The Student Voice: Amplifying the Student Experience for Success

About Us

Our Mission

Saide is committed to the process of transformation of education and training so to increase equitable and meaningful access to knowledge, skills and learning through the adoption of open learning principles, distance education methods and educational technology.

Our Vision

A society in which all people value, have access to, and succeed in lifelong education that meets national and regional priorities in the context of the global knowledge economy.


Saide is a non-profit organization that is registered as an educational trust (Registration Number: 1355/92). It is also registered as a Non Profit Organisation (041-137 NPO). We currently have a level one B-BBEE status. Saide’s Trustees are: Trustees Mr S Maslomoney (Co-Chairman), Dr SJ Ramokgopa (Co-Chairman), Ms M Metcalfe,  Prof S Motala, Ms L Vilakazi-Tselane. Prof A Bawa,  Ms JA Glennie and Prof T Msibi. Director Ms JA Glennie  



Saide was initially entirely supported by the European Union. From 1995, Saide began to diversify its funding. In early 1997, Saide turned its attention to its financial sustainability around different sources of income: project grants with agreed deliverables, commissioned project income, general income from funding agencies (organizational grants), other (including interest, royalties, use of administrative services etc). The balance among these types has shifted dramatically, with no organizational grants since 2005. Saide is committed to balancing the above sources of income to ensure that it retains a strong committment to its mission and is not driven entirely by the 'market'.

What we do

Saide is not an implementing agency but acts as an advocate, catalyst, and facilitator to bring about change in existing educational practices. Saide is in a unique position to facilitate networks and provide advice on the planning and implementation of distance education and the evaluation, development and sharing of courses and materials. Educational providers in South Africa and neighbouring countries have increasingly sought Saide's assistance in planning and evaluating their programmes, courses and systems and supporting them by facilitating professional development for their staff.

Saide is a non-governmental organization conducting projects throughout South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Saide's task is to contribute to the development of new models of open learning, including the use of distance education methods, educational technology and open educational resources. These should accord with and take forward the values, principles, and goals of the evolving education systems in the sub-Saharan Africa. 

Staff members

Our Services

Saide offers a number of services accross all educational sectors - higher education, teacher education, early childhood development, schooling, technical and vocational education and community education. We do not deliver education programmes, but work with educators, programmes and institutions as well as government to enable successful open learning for all.

Programme development and course design

  •  Facilitate the development of programmes in which the principles of open and flexible learning are balanced with the provision of sufficient learner support
  • Lead and support collaborative course design processes in which learner support, assessment and course materials are integrated
  • Encourage and support appropriate use of technology in programmes and courses


Materials design and development

  • Lead the design and development of materials that mediate learning in open learning and distance education courses
  • Build capacity in the design and development of learning and teaching support materials incorporating open educational resources in a variety of media 


Coordination of open learning initiatives

Saide plays the backbone role as the fund-holder for large collaborative open learning initiatives:

  • guide vision and strategy
  • coordinate aligned activities
  • support the use of data in a shared measurement system for ongoing improvement
  • manage internal and external communications


Policy development and systemic reviews

  • Support the development of policy for distance education, open learning and the use of technology
  • Conduct systemic reviews of educational provision and the use of technology in education ​​​​​​

Educational technology

  • Research the use of technology in education and
  • Encourage and support appropriate use of technology in education

Evaluation and Research

  • Work with the client to develop an evaluation plan, including appropriate indicators. 
  • Collect and analyse both quantitative and qualitative information systematically and sensitively.
  • Feed the information back to the client to improve the initiative.


Open Educational Resources (OER)

  • Stimulate and/or co-ordinate projects for the adaptation, development and use of OER
  • Encourage institutions to develop policies that promote the use, creation and sharing of OER
  • Identify and make available on various Saide platforms, such as OER Africa and African Storybook Initiative, high quality OER to meet the needs of African educational providers and users
  • Support and contribute to networks and communities of practice involved in the development and use of OER


Quality assurance/ Quality systems and criteria

  • Promote quality educational delivery by supporting institutions in developing appropriate quality assurance systems and through building capacity in quality assurance 


Since inception, Saide has developed and sustained an excellent reputation for the quality and effectiveness of its work, and for its ability to manage a wide range of projects. The project pages provide information on our projects, related services and staff involved. Where possible we include links to resources and outputs related to these projects. The search facility  can also be used to look for our resources.

  • Developing a suite of pathways for CPD in universities on effective OER practices and testing the approach in a number of institutions by collaborating with regional networks.
  • Completion of research on effectiveness of OER practices in African higher education.
  • Partnerships with the Association of African Universities and the African Library & Information Associations and Institutions leading to CPD strategies for those two associations that incorporate lessons learned from implementation of learning pathways.
  • Ongoing advocacy around effective OER practices in African higher education.

Acting as a backbone organization, Saide with seven Partners (funded by the Kresge Foundation) and five Participant universities work together to improve student success through evidence based interventions at scale. The Network includes national and local network components. The National Network includes a coherent set of services focused on student success (provided by Partner universities as well as by Saide) and the USA based Achieving the Dream, five sub-networks, convening meetings with Partners and the annual conference. Partner institutions coordinate regional sub- networks and Saide coordinates the national network.

Creating a digital library of African storybooks for early reading and facilitating their use and versioning for local languages and contexts, made available through openly licensed digital storybooks distributed by means of web-based Internet and mobile app services.

The African Storybook Initiative is recognised as an official partner of the Department of Basic Education's Read2Lead Campaign.


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  • Saide
    14th Floor,
    19 Ameshoff Street,
    Braamfontein Johannesburg,
    South Africa
    -26.187392, 28.037548
  • Email
  • Phone
    +27 11-403-2813
    +27 60 436 4823