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This report, based on a desktop review, unpacks the possibilities of opennes in African higher education, launching the discussion with a presentation and explanation of the concepts and icons associated with various tenets of open practice. The discussion then moves on to explore the factors leading to the rise of openness, including a social inclination towards opennes, government involvement, and technological innovations that have encouraged and facilitated openness. Global and regional trends in openness in higher education are highlighted in the context of the core business of universities: teaching and learning, research and community engagement. Concerns over quality in open practice are raised and discussed. Given its importance, especially in relation to African economic development, the important role of higher education in research, development, and innnovation is given special attention, covering aspects of supply and demand, and university-industry partnerships - their nature, enablers to partnership, open innovation, and barriers to such partnerships. The report concludes with an outline of recommendations on how African universities can reinvent themselves through making certain changes that will enable them to be more relevant and responsive to 21st century skills demands and ultimately to serve their communities more effectively and efficiently.

Neil Butcher
Sarah Hoosen
Monica Mawoyo
License Condition: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0  
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