The OpenUCT Initiative has been funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation for three years, from July 2011 to June 2014. Associate Professor Laura Czerniewicz has been seconded from the Centre for Educational Technology (CET) to head it as Director. The project manager is Michelle Willmers; Sarah Goodier serves as the scholarly communication officer; Sibongile Musundwa is the Initiative's research assistant; and the interns are Mushashu Lumpa (technical intern) and Kyle Rother. The Initiative is only possible with close collaboration with a number of partners and with academics in the university. OpenUCT is involved in advocacy, hosting events, undertaking research and providing some support to the UCT community.
The OpenUCT Initiative’s key objectives are:
* To make freely available as many as possible of UCT’s research, teaching and community-focused scholarly resources to those with internet access
* To engage with the higher education openness agenda, from the perspective of the global south
Openness has been on UCT’s agenda for many years previous to the Initiative, with many academics sharing both their research outputs and their teaching resources through web sites and repositories in an ad hoc manner. In 2007, the Shuttleworth Foundation funded an investigation into all kinds of openness at the university, resulting in 22 outputs available at OpeningScholarship.
This was followed by a Shuttleworth Foundation grant for the development of the OpenContent Directory which makes available teaching resources developed by UCT academics.
At the same time, the Health OER Project was working with the Universities of Michigan and Ghana on OER health resources, and the university started the Knowledge Co-op to open up its relationship with the community beyond the university.