The Open University of Tanzania (OUT) celebrated its 20th Anniversary in October, 2012 since its establishment in 1992. It is an autonomous fully-fledged and accredited public institution of higher learning being mandated to conduct academic programs leading to certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. The mission is to continuously provide quality open and distance education, research and public service for sustainable and equitable social economics, in the development of Tanzania in particular, along the rest of Africa.
Regional / Coordination Centres
Operating from the commercial city of Dar es salaam as its temporary headquarters, OUT provides higher education through Open and Distance Learning (ODL) – closer to people as the day-to-day activities are mainly made through Regional Centres available in all regions both in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar. OUT also operates through Coordination Centres in a number of neighbouring countries, such as Kenya, Rwanda and Namibia.
Enrolment and Graduates
Reflecting on its 20 years of operations, OUT has provided access to higher education to over 60,000 students, making it a number one University in Tanzania in admitting a larger number of students from within and outside the country in five Faculties and two Institutes. This reflects the Anniversary theme of “20 years of Bridging the Educational Gap in Tanzania and Beyond.” Already over 14,000 students have graduated from OUT between 1999 and 2012, of which 6,056 graduated in Certificates, Diploma and Foundation Course, 6,602 graduated in Undergraduate degrees and 1,367 in Masters and Doctorates.
- Business Management
- Environment Science and Technology;
- Arts and Social Science
Technology-Enhanced Learning Environment
The ODL mode at OUT is enhanced by the use of well maintained Internet connections, application of MOODLE Learning Management System, Students Admission System, Examinations Registration System, On-Demand Examination System and several other electronic systems. Coupled with the establishment of the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Control, the use and application of electronic systems has contributed towards making OUT one of the leading higher education institutions in issues related to Quality Assurance and Control in Tanzania.
To be a leading world-class University in the delivery of affordable quality education through Open Distance Learning, dynamic knowledge generation and application.
Guiding Plan Theme
Commitment to quality outputs, integrity and pursuit for the provision of quality education for all.
As provided in the Universities Act No.7 of 2005 and the OUT charter 2007, the functions of the Open University of Tanzania are:
- Teaching and Learning
The Open University of Tanzania offers affordable, innovative, relevant and quality degrees and non-degree programmes. In addition, the University provides an enabling environment for integrated continuous learning for students and its staff.
- Research and Publication
OUT has created and will maintain an environment conducive to undertake relevant quality research and publications. It
also publishes scholarly findings as part of its mandate to generate, preserve and disseminate knowledge in its own,
local and international media and journals as well as electronic repositories.
- Consultancy and Community Services
The consultancy and community services are integrated within the OUT core functions. In addition, the University participates in various community programmes, activities and services as part of its corporate social responsibility.
Before adoption of the Universities Act No. 7 of 2005, OUT was guided by the Act No.17 of 1992 and its Regulations. The current organisational structure of OUT was approved by the OUT 54th Council Meeting of December, 2006. Since then, OUT has instituted a new organisational structure that conforms to the Universities Act No.7 of 2005 and the OUT Charter and Rules of 2007.
The Chancellor is the titular head of the University who confers degrees and other academic awards of the university.
The Vice Chancellor is the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Spokesperson of the University and shall be responsible to the Council for implementation of the decisions of the Council as guided by the OUT Rolling Strategic Plan.
The current corporate organisational structure provides up to three Deputy Vice Chancellors (DVCs) who assist the Vice Chancellor as follows:
- Deputy Vice -Chancellor ( Academic)
Responsible for admission, teaching and learning, regulations, examinations, postgraduate studies, research,
publication and academic staff development, consultancy and community services. Also coordinates curricula
development and academic audits.
- Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resouces Management).
Responsible for effective management of all types of resources at the University (i.e.human, Physical and Financial
- Deputy Vice- Chancellor (Learning Technologies and Regional Services
Coordination of all Regional and Coordination Centres and to oversee application of learning technologies in
the operations of OUT.
The Open University of Tanzania is the first university in the whole of the East Africa region to offer educational programmes through Open and Distance Learning mode. This makes OUT different from conventional residential universities. Through Open and Distance Learning (ODL), OUT allows a flexible learning environment leading to protracted periods of course completion.
Being an ODL institution, OUT operates through a network of 30 Regional Centres and more than 70 Study Centres in Tanzania and abroad. To address the emerging national, regional and global challenges which emanate from the fast changing perceptions and world cultural, social and economic outlooks, OUT has established several collaborations and links with local, regional and international organisations, associations, and institutions of higher learning such as the International Telecommunication Union, United Kingdom Telecommunication Academy, Namibia College of Open Learning, Triumphant College in Namibia, University of Zimbabwe, Egerton University in Kenya, Global Justice Solutions (a subsidiary of Coffey International), Cape Coast University in Ghana, and the National University of Rwanda.
Educational delivery is attained through various means of communication such as broadcasting, telecasting, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), correspondence, enhanced face to face, seminars, and contact programmes. OUT is increasingly using e-Learning as a mode of delivery through the Learning Management System Moodle. It has received funding frin SPIDER for the establishment of Tanzania’s first E-Learning Centre, which will be located at the temporary headquarters of OUT in Dar es Salaam.
The E-learning Centre will focus initially on building the capacity of the staff and then students from OUT and other universities and colleges. SIDA will also support the capacity-building work of the E-learning Centre.
The University has offered and continues to offer both degree and non-degree programmes in diverse fields of study. There are also several non-degree programmes, which include foundation courses provided to enable individuals to qualify and enrol into different degree programmes as well as several demand driven short courses.