Arusha — THE Open University of Tanzania has secured two plots in Burka area, slightly outside the Arusha City, for the construction of the institution's permanent offices and campus for Arusha.
According to the Open University of Tanzania's Arusha branch Director, Mr Maricel Masalu, the Arusha Centre is overwhelmed with enrollment. "We have over 800 students currently, with others still enrolling. Our premises here at the city centre is small, we need larger facility," he said.
Mr Masalu pointed out that when it comes to students enrolling for Open University programmes, Arusha is second after Dar es Salaam Region, in recording a large number of students; followed by Mwanza.
"The Arusha branch also serves other satellite OUT centres in Longido and Karatu districts," he added. Despite being essentially a 'distance learning' academic outfit, the Open University of Tanzania, which serves various other countries as well, in addition to dispatching materials online, occasionally also gathers the students at their campuses for faceto- face training or directives and as the number of scholars rises, the OUT strives to get more land for expansion. OUT has so far produced over 4000 students from its Arusha module.
"The new headquarters, once built, will ease the students the burden of hiring exam centres, because once OUT gets the title deed for the land, the area can be developed into a modern campus which will cater for everything," said Mr Masalu. He added that previously, students used to hire the Arusha Technical College halls during exams, but now they are relying on makeshift tented auditorium recently set up at the cost of 48 million/- on the open spaces adjacent to the Open University offices.
The distance learning public university of Tanzania has more than 700 students at its Arusha branch but has so far enrolled nearly 100,000 students countrywide. More than 20,000 of them graduated through OUT since the Open University was established by the Act of Parliament No. 17 of 1992.
The Open University has recorded great achievements, including establishing learning and exam centres in most Mainland regions as well as Zanzibar and Pemba, in addition to extending to countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, Namibia, Uganda and Malawi.
With headquarters in Dar es Salaam the Open University of Tanzania is a single mode institution offering certificate, diploma and degree courses through distance learning. OUT offers education services to students from all continents of the world with the exception of South America.