UNIR takes part in the first ever EU-wide study on policies related to opening up education

Open Education aims to stimulate open and flexible learning in order to provide citizens with the skills needed in the 21st-century society. Even if the educational community is making a firm bet on this new educational paradigm grounded on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), effective open education policies are needed to achieve these ambitious goals.

A recently concluded research, run by Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission and the Research Institute for Innovation & Technology in Education (UNIR iTED), has analysed Member States policies on open education and their impact, in relation to the main barriers to education equality that exist in each country.

The conclusion of the report, the first overview made at this level, is that the road to open education implementation is a long one and that different countries are travelling along it at very different speeds and in different ways. Despite the impact of the Bologna Process, the education context is very different in every Member States, especially at university level. Also, as Daniel Burgos, director of UNIR iTED, says: “so far, in most countries the visión of open education applied to a policy is still limited to an Open Educational Resource, which hinders exploring the possibilities of open education”.

Regarding the main barriers identified authors point out a low ICT-readiness, fragmentation of initiatives, lack of awareness about open education and resistance to cultural change, among others. The report also indicates the importance of further dissemination of the European Commission’s policies and investments in open education. Fabio Nascimbeni, researcher at UNIR iTED, thinks that “by understanding the existing barriers, policymakers can better steer their decisions when planning future initiatives in the field.”

Madrid, February 6th, 2018. Eva Ferreras

Andrea Inamorato dos Santos, Fabio Nascimbeni, Paul Bacsich, Javiera Atenas, Stefania Aceto, Daniel Burgos, Yves Punie. Policy Approaches to Open Education, Case Studies from 28 EU Member States (OpenEdu Policies), JRC Technical Reports. Available at http://bit.ly/2DWLWDD