The African Virtual University Joins Leading Global Universities to Support OpenCourseWare's Future

AVU pledges funds to support OpenCourseWare Consortium

CAMBRIDGE, MA, October 25, 2010 -- The African Virtual University (AVU) joins a core group of leaders in the OpenCourseWare community by pledging $25,000 over the next five years to support the OpenCourseWare Consortium, the non-profit association of global OpenCourseWare supporters. Other members pay annual dues of US $50 to $500 dollars to ensure the Consortium has the funding necessary to catalyze the development and use of OpenCourseWare content worldwide.

This furthers the African Virtual University's substantial commitment to open education and is an investment in the effort to create a shared body of open educational resources that spans cultures and regions. "We're pleased to have the African Virtual University join other leading OCW publishers in making a strong statement about the value of OpenCourseWare and the Consortium," said Consortium President Stephen Carson. "Through the AVU's contribution, the Consortium will continue to lend support to universities worldwide in publishing their educational materials."

The African Virtual University is a recognized leader in the OpenCourseWare community. Through the OER@AVU portal, the African Virtual University plans to share educational materials from dozens of AVU courses, with materials from four courses already available. The OER@AVU will serve as a platform to publish the 219 modules of Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry; ICT Basic Skills and Teacher Education Professional courses that were developed and released as Open Education Resources (OERs) through the African Development Bank (AfDB)- and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-funded Teacher Education Program.

The AVU's OER Repository will also serve as a platform for tertiary-level African educators to make their educational resources available to others, discuss and comment on them, and collaborate in developing them further. It will host all of the AVU's open education resources in areas such as Business Studies, Computer Sciences, Agriculture and Environment studies. The AVU's new OER Repository, branded OER@AVU, is supported by the African Development Bank.

The African Virtual University has been a member of the OpenCourseWare Consortium since September 30. 2010. In describing AVU's rationale for making this commitment to the OCW Consortium the AVU's Rector, Dr. Bakary Diallo, noted, "For more than 13 years, the AVU has worked across borders and language barriers in Africa to improve education. This pledge cements our commitment to ensuring that Africa continues to fully benefit from the gobal Open Education Movement."

In addition to the African Virtual University, the following universities and organizations have each pledged US $25,000 over five years in support of the OpenCourseWare Consortium: China Open Resources for Education (China), Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands), Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium (Japan), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (United States), Korea OpenCourseWare Consortium (Korea), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States), Open Universiteit (the Netherlands), Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico), Tufts University (United States), (Spain), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain), University of California, Irvine (United States), University of Michigan (United States), and University of the Western Cape (South Africa).

To date the approximately 200 organizations of the OCW Consortium have published materials from more than 13,000 courses, available through the Consortium's Web site. These materials are freely available on the web as resources to support informal and formal teaching and learning worldwide, and have received an estimated 100 million visits from virtually every country and region in the world.


The AVU configured a conceptual framework and architecture - the OER@AVU Architecture - through which the creation, organization, dissemination and utilization of OERs is expected to lead to the development of a dynamic, rational and comprehensive strategy for collaborative partnerships for African higher education and training institutions. The OER@AVU strategy recognizes the importance of collaborative partnerships in advocating and raising awareness for OERs in the African Higher Education Sector. By involving African institutions in the OER evolutionary process, the AVU intends to address the issues pertaining to epistemological, ideological, cultural and social relevance as well as reduce technological challenges; while enabling the institutions to participate actively so that they drive and own the process in terms of form content, structure and orientation.

About the OpenCourseWare Consortium

The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance formal and informal learning through the worldwide sharing and use of free, open, high-quality education materials organized as courses. The OpenCourseWare Consortium is supported in part by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

About OpenCourseWare

OpenCourseWare (OCW) is course materials–typically including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, exams and occasionally videos of classroom activities–openly published on the web for reuse and redistribution by educators and learners around the world.

For more information, please contact:

meena at ocwconsortium dot org