Open University of Tanzania looks up to NOUN for ODL’s best practices

By Debbie Nduba
The NOUN VC, and the visiting delegation flanked by the management and other senior staff of the univeristy


A 3-man delegation from the Open University of Tanzania (OUT) has embarked on a learning visit to the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and its management to explore some identified areas of topmost priority to the university.

The delegation led by Prof. Kolo Fada, during a courtesy visit to the NOUN Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters at the headquarters of the university in Jabi, Abuja on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, said the thrust of the 4-day visit was to share knowledge, ODL’s best practices and experiences in the area of academics as practised in NOUN.

“We are here to learn and implement all that NOUN is doing in terms of research, academic practices, consultancy, the way examinations are conducted, so that at the end of day or some days coming we will be like NOUN.

“We want to take all the details among others, put it into practice immediately we get back to our country,’’ Fada said.

The OUT delegation later toured some facilities like the NOUN Press, DEA and DLCMS as part of its line-up of activities.

VC responding to OUT team


The NOUN VC, while assuring them of a good experience during their 4-day stint, said it’s a great honour for NOUN to have the delegation on learning visit.

“OUT is not new to us at all. We have been in cordial relationship with OUT from inception and that is why we invited the VC to present our 16th Convocation Lecture and I was their Convocation Lecturer two years ago,’’ Peters said.

He added that “We are lucky that we have government support in here; lucky also that the past VCs have been hardworking also and laid solid foundation. So all I am doing is to continue the tradition.’’

The Vice-Chancellor stated that NOUN is really proud to be associated with OUT and willing to assist in all areas requested for assistance.  

Speaking further, the VC also said NOUN has moved technology-wise, in the course materials distribution, conduct of examination etc.

“No university in Nigeria or Africa has the kind of spread that we conduct exams. We conduct exams in over 120 centres at same time, though there are a lot of logistics challenges but somehow, we have keyed-in and our processes have been well laid-out and no issues. The last issue was a breach and students are paying dearly for that,” ’he added.


Leader of the OUT Team making his presentation

He noted that the two institutions are in the public domain and their challenges are easily known to the public, and so the duo needs to protect that so well.

“We are also careful especially to note that ODL is not just technology; it has a social context especially in Africa, and so when we do mix technology we should realise that not everybody in that country are on the same page. We try to emphasise that or else  we will be like the Europeans: we will miss the social context of ODL and we will just be thinking about the profit and not how we really increase  access to their population and increase literacy level across the country,” he added.

The Directorate of Academic planning (DAP), Directorate of Learner Content and Management Systems (DLCMS), Directorate of Exams and Assessment (DEA), University Library, Leaner Support Services, RETRIDOL, DE&GS and others, made respective presentations.

Presentations made were focused on programmes run and how they focus on employability, integration of technology into teaching, study materials production and distribution modalities, student support system, examination and assessment, linkages and advancement in NOUN/marketing and communication, research consultancies and outreach services, modalities /approaches best practices in NOUN as well as success and challenges and relevant others.

The VC was flanked during the visit by Prof. Chiedu Mafiana, DVC Academic; Prof. Isaac Butswat, DVC Administration; Dr. Angela Okpala, University Librarian; Prof. Christine Ofulue, Director RETRIDOL; Mrs. Eunice Riki, Ag. Director, ST&D; Dr. Lukman Bello, Ag. Director, Learner Content and Management Systems, among other senior staff.