Change the world


The spotlight on the final day of the Nelson Mandela University 2022, was on Open Science and Open Education, in the format of a seminar facilitated by Gino Fransman, Project Leader of Open Education Influencers at Nelson Mandela University. 

In his presentation, Fransman highlighted that access to open education resources was important to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations. 

"A third of our students do not buy textbooks. Students conducted a peer to peer survey which revealed some of the value judgements they make are, do I buy a textbook or am I going to eat? We need to live social justice. We need to make it happen for people through open access to education and research resources," said Fransman. 

Stellenbosch University's Deputy Director for Digital Scholarship Mimi Seyffert-Wirth said the university was currently engaged in a redresss project, to capture the stories of a community that was displaced by the apartheid government. 

"These are the last remaining members of the community sharing their stories in various formats including oral interviews that have been recorded." 

Reggie Raju, Director of Research and Learning Services at UCT highlighted that publishing companies are increasingly making access to research out of reach of the global south, which has a negative impact on research production. 

"We can lament the inequality of scholarly ecosystems or we can do something about it. At UCT we have developed a platform for the continent to use to address these biases. UCT Libraries began its library publishing services in December 2016. Since then it has published 23 books, and published six journals. It is anticipated a few more books will be added to the platform before the end of the year."

Dr Tiyani Mabunda, Director Open Scholarship at North-West University challenged researchers to produce research that contributes to a sustainable future in line with the SDGs. "If our work is hidden, it will only be cited by those who have access to university databases. Open access does not benefit the university only, but researchers themselves. Their citation count increases and members of the broader community benefit."

Nelson Mandela University Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Internationalisation, Dr Thandi Mgwebi handing over a cheque for R100,000 seed funding, to postgraduate students who won a pitching competition. The competition was open to postgraduate students with a research project that has potential for commercialisation. The winning team pitched a fibre-optic early warning protection system.

The day concluded with a Q&A session.

Contact information
Mrs Debbie Derry
Deputy Director: Communication
Tel: 041 504 3057