Please, do continue, bringing many happy returns of the day
So many meanings and so many interpretations… through 50 years of collaborative development!
From freely available, to accessible and inclusive… and global.
Always inviting: to consider, to participate, to join and collaborate…
Free from restrictions, but thoughtful with quality standards.
Responsive and responsible.
Reflective and always in the progressive state…
It took 50 years for “traditional” higher education to understand what you are, why you are and where you are heading for.
The Open University in the UK
EDEN is a little bit more than half of your age, as one of your children – mostly attached to you until nowadays and inheriting the values and traditions, thoughtful and careful legacy (established by Sir John Daniel), wisdom and nature of the innovation in technology enhanced learning – through the roots of the Open, established in Milton Keynes, in 1991, with the goodwill and support from the founders and fathers of EDEN.
Presidents, Executive Committee members, Senior Fellows, EDEN Fellow Council members, research and PhD Symposium Committee members, treasurers and every day colleagues and peers – the people from the Open University in the UK – EDEN keynotes and panelists in the European Distance Learning Week, European Open Education Week, annual conferences and workshops – inseparable, warmly welcomed by the community, recognised and always awaited. This is the true and eternal link, the link of the family, as Ingeborg Boe (RIP) would say.
Recent developments of mainstreaming the openness and technology enhanced learning in European higher education proved how happy we are to have the story of the Open University. We have the story and the history that we may learn from. Finally, here we are, in the common understanding of the idea that was born 50 years ago. What’s next?
My first “physical” visit to the Open University happened almost ten years ago, and I was so lucky to ask this question – “what should be next after we reach the understanding how open and distance learning is important for the societies we live in, and what role higher education plays in here?” – to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the Open University, Prof. Alan W. Tait, EDEN President at the same time. “Sharing and developing a common understanding with policy makers and decision makers in your countries, and having the strategy for implementation of the openness and distance learning for all levels of education, understanding the mission it helps to achieve”.
EDEN continues with this mission statement and facilitation of smaller and larger “round table” discussions in physical and virtual spaces. We do know that we borrow your language, your understanding and your way of life – open and online, technology enhanced learning for digital and networked societies on a global scale.
Please, continue – as always, and as every day – through the collaborative and thoughtful leadership – towards common understanding for all.
Happy birthday, the Open University UK – please, do have many happy returns of the day!