Opening learning Southern African style
November 30th, 2007

Eve Gray is an experienced hand at African publications and education. She is a perceptive observer and realistic advocate of open and virtual learning. Therefore, her optimism in this post on her Gray Area blog can be taken as serious good news:

On the second day of the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) Open Access conference last week, the penny suddenly dropped. From the start, the signs were good – the conference, which followed on from the SARUA Vice-Chancellors’ triennial congress, was, after all, focused on open access. The Chair of SARUA, Professor Njabulo Ndebele of the University of Cape Town, the Botswana Minister of Education, J D Nkate and the CEO of SARUA, Piyushi Kotecha, opened the conference with strong statements on the value of Open Access in their respective constituencies. This is echoed on the SARUA website which, unusually for a university association site, acknowledges the importance of dissemination as a core value and makes a clear statement of its commitment to Open Access both as one of its programme areas and as a core principle, as well as its policy for its own communications. The central statement is perhaps this:

Promoting Open Access for increased quality research, enhanced collaboration, and the sharing and dissemination of knowledge, is a central principle for SARUA’s work. The Association is already engaging with groups and networks of expertise and good practice locally and globally in order to support the development of Open Access benefits for HE. . . .

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