Managing the social media phenomenon in all its different forms is a complex scenario, from an institutional as well as a technological perspective (IT). Globally, this remains a challenge and the UFS is facing the exact same dilemmas as all other players in the domain of people-based services.

Social media presents a multi-pronged, multi-party management challenge, and the manner in which it is managed within the constraints of the UFS domain mimics similar practices elsewhere. From an ICT perspective, the management of infrastructures, platforms, and services is a real challenge and the management of digital security (also referred to as Information Security) has become a leading contender in the race to secure the ongoing operations of the UFS in such a manner that the operational integrity of the UFS is protected, but the importance of information security to the academic programmes of the UFS is not ignored or discounted. Social media has become a mainstream communication channel far exceeding the role of formal emails, SMSs and internet postings. It is the preferred channel for person-to-person interaction, thus opening up unbelievable opportunities to reach learners in a way that aligns with and integrates into the lifestyle of the learners, both globally and in the UFS domain. Learners are global citizens, and it is by chance that they are rooted in the UFS domain. This is where ICT plays a key role, and needs to unlock the wide range of digital opportunities provided to the institution and learners alike.

Social media is an ongoing journey of opportunities, and not a singular event that will pass as a fad or a ‘flash in the pan’. The ability to embrace and deal with it at institutional level is where the real challenge resides. Game on…

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