A Critical Look at Policy Environment for Opening up Public Higher Education in Rwanda
Policies play a critical role in the implementation of open, distance education and opening up higher education. To encourage participation of different stakeholders in related practices, policies may need to embody values and benefits for those stakeholders. It is in this perspective that this study was conducted to investigate the policy environment for opening up public higher education in Rwanda. An interview was conducted with a leader/policy maker at the University of Rwanda and three policy documents were analyzed. Results indicated that existing policies were unlikely to inform practices that contribute to opening up higher education. Related policy documents were decontextualized in some aspects. Different ways in which these policies may be contextualized to inform opening up higher education were recommended. The findings and recommendations are particularly important to policy makers and institutional leaders who are interested in opening up higher education in Rwanda and other settings.
Agbu, O.J., Mulder, F., De Vries, F., Tenebe, A.V., & Cane, A. (2016). The Best of Two Open Worlds at the National Open University of Nigeria. Open Praxis, 8(2), 111-121. Retrieved June 26, 2016, from http://www.openpraxis.org/index.php/OpenPraxis/article/view/279
Badarch, D., Knyazeva, S., & Lane, A. (2012). Introducing the Opportunities and Challenges of OER: The Case of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic States. In J. Glennie, K. Harley, N. Butcher, & T.V. Wyk, (Eds), Open educational resources and changes in higher education: Reflection from practice. Vancouver: Commonwealth of Learning, pp. 27-39.
Bates, T. (2015). Athabasca University’s troubles grow. Retrieved May 17, 2016, from http://www.tonybates.ca/2015/06/09/athabasca-universitys-troubles-grow/
Bryman, A. (2012). Social research methods (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2011). Research methods in education (7th ed.). Oxon: Routledge.
Commonwealth of Learning & UNESCO. (2011). Guidelines for open educational resources (OER) in higher education. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002136/213605e.pdf
Conole, G. (2013). Designing for learning in an open world. New York: Springer.
Creswell, W.J. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.
Denscombe, M. (2010). The good research guide for small-scale social research projects (4th ed). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.
Ehlers, U. (2011). From Open Educational Resources to Open Educational Practices. eLearning Papers (21). Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
Glennie, J., Harley, K., & Butcher, N. (2012). Introduction: Discourses in the Development of OER Practices and Policies. In J. Glennie, K. Harley, N. Butcher, & T.V. Wyk (Eds), Open educational resources and changes in higher education: Reflection from practice. Vancouver: Commonwealth of
Learning, pp. 1-12.
Government of Rwanda. (no date). Executive summary of 7 year Government program assessment. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
Higher Education Council. (2014, November 11). Consultancy to develop a strategy of enhancing academic programmes delivery through Open Distance and eLearning in all tertiary education institutions in Rwanda. New Times, 3471.
Hylén, J. (no date). Open educational resources: Opportunities and challenges. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/37351085.pdf
Igihe. (2015, June 18). Urutonde rw’abemerewe kwiga muri Kaminuza y’u Rwanda muri 2015-2016. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from http://igihe.com/amakuru/u-rwanda/article/urutonde-rwabemerewe-kwiga-muri
Jansen, J. (2015, October 15). UFS responds to concerns around high costs of higher education. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from http://www.ufs.ac.za/template/news-archive-item?news=6526
Kopp, M., Ebner, M., & Dofer-Novak, A. (2014). Introducing MOOCs to Austrian Universities: Is it Worth it to Accept the Challenge? The International Journal of Innovation and Quality in Learning, 46-52. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from http://papers.efquel.org/index.php/innoqual/article/view/154/41
Lane, A., & Van Dorp, K.J. (2011). Open Educational Resources and Widening Participation in Higher Education: Innovations and Lessons from Open Universities. EDULEARN11, the 3rd annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies. Retrieved April 16, 2015, from http://oro.open.ac.uk/29201/1/OPEN_EDUCATIONAL_RESOURCES_AND_WIDENING_PARTICIPATION_andy.pdf
Mandell, A., & Travers, N. (2012). Imagine what is open: An interview with Sir John Daniel. Prior Learning Assessment Inside Out, 1(1). Retrieved January 26, 2016, from www.plaio.org/index.php/home/article/download/16/22
McAndrew, P., Farrow, R., Law, P., & Elliott-Cirigottis, G. (2012). Learning the lesson of openness. Journal of Interactive Media in Education. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from http://wwwjime.open.ac.uk/articles/10.5334/2012-10/
Ministry of Education. (2010). Education Sector Strategic Plan 2010-2015. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from http://planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/upload/Rwanda/RwandaESSP20102015.pdf
Mukama, E., Sapsford, R., Bahati, B., Munyemana, G., Ndayambaje, I., Nkuyubwatsi, B., Lavin, B., Hughes, M., Karamaga, L., & Brannelly, L. (2013). College of Open and Distance Learning in Rwanda: Proposed operational approach and costs. A report to the Ministry of Education, Republic of Rwanda.
Mulder, F. (2015). Open(ing up) Education for all…Boosted by MOOCs? In C. J. Bonk, M.M. Lee, T.C. Reeves, & T.H. Reynolds (Eds.), MOOCs and open education around the world (pp. xviii- xxvii). London: Routledge.
Mulder, F., & Janssen, B. (2013) Opening up Education. In R. Jacobi, H. Jelgerhuis, & V.D.N. Woert (Eds), Trend Report: Open Educational Resources 2013 (pp. 36-42). Retrieved May 11, 2015, from
Nkuyubwatsi, B. (2014). Mapping Five Os for Reaping Benefits from Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Journal Of Global Literacies, Technologies and Emerging Pedagogies, 2(3), 189-206. Retrieved April 18, 2016, from http://joglep.com/index.php/archives/voulme-2-issue-3/
Nkuyubwatsi, B. (2016a). Positioning extension Massive Open Online Courses (xMOOCs) Within the Open Access and the Lifelong Learning Agendas in a Developing Setting. The Journal of Learning for Development, 3(1), 14-36. Retrieved April 17, 2016, from http://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d
Nkuyubwatsi, B. (2016b). The Outcome of Constructive Alignment Between Open Educational Services and Learners' Needs, Employability and Capabilities Development: Heutagogy and Transformative Migration Among Underprivileged Learners in Rwanda. Cogent Education, 3(1).
DOI:10.1080/2331186X.2016.1198522. Retrieved June, 28, 2016, from
Nkuyubwatsi, B., Ndayishimiye, V., Ntirenganya, B.J., & Umwungerimwiza, D.Y. (2015). Towards Innovation in Digital and Open Scholarship for Non-rivalrous Lifelong Learning and Supporting Open Learning: The Case of the Open Scholars Network. eLearning Papers (44), 53-59. Retrieved April 17, 2016, from http://openeducationeuropa.eu/en/paper/teacher-s-role-educationalinnovation
OECD. (2007). Giving knowledge for free: The emergence of open educational resources. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/38654317.pdf
Ouwehand, M. (2012). OER Platform. In R. Jacobi, & N.V.D. Woert (Eds), Trend report: Open Educational Resources 2012 (pp. 47-53). Retrieved February 2, 2016, from https://www.surfspace.nl/media/bijlagen/artikel-697-ee18ac0f1441bb158e6122818f5f589e.pdf
Parr, C. (2015, February 19). Open University’s numbers dive 28% as pool of part-timers dries up. Times Higher Education. Retrieved May 17, 2016, from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/open-universitys-numbers-dive-28-as-pool-of-parttimers-dries-up/2018593.article
Ramaker, R., & Wijkhuijs, J. (2015, January 29). The fight for open access. Univers. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from https://universonline.nl/2015/01/29/the-fight-for-open-access
The University of Rwanda. (2014a). General academic regulations for open and distance learning programmes. Retrieved November 18, 2015, from http://cbe.ur.ac.rw/images/policy/Revised%20UR%20General%20Academic%20Regulations%20for%20Undergraduate%20Programmes.pdf
The University of Rwanda. (2014b). Policy and procedures on academic staff appointments and promotions. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from
The University of Rwanda. (2015a). Facts and figures 2015>. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from http://www.cbe.ur.ac.rw/images/pdf/ur/UR%20FACTS%20&%20FIGURES%202015.pdf
The University of Rwanda. (2015b). University of Rwanda open access policy and procedures. Retrieved February 2, 2016, from
UNESCO. (2012). 2012 Paris OER Declaration. Retrieved February 5, 2016, from http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/pdf/Events/Paris%20OER%20Declaration_01.pdf
United Nations. (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved February 1, 2016, from http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Documents/UDHR_Translations/eng.pdf
Weller, M. (2011). The digital scholar: How technology is transforming the scholarly practice. New York: Bloomsbery.
Weller, M. (2014). The battle for open: How openness won and why it doesn’t feel like victory. London: Ubiquity Press. Retrieved May 10, 2015, from http://www.ubiquitypress.com/site/books/detail/11/battle-for-open/
Wijkhuijs, J. (2015, July, 2). Dutch universities start their Elsevier boycott plan. Univers. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from https://universonline.nl/2015/07/02/dutch-universities-start-their-elsevierboycott-plan
Wild, S. (2015, June 26). Door 'slammed on open access' to academic work. Mail Guardian. Retrieved January 26, 2016, from http://mg.co.za/article/2015-06-25-door-slammed-on-open-access-toacademic-work
Woert, N.V.D. (2012). Access, Accessibility and Use of Open Educational Resources. In R. Jacobi, & N.V.D. Woert. (Eds), Trend report: Open Educational Resources 2012 (pp. 35-39). Retrieved February 2,
Wolfenden, F. (2012). OER Production and Adaptation through Networking across Sub-Saharan Africa: Learning from TESSA. In J. Glennie, K. Harley, N. Butcher, & T.V. Wyk (Eds), Open educational resources and changes in higher education: Reflection from practice. Vancouver: Commonwealth of Learning. pp. 91-105.
Yuan, L., & Powell, S. (2013). MOOCs and open education: Implications for higher education. Retrieved May 10, 2015, from http://publications.cetis.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/MOOCsand-Open-Education.pdf
Copyright (c) 2016 Journal of Learning for Development - JL4D
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).