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Issue 1 - Sept 2012


POERUP Newsletter

September 2012

Issue 1

Dear Colleague,

Access to education is necessary for expanding economic prosperity and for improving quality of life. Only an open climate that nurtures learning will enable institutions of education to adapt to the ever increasing dynamics of competitive global markets. New media and technologies help to democratise and accelerate this process.

POERUP – a project approved by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme, running from 2011 to 2014 – aims to study the end-user-producer communities behind OER initiatives and by comparing in-depth European case-studies to selected non-European ones, to refine and elaborate recommendations to formulate a set of action points that can be applied to ensuring the realisation of successful, lively and sustainable OER communities.

The project is carrying out research to understand how governments can stimulate the uptake of OER by policy means. In order to be successful with OER, decision makers will have to formulate evidence-based policies based on looking beyond one’s own country, region or continent, beyond the educational sector they look after.

A global inventory

Responding to the mission recently expressed by the two UNESCO Chairs in OER that there is need for a global “map of the OER landscape”, as a first step, we are glad to announce that this kind of inventory of about 100 of national and other large-scale OER initiatives at the above institution level has just been finished by in-depth desk research. The list can be found on this wiki page.

Invitation to tenders for country mini-reports

POERUP partners wish to appoint consultants to produce studies on "OER in education" for the following countries:

Southern Europe: Greece, Portugal and Spain

North/East Europe: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Romania and Sweden

Rest of world: Argentina, Gulf States, Mexico, South Africa and Thailand

Application deadline: 25 September 2012

All studies should be delivered in final form by 31 October 2012.

Current activity

  • Produce 11 country reports plus 13 more country mini-reports (8 European, 5 non-European):

    European Union: UK, Netherlands, Flanders, Hungary, Poland, Italy, France
    Outside the EU: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and United States

    Southern Europe: Greece, Portugal and Spain
    North/East Europe: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Romania and Sweden
    Rest of world: Argentina, Gulf States, Mexico, South Africa and Thailand

  • From the inventory in the context of the country studies, 7 case studies will be selected.
  • 3 EU-wide policy papers will be produced: for schools, for universities, and for colleges and other organised education providers.

Meet us face-to-face – Events in 2012


Tech experts, educators see massive online learning shift by 2020: Economic conditions will force changes in the way learning is delivered, study says

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center asked ‘digital stakeholders’ to consider two potential scenarios for Higher Education in 2020. The scenarios were substantial change or modest change. Over 1,000 ‘experts and stakeholders’ responded with 60% supporting the likelihood of substantial change. The facilitator (and to some extent driver) of change will be emerging and pervasive web-based technologies such as cloud based learning and video-based lecture halls. It appears that the respondents may have been overwhelmingly from North America but the views were very much global.

Principal Research Associate at UNESCO, Tapio Varis, of the University of Tampere, predicted that the emergence of new delivery models will exaggerate inequalities. “Traditional face-to-face higher education will become a privilege of a few, and there will be demand for global standardization of some fields of education which also will lower the level in many cases.”

The full report can be read here.

Bodleian Library launches online Shakespeare appeal

Stephen Fry, Sir Peter Hall and Vanessa Redgrave are amongst those have voiced their support for an appeal which aims to raise £20,000 (approx €25,000) in order to digitise the one thousand or so pages of the ‘First Folio’. Dating from 1623 the collection has remained in its original format without being restored or rebound for almost four centuries. The Bodleian promises that the plays, and supporting commentaries and texts from academics, will be accessible to the public free of charge.

Sir Peter Hall is reported as saying "The digitisation of the Bodleian copy of Shakespeare's First Folio is a project of huge importance.

"It will provide an unrivalled opportunity for textual study not only for actors, directors and other theatre practitioners and their academic colleagues, but also for audiences whose love of the plays has remained undiminished over the centuries."

Open source textbook publisher projects $1M in savings

OpenStax College, an open textbook start-up publisher at a leading US University predicts its first free textbooks – College Physics and Introduction To Sociology – will save students one million dollars this coming semester. The textbooks have been adopted by educators at 55 college and Higher Education institutions and already over 13,000 copies have been ‘sold’ to students.

Based at Rice University in Texas, and backed by several charitable foundations (including the 20 Million Minds Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), OpenStax College has stated its intention to publish free or low-cost textbooks in algebra, general chemistry, principles of economics, U.S. history, psychology, and anatomy and physiology.

Earlier this year, U.S. Undersecretary of Education Martha Kanter, a former community college chancellor, re-stated the Obama administration’s commitment to developing and exploiting OERs as a way of fighting the growing costs of education.

Introducing the Consortium

The POERUP Consortium is a group of organisations across Europe and Canada interested in understanding how better to foster the uptake of OER by governments and groups of educational institutions.

The partner organisations are:

Project Manager: Paul Bacsich
For more details please visit the project’s website.


You may follow the project updates via Twitter.


Last updated 3527 days ago by EDEN News