From: In Partnership, 2009 (Open University International Partnerships)

The Open University currently works in two ways in Africa. First, it works across national boundaries. The Teacher Education in sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) programme is a consortium of teacher educators across nine African countries working to improve access to, and the quality of, teacher education both through influencing policy makers and by developing materials. A similar programme for health – the Health Education and Training (HEAT) programme – is currently being piloted. ‘Open Learn’ and ‘Open Door’ provide materials and teaching texts (freely available on-line and electronically) which can support local courses.

Second, the OU is active in a number of individual countries in Africa, from providing the MBA in Ethiopia to working (often in partnership with other organisations) to deliver education and other programmes in countries like Zambia and Uganda. Open University bachelor degrees are taught across African borders, with the latest initiative coming from eDegree, a South African based partnership, which already offers the BA Hons Business Studies in South Africa, Botswana and Uganda. There are plans to expand delivery of this programme into other African countries in the near future, including Zambia and Tanzania.

[Because it will]  take decades to provide the physical buildings and teaching capacity to satisfy the demand for further education and continuing professional development through traditional methods…the OU is discussing with the Governments of Ethiopia, Ghana and others how the OU can support them with their particular blend of teaching, learning and quality materials.

Over 50 students have registered for the 7th presentation of the Open University’s MBA in Ethiopia. The new cohort began studying the postgraduate course The Fundamentals of Senior Management in May 2009, all of whom are studying alongside full time employment. Delivered in partnership with the British Council and the Addis Ababa University College of Commerce, the course combines rigorous analytical work with personal and professional development. It offers a thorough grounding in management concepts and principles and helps students develop reflective and critical thinking. Over 260 students to date have completed the MBA in Ethiopia. OU tutors visit Ethiopia to provide face to face local tutorials and a residential school, which offers students the opportunity to meet other managers and to work on problem solving, negotiation skills and self-development. Students receive further support via online conferencing.

For further details of the OU’s activities in Africa, see


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