Individual consultancy: review of open data in higher education and development of recommendations for open universities

The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) is seeking an individual consultant to develop a report with recommendations for open universities based on review of open data in higher education.

The activity is conducted within the project ‘Promoting ICT Capacity Building and Open Education in the Era of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies’ implemented jointly by UNESCO IITE and Shanghai Open University and aimed to foster digital transformation of education for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Scope of work

Recognizing the importance of open education and open science, the specific objectives of the activity are to generate knowledge and explore the opportunities of the use of open data for higher education, including but not limited to:

  • effective decision-making and management to improve the quality of education,
  • teaching and learning to foster the development of data literacy and critical thinking needed to operate and participate in the datafied society and in the era of AI,
  • research to strengthen knowledge sharing and scientific results towards overcoming the global challenges set out in 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, etc.

The activity intends to encourage open universities and conventional HEIs to harness open data in the era of AI and digital technologies to enhance teaching effectiveness, improve student learning, support decision-making, education management and research. To achieve the objectives, the individual consultant shall perform the following tasks:

  1. Conduct desk research of the state-of-the-art of open data in higher education, including trends, opportunities, and challenges relevant to collecting open data and creating and using educational datasets.
  2. Survey current initiatives and emerging practices aimed to promote open data in higher education and community-based learning, with particular focus on initiatives and practices implemented by open universities and ODL institutions across different countries.
  3. Elaborate recommendations for collecting open data and for creating and using educational datasets by open universities.

Deliverables to be prepared (in English)

  • Detailed work plan
  • Report with recommendations for open universities

Candidate’s profile

  • Advanced University degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of education, social sciences, pedagogy, ICT, or a related field
  • Proven experience in conducting research in the field of ICT in education, data science and analysis
  • Strong data-processing and analysis skills
  • Proven capacity to produce high-quality analytical reports
  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English


The consultancy will take place from August 2024 to January/February 2025.

Application process

Interested individuals are invited to submit their applications, including a cover letter outlining their qualifications and relevant experience, a detailed CV, a list of publications relevant to the consultancy, and a financial proposal at The deadline for submission is 24 July 2024. Please indicate ‘Consultancy: open data in higher education’ in the subject line.

Only successful candidates will be contacted.