web-based apps from Google Education which include Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sites, Calendar, Classroom and a host of apps from the Google Apps Marketplace.
- TRAINING OF NYSC and SIWES STAFF
ICT Directorate trains Corps Members and Industrial training Student working at the Directorate on:
>Application packages Practical
- The University Website: The University website is a central point of information about the University where you can find information about the faculties, directorates/units, mission and vision, latest news and links to University portal, Email and other services. The website is accessible at http://www.umyu.edu.ngand is regularly monitored and updated by experienced web developers and designers.
- The University Online Registration Portal: Is an online students’ registration portal with different modules that allows students’ fee payment, course registration, reservation of accommodation, exam processing and generation of reports. The University portal was launched 2011 in partnership with Fidelity Bank PLC and has improved efficiency across so many processes of the University.
- Sage 50 Professional Accounts, HR and Payroll: These applications automate some key processes of the University, which comprise of the payroll unit and the accounts unit, and Registry department. This software was launched in 2012 and has made the work of the user departments more efficient in tune with this digital era.
- Electronic Transcript Processing: This system enables students to order for their transcripts online and the generated electronic transcripts can be sent to any institution of choice all around the world. The ICT Directorate has a fully networked lab with transcript processing software dedicated for this process. The Lab was donated by Fidelity Bank PLC in 2013.
- Google Apps for Education: The University in collaboration with Google for Education has launched a collection of free web-based apps for staff and students. These applications comprise Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sites, Calendar, Classroom and a host of apps from the Google Apps Marketplace. This development took place in July 2014 with the aim of improving ICT utilization within the University community and to encourage e-Learning.
- Single Sign-on for Google apps and Portal: When the email of the University was moved to Google platform, a Single Sign On (SSO) was implemented which enable students to login to their online registration portal profiles using their University emails and password. This eliminated the need to remember multiple passwords. The integration took place in August 2014.
- eGranary:The eGranary Digital Library - also known as "The Internet in a Box" - provides more than 32 million documents, each of them fully indexed and searchable using a powerful, built-in search engine. eGranery provide these millions of digital educational resources to institutions within their own Local Area Network through a process of garnering permissions, copying Web sites, and delivering them to intranet Web servers. The eGranery Library for the University was deployed in 2013.
- Open Access Repository: The open access repository is an institutional repository for storing electronic journals, projects and thesis on the web. The system has been tested locally and the project team is working on the live system. The aim of the repository is to make the University’s research work for both lecturers as well as students readily available over the internet hence easing the cost of publishing through expensive journals. Major University’s around the world such as Harvard and Oxford University have joined the open access movement and hence we can have access to the collection of other members research work through the repository.
- Oracle Academy:Umaru Musa Yaradua University became an Oracle Academy member in July 2014. Staff and Students of the Computer Science Dept and MIS unit have access to Java and database technology online resources to enable them become equipped with the latest skills in these technologies. Staff will also enjoy taught classroom courses. There is free access to download curriculum, course material, training and certification resources.
- Microsoft IT Academy:Academic institutions are eligible to join the Microsoft IT Academy program. It provides institutions an avenue to encourage their staff and students to gain industry recognized Microsoft certifications. The University became an IT Academy in 2012.
- Moodle e-Learning Platform: Moodle is an e-learning platform that allows lecturers and students to collaborate and share resources online. This provides a platform for online assignments, tests and examinations. The system has been integrated with the university portal and is accessible at http://portal.umyu.edu.ng/elearn by both staff and students.
- ID card Production: The Directorate of the ICT is responsible for the data capture, data processing and production of ID cards of all staff and students of the University. These processes are handled by experienced data processing staff for enhanced data security and control.
- Multimedia Studio: The ICT Directorate houses the University Multimedia studio which is fully equipped with audio recording gadgets and software for offline recordings and content generation and sharing among staff, students and the host community. This is in line with the university’s mission to use ICT as a tool in producing graduates equipped with skills attuned to the demands of the 21st century, whose skills and knowledge would accelerate community development and nation building.
- Computer Based Testing Center: Computer based test is the administration of an examination using a computer. This format is flexible in that the test can be taken at different times and in different locations. It allows testing centers to offer a more consistent test delivery, faster scoring and reporting, and enhanced test security. The university Computer Based Testing Center which started in 2014 is expected to be used as an examination administrating medium for large classes.
- Faculty of Law e-Library: A fully networked e-Library with electronic access to Legapedia, Heins Online and Lexis Nexis; The law collection includes statutes and case law from every Nigerian jurisdiction and selected overseas jurisdictions. It also has a wide range of textbooks and journals and a law reform commission collection, which contain up to date journals, proceedings and judgements for research and learning purposes.
- Semi-Automated Admissions letter processing: This semi automated admission processing uses the Microsoft word Mail Merge to automate the tedious processing and editing of all admission letters of the University. This process is more efficient.
- Active Directory: Active Directory (AD) is a directory service that Microsoft developed for Windows domain networks. The DICT Active Directory project team have successfully tested and deployed the AD. The AD project when completed will enable controlled access for computers and resource access.