Leah Kaari Macharia, Kepha Ombui
Abstract: The main mandate of universities is providing academics through learning and research. This study specifically focused on how learning or continuity of academic programs can still take place in times of disruptions caused by e.g. fires, floods or community clashes. The study was conducted in St. Pauls University, a private chartered university in Kenya. The general objective of the study was to investigate the factors that can influence continuity of academic programs in private universities in Kenya while the specific objectives were: determining the influence of Business Continuity Planning on continuity of academic programs, assessing the influence of information communication technology on continuity of academic programs, establishing whether management support can influence academic programs continuity and lastly establishing how a regulations and/or laws can influence the continuity of academic programs at St. Pauls University. These factors can also be viewed as strategies or solutions on how academics can still continue during disruptions. Factors influencing the continuity of academic programs were outlined, tested, analyzed and findings deduced from the 121 respondents who participated in the study by way of interviews and completing questionnaires. Secondary data was retrieved from existing University policy documents. A descriptive research design was used. Descriptive statistics and regression analysis were used for data analysis. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 9 software tool was used to analyze data. Data presentation methods in terms of tables and charts were used. Qualitative data was summarized and categorized according to common themes and presented in frequency distribution tables. The study deduced that, influence of Business Continuity Planning on continuity of academic programs, influence of information communication technology on continuity of academic programs and the influence of imposed regulations/laws had an inverse correlation towards academic programs continuity while the influence of management support had a significant correlation with the dependent variable. Though the studys results, the researcher recommended that SPU should embrace business continuity planning in their operations as well as ICT usage as it has been proven to be viable options for the achievement of academic programs continuity. Lastly, external bodies such as CUE should impose regulations and laws which will ensure local private universities to have in place academic programs continuity strategies.
Keywords: Learning, Academic Programs, Academic Programs Continuity, University, Student, Faculty