UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education participated in the Europe Regional Consultation “OER for Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education: From Commitment to Action” held on February 23-24, 2017 by UNESCO, the Commonwealth of Learning in partnership with the Maltese Ministry of Education and Employment (MEDE) in Valletta. This Consultation was the second in the series of six regional consultations organized jointly by UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning worldwide (Asia, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Africa, Americas).
The objectives of the Consultation were to:
- identify the current status of the recommendations made at the World OER Congress amongst key stakeholders, namely governments, policy makers, the OER community and the wider education community;
- initiate discussions regarding the identified challenges to mainstreaming OER and suggest strategies;
- build awareness amongst key stakeholders about the objectives of the 2nd World OER Congress and make recommendations for consideration; and
- encourage more governments to commit to the adoption of open licensing policies for educational materials developed with public funds.
The Europe Regional Consultation brought together government officials and key stakeholders in the region to share policy initiatives, OER practices, and discuss concerns and issues for mainstreaming OER for inclusive and equitable quality education.
The government survey of OER and the stakeholders’ survey completed for the 2nd World Congress were presented by Prof. Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning. Other distinguished participants reported their reflections on the OER decade in Europe in plenary sessions. All participants were divided into five groups to discuss strategies for mainstreaming OER:
- Capacity of users to access, re-use, and share OER (Facilitator: Professor Fred Mulder)
- Language and cultural barriers (Facilitator: Professor Mitja Jermol)
- Ensuring inclusive and equitable access to quality content (Facilitator: Dr Gard Titlestad)
- Changing business models (Facilitator: Mr Alek Tarkowski)
- Development of appropriate policy solutions (Facilitator: Dr Andreia Inamorato dos Santos)
The outcome of the Consultations will be a Global Report on OER to be released at the 2nd World OER Congress.
More information about the Consultation is available at http://rcoer.col.org/europe.html