Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Research and Education Success Stories During Covid-19″ 

Virtual/Livingstone, Zambia, 10-12 November 2021

The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 brought a disruptive wave to the Research and Education community across the globe. As the virus spread and wreaked havoc the world over, governments ordered various levels of national lockdowns to curb the virus that has affected millions of people from all walks of life. 

As the virus raged on, Universities and colleges suspended physical learning forcing learning institutions into a frantic search for solutions and remedies to sustain teaching and learning. While some institutions struggled to achieve this, several other institutions of higher learning across the world quickly repositioned themselves and were able to deploy various interventions that enabled the continuity of the conduct of research and delivery of education. 

Building on the theme for UbuntuNet-Connect 2020, “Repositioning Research and Education During Crises,” UbuntuNet-Connect 2021 will take stock of the milestones and success stories the Research and Education community has so far achieved in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Conference will be held as a hybrid event (online and physically in Livingstone, Zambia) from 10-12 November 2021.  UbuntuNet-Connect 2021 will thus be held under the theme “Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Research and Education Success Stories During Covid-19“.

UbuntuNet Alliance invites prospective authors to submit abstracts of at most 500 words detailing successes and lessons learnt in providing teaching and learning during the pandemic. Collaboratively authored contributions are encouraged and welcome. Submitted papers should preferably address the sub-themes described below. However, abstracts on topics that are interesting and relevant to research and education networking may be considered. Papers can be surveys, theoretical contributions and/or case studies.

Sub-theme 1: Success stories in the ‘classroom’ 

Papers in this theme should address the success stories from the delivery of lessons through an online, physical or blended approach of learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Papers can focus on infrastructure and services that enable online and offline continuity of education during the pandemic or on innovations in pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning. 

Sub-theme 2: Success stories at the policy level 

Papers in this sub-theme should address intervention and measures initiated and introduced by national governments, teaching and learning institutions, science academies. Regulatory bodies, ministries, multilateral and bilateral donor agencies in ensuring that teaching and learning continues during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Sub-theme 3: Success stories in the research space

Papers in this sub-theme should address research studies that the research and education community has undertaken to generate information and knowledge around the Covid-19 pandemic. The studies could focus on generating knowledge on the behavior of institutions, organizations and individuals in research and education during the pandemic. Collaborative papers from authors from various organizations are encouraged. 

Sub-theme 4: Success stories on infrastructure and services

Papers in this sub-theme should focus on teaching and learning infrastructure as well as services that have helped sustain teaching and learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. The infrastructure and services could be those that go beyond the classroom such as Cloud services, eduroam, ediID or Identity federations. 

All abstracts will be double-blind-peer-reviewed by an international panel. Successful authors will be asked to prepare full papers, which the Alliance will publish in the Proceedings of UbuntuNet-Connect 2021. Abstracts should be submitted online and arrive not later than Monday 6th September 2021.

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