UNESCO-COL Chair in Open Educational Resources (903), established in 2010 at Athabasca University (Canada)


Open Educational Resources (OER)


The specific objectives of this Chair are to:

  • take a leadership role in networking, capacity-building, teaching, training and research related to OERs, in line with UNESCO’s priorities and the UN Millennium Development Goals;
  • build on the OER Community and complement it with the creation of an international decentralized OER Network, essentially moving from a Community of Interest to a Community of Practice, in order to further strengthen the OER movement and ensure the sharing of information and best practices;
  • promote action at the institutional, national and international levels and link OER initiatives, practitioners and researchers internationally using the existing OER Community and the OER Network that may evolve into a network of networks; and,
  • conduct and promote participatory research on OER that will benefit marginalized groups and developing world communities, mostly focusing on Africa, gender equality, rural and remote communities and youth, and disseminate the results of research through open scholarly journals, open archives and relevant wikis, blogs and websites. 

Host Institution

Athabasca University (Canada)

UNESCO Chair's website


Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

UNESCO Sector/Office responsible for the Chair/Network


Contact: Prof. Rory McGreal, UNESCO Chairholder

University Research Services

Athabasca University
1 University Drive Athabasca

AB T9S 3A3 Canada

E-mail: rory(at)

Work Phone: (780) 675-6821
Fax: (780) 675-6722