n South African Journal of Higher Education - The Internet as an outreach tool : the UWC case

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



There are two web-based outreach projects based in the botany department at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), providing high-school level learning resources in the area of Biology and Environmental Education. An analysis of guestbook submissions and server logs was made to determine if the resources were reaching learners and educators, the geographical distribution of learners, and the degree to which users find the resources useful for learning support. The results indicate that a substantial number of learners, educators and parents find and access the resources, and that they invariably find them useful. The majority of users come from outside of South Africa, although there are indications that the number of South African users is increasing. The data indicate that a website with content targeted at school level can be a useful outreach tool. However access to the Internet among school learners in South Africa is still in its infancy. Online outreach can also target the global population, and possibly help a historically disadvantaged institution such as UWC become a significant player in the global HE marketplace.

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