25.11.2010 -

Expanding the vision of Open Educational Resources

©UNESCO/ASPnet/T. RutschmanLong distance learning of the Spanish language, Sweden

A policy forum to discuss an initiative aimed at widening the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) will be held at UNESCO Paris headquarters on December 1.

The initiative, Taking OER beyond the OER Community: Policy and Capacity, was launched by UNESCO in 2010 in collaboration with the intergovernmental organization, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), to ensure greater support for OERS worldwide and to enhance the capacity of developing countries to create and use OERS.

Despite a great deal of progress, the OER concept is still not widely known and understood, especially by policy makers and institutional managers. Moreover, it is probable that the flow of OER is currently moving in one direction – from the north to the south. Despite some emerging initiatives OERs are still a marginal and donor-driven phenomenon in most of the developing world. Without rapid expansion developing countries will never be able to reach their educational goals and for that reason the initiative focuses, in the first instance, on universities in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

The forum which will be opened by Mr Qian Tang, Assistant-Director General for Education and Mr Janis Karklins, Assistant-Director General for Communication and Information, UNESCO, will include presentations on emerging trends in OER, lessons learned in Africa and licensing issues among others.

The project is a joint initiative between the Division of Higher Education, UNESCO and COL and is funded by the Division, the Government of the United States and it is part of UNESCO’s inter-sectoral activities in the field of ICTs and Education.

Related Links

Background note



<- Back to:
Back to top