[okfn-discuss] [Fwd: The Higher Education Funding Council for England puts £5.7m into Opening up resources for learning]

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Thu Oct 16 01:50:51 BST 2008

Very exciting news!


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: The Higher Education Funding Council for England puts £5.7m 
into Opening up resources for learning
Date: 	Thu, 16 Oct 2008 01:40:41 +0100
From: 	Yishay Mor

This just in from the JISC vine. I think its huge. However, in the wrong
hands this could also end up a mega-dog's dinner.

Press release

Opening up resources for learning

Students, academics and higher education institutions are to benefit
from the combined experience and knowledge of educators throughout the
country. An innovative project announced today will significantly
increase access to educational resources across the higher education sector.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has announced
an initial £5.7 million of funding for pilot projects that will open up
existing high-quality education resources from higher education
institutions to the world.

The Higher Education Academy and JISC will work in partnership to
deliver the 12-month pilot projects. These will run at institutional,
subject and individual level along with accompanying support services.
The projects will be formally launched in April 2009.

Dr John Selby, Director of Education and Participation at HEFCE, said,
'Significant investment has already been made in making educational
resources widely available by digitising collections of materials and
enabling people to reuse and adapt existing content to support teaching
and learning.

'This new initiative will test whether this can be done much more
generally across higher education. If the pilots are successful, we will
have demonstrated that we could significantly expand the open
availability and use of free, high quality online educational content in
the UK and around the world. This will give further evidence of the high
quality of UK education and make it more widely accessible.'

Open educational resources could include full courses, course materials,
complete modules, notes, videos, assessments, tests, simulations, worked
examples, software, and any other tools or materials or techniques used
to support access to knowledge. These resources will be released under
an intellectual property license that permits open use and adaptation.

As a result of this agreement institutions will be encouraged to share
and reuse learning content - enhancing productivity for educators and
students. Ultimately we hope that learning materials and resources will
be shared universally - locally, nationally and globally, to support

Prospective students from across the world will benefit as they will be
able to view content produced by an institution prior to applying to
study there, enabling them to make application decisions supported by a
genuine understanding of the high quality of learning materials
available to them.

Dr Malcolm Read, Executive Secretary at JISC said, 'This is the first
time that a project of this nature will have been undertaken on this
scale, collaboratively across an entire national educational sector. We
want this 12-month pilot to be a success to enable the education
community to benefit from world class e-learning resources.'

David Sadler, Higher Education Academy Director of Networks said, 'A
positive student experience depends on having access to resources.
Students and academics will benefit from this move to make more content
available. The Higher Education Academy will be taking the lead on
subject-based pilots, with consortia of departments, subject
associations, professional or statutory bodies being led by our relevant
Subject Centres.'

For further information please contact:

HEFCE - Philip Walker, corporate communications at HEFCE, telephone 0117
931 7363 or email Philip.walker at hefce.ac.uk
<mailto:Philip.walker at hefce.ac.uk>

HEA - Karen O'Rouke, communications manager at the HEA, telephone 01904

JISC - Rebecca O'Brien, public relations officer at JISC, telephone 0117
33 10657

  Yishay Mor, Researcher, London Knowledge Lab
   +44-20-78378888 x5737

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