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Capacity Building for Open Science Data in Higher Education/Alfonse Muhunira Dubi


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Presentation during the 14th Association of African Universities (AAU) Conference and African Open Science Platform (AOSP)/Research Data Alliance (RDA) Workshop in Accra, Ghana, 7-8 June 2017.

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Capacity Building for Open Science Data in Higher Education/Alfonse Muhunira Dubi

  2. 2. 1. INTRODUCTION • Since the 1980s, a majority of national Governments (in developing countries) and international development partners and donors assigned higher education a relatively low priority. • The neglect was based on a narrow and misleading economic analysis which advocated that public investment in universities and colleges brought meager returns compared to investment in primary and secondary schools, • This attitude led to chronic underfunding of HE but at the same time HE institutions faced escalating demand • However, over the last 2 decades, there has been a shift in paradigm of neglect of Higher Education. Consequently Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa has generally been in a dynamic state • Consequently, HE systems in our countries has grown from only one institution of higher education at (e.g. Tanzania -1961) to many more training institutions.
  3. 3. 2. MAIN KEY ISSUES OF UNIVERSITY AND HE Main key issues largely resolve around: (i) Financing Higher Education, (ii) Expansion and accessibility, (iii) Quality assurance and relevance, (iv) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) (v) Building a skilled human capital, and (vi) Research.
  4. 4. 3. TRAINING INITIATIVES IN RESEARCH MANAGEMENT IN TANZANIA • There are many training initiatives today to teach researchers and postgraduate students critical research skills such as data analysis, cloud-computing, statistics, and programming • Researchers (both staff and postgraduate students) participate in workshops and have access to online training and resources • There is a reasonable access to infrastructure such as computers, internet, and relevant software packages for the current situation!
  5. 5. 4. WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS? (a) Research Data skills • There are hundreds of thousands of free data sets available worldwide, ready to be used and analyzed by anyone willing to look for them. • For example, the world’s largest archive of weather (environmental, meteorological and climate) data sets is found at the US National Climatic Data Center ( clim). • Research data skills (data acquisition, analysis, presentation and management,,) are not mainstreamed in undergraduate and postgraduate studies (b) Open source data analysis software • There are many open source data analysis software, but most researchers are not aware of their availability (c) Data and Information storage technology
  6. 6. 4. WHAT SHOULD WE DO? (a) Research Data skills Research data mining, analysis and presentation and management should be mainstreamed in curriculum (b) Researchers should be trained to use Open source data analysis software (c) Capacity-building initiatives can require long-term continuous learning (d) Partnerships - institutional, regional, national and international support structures
  7. 7. 5. CONCLUSION? We need to build competencies and technological capacity of university teaching staff, enhance knowledge and skills in open data digital infrastructure in higher education, and improve teaching methods and technologies to better serve Higher Education stakeholders