The University of Pretoria has its origins in the establishment of the Pretoria Centre of the Transvaal University College in 1908. On 10 October 1930, an act of Parliament resulted in its becoming the University of Pretoria. Today, UP currently has over 50,000 students and has become one of the leading higher education institutions on the continent and indeed, in the world. It offers courses in both English and Afrikaans and has transformed from a mainly white, Afrikaner institution to a multicultural, multiracial university that offers quality education to South Africans from all walks of life.
Over the past three years, OER Africa has worked closely with UP’s Faculty of Veterinary Science (known as Onderstepoort) to support the launch of its African Veterinary Information (AfriVIP) Portal. This portal is integrated into the Faculty’s Plan for 2012-2016, and is part of a broad vision both to share all of its intellectual property under an open license.
AfiVIP is being used to systematically integrate the use of OER into both formal educational programs and continuing professional development (CPD) activities at Onderstepoort. OER Africa has commenced a program of work with the Faculty to continue, and expand, this work over the next two years by:
- Supporting effective design of CPD courses that use openly licensed materials stored in AfriVIP;
- Working with academics to integrate use of the AfriVIP Portal and its resources into the delivery of both postgraduate and undergraduate programs;
- Facilitating a wider institutional advocacy process to share the lessons learned at Onderstepoort as a basis for re-development of key institutional policies;
- Broadening the base of participation in the development and management of the AfriVIP Portal to other faculties of veterinary science in Southern and Eastern Africa.
As part of OER Africa’s Participatory Action Research grant OER Africa is also involved in supporting the faculty’s curriculum review processes, particularly with an interest in investigating how OER might be used to enhance teaching and learning at the institution.