You are here

Purpose & Partners: Problem we are trying to solve

OER Africa has recognized that extensive change in institutional practice is required to transform higher education provision in ways that overcome institutional barriers – policy, regulatory, systemic, and cultural –which inhibit the sustainable adoption of pedagogical practices that take full advantage of the transformative educational potential of OER and ICT. While these barriers remain, mainstream adoption of OER practices is likely to remain on the margins of institutional activity. Over the current period (2015 – 2017) our objective is to support four institutional partners to achieve the following:

  • build a deepened understanding of how OER practices can support transformation of teaching and learning
  • ensure that such accumulating understanding is widely shared and incorporated into policy and advocacy.

We selected institutional partnerships that represent a diversity of situations and approaches. Our objective is to ensure that the knowledge gained from these engagements leads to a generalizable understanding of these barriers and potential strategies to overcome them, which can then be widely shared with key educational decision makers in African higher education. This is being achieved by implementing a parallel action research agenda designed to maximize opportunities for reflection on lessons being learned as the processes unfold at each institution.

Our Partners


Africa Nazarene University (ANU) is a private Christian university and an Institution of the International Board of Education of the Church of the Nazarene. ANU was established in 1994 and granted its University charter in 2002. It has Regional Centres also in Nairobi, Meru, Kisii, Machakos and Eldoret. ANU offers flexible modes of study including campus-based, school-based, evening programs and distance learning.


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.


The Open University of Tanzania is an open and distance learning institution, operating through a network of 30 Regional Centres and more than 70 study centres spread throughout the United Republic of Tanzania and beyond its borders. It is a relatively young University of the age of 24 years. OUT offers a flexible learning environment allowing protracted periods of course completion coupled with examinations on demand.


The University of the Free State (UFS) is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in South Africa. It opened its doors in 1904 on the Bloemfontein Campus with a mere six students in the Humanities. Since then, UFS has grown to more than 31 000 students, spread across seven faculties over three campuses.