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Health Open Educational Resources (OER)


What do we mean by OER?



At UCT, OER began with The Cape Town Open Education Declaration in 2007 alongside sponsorship from the Hewlett Foundation. The institutional philosophy for sharing created a Community of Practice that opened up all the scholarly disciplines in a collective effort for expanding knowledge production and publication in an open and transparent manner. The OpenUCT repository encourages the publication, use and re-use of resources. To assist in finding open resources both UCT libraries and OER Africa offer guidance.

The Health Sciences Faculty (HSF) has led the way in terms of OER outputs with some resources indicating views and downloads reaching millions of people globally.

Why do we promote OER?

For creators / authors of OER                                        For consumers of OER

Philanthropism, generosity of time and expertise      “not needing to reinvent the wheel”


Fagan, J. 2019. Open Access Publishing of Textbooks and Guidelines for Otolaryngologists in Developing Countries. OTO Open. DOI: 10.1177/2473974X19861567, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6684142/pdf/10.1177_2473974X19861567.pdf

Assistance in all OER matters is offered by the E-Learning Division in the Education Development Unit to any faculty staff., including:

  • Creating new material as OER
  • Converting existing material to publish as OER. This process could include selecting the appropriate Creative Commons licence and adding that licence to the resources such as images, videos, full presentations, and other material.
  • Finding appropriate replacements for any material that is restricted by current copyright limitations or  negotiating for permission for its use.

What is the broader OER context in Africa and beyond?

OER in Africa