Nov 22 – 23, 2018
Hotel Verde Zanzibar
Africa/Dar_es_Salaam timezone

Call for Abstracts

  • Opening day
  • Submission deadline

Towards SMART African Universities: Services that Matter

22nd - 23rd November 2018, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Call for Abstracts

Authors are invited to submit abstracts of papers for presentation consideration for UbuntuNet-Connect 2018, which will be held on 22-23 November 2018 in Zanzibar. The theme for the conference this year is “Towards SMART African Universities: Services that Matter.” The conference will be hosted by TERNET, the NREN of Tanzania.

UbuntuNet-Connect 2018 is the 11th Annual Conference of UbuntuNet Alliance for Research and Education Networking. This series of conferences brings together researchers, academics, ICT practitioners, policy makers, infrastructure & service providers, regulators and many others once a year to make presentations, share ideas and network on approaches for leveraging ICT to improve the quality of teaching, learning and research in African research and education institutions.

Towards SMART African Universities: Services that Matter

“Smart” systems exploit information and communication technologies to provide solutions that are responsive, personalised, interactive, adaptive and are readily accessible. They are supported by smart technologies, powering the use of smart tools and smart devices. A smart University, therefore, seeks to leverage services and tools to become more efficient and effective, with deeper participation of students, faculty and management, all collaborating towards a common objective of improved learning and enhanced research. This can be achieved through the exploitation of a portfolio of Internet-enabled tools and services that foster a rich, interactive and adaptable learning and research environment both within and between institutions. They enable universities to significantly improve on the quality of the services they provide, making them globally more competitive and more responsive to the needs of their stakeholders. This is especially true for today’s students whose attitudes and learning styles are greatly influenced by the highly interactive world they live in. Transitioning towards a smart university, therefore, will require students, faculty and management to change the way they work in the creation and implementation of new models to exploit and reap benefits from the available smart services and tools. UbuntuNet-Connect 2018 provides a platform for educators, researchers and service providers to discuss key issues involved and propose potential solutions to identified challenges in the transformation towards smart universities in Africa.


Submitted papers should preferably address the sub-themes described below. However prospective authors are encouraged to submit any contribution that is interesting and relevant to research and education networking. Papers can be surveys, theoretical contributions and/or case studies.

Sub-Theme 1: SMART Universities: Concepts, Characteristics and Technologies

The concept of smart universities is still not well defined or researched in the literature. Papers under his sub-theme will address issues providing a better understanding of the concepts, characteristics and available technologies for smart universities. This can include role of social media, cloud computing, smart devices, technologies supporting immersive and interactive environments, the paradigm of the Internet of Things. Focus should be on the application and understanding with an African university context.

Sub-Theme 2: SMART Research: Services and tools

Papers under this sub-theme will address issues related to stand alone or shared services and tools that strengthen the research capabilities within Universities. Topics could include support for research collaboration, sourcing of research funds, computing, data collection, data analysis, research dissemination, research resource sharing, literature review, publications, roles of NRENs and regional NRENs, outcomes and lessons learned.

Sub-Theme 3: SMART Teaching and Learning: Services and tools

Papers under this sub-theme will address issues related to stand-alone or shared services and tools that seek to make ICT an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Topics could include strategies on engaging the current ‘digital generation’, improvement of individualised learning, innovation in teaching and learning, pedagogy, student assessment, learning management, roles of NRENs and regional RENs, outcomes and lessons learned.

Sub-Theme 4: SMART Governance: Services and tools

Papers under this sub-theme will address issues related to stand-alone or shared services and tools that improve the decision-making capabilities for the universities management. This could include smart processes (provides better efficiencies through reduction in bureaucracy), data-driven decision making, data analytics, stakeholder engagement, cost-reduction (for example energy management, paperless operations), performance management, human resource management, roles of NRENs and regional RENs, outcomes and lessons learned.

Invitation to submit Abstracts

Prospective authors are invited to submit abstracts of at most 500 words in Microsoft Word format. Authors should clearly indicate in their abstracts the key messages to be shared.  Abstracts should be submitted online and arrive not later than Friday 24th August 2018.

Collaboratively authored contributions are encouraged and welcome.  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 2018.


Enquiries may be addressed to

The call for abstracts is closed.