The OpenUCT Initiative has been funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation for three years, from July 2011 to December 2014. Associate Professor Laura Czerniewicz was seconded from the Centre for Educational Technology (CET - now the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching) to head it as Director. Laura returned to CILT as their Director at the end of July 2014. The project manager is Michelle Willmers; Sarah Goodier serves as the scholarly communication officer; and our intern is 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.
On 31 July 2014, the OpenUCT Institutional Repository was officially launched by UCT's VC, Dr Max Price.