1. Introduction Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen. A very good afternoon to all of us. 2. Idealist As a University rector, I from time to time hear anecdotes about how Universities are moving into the future with their eyes toward the past. So you can understand that I am proud to speak to you as a representative for idealism talking about Open Educational Resources and the future.
3. Open The Open University of UK declares its mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. Similarly, my own university – Universitas Terbuka, has committed to making higher education open to all. Dr. Jan Hylén said in 2006 that “Openness is the breath of life for education and research”. When acknowledging the potential for OER to change education to the better, and how universities like the Open University of Cataluña uses Open Innovation to reinvent education, I would suggest adding to Hylén’s poetic statement today, that openness is also the breath of life for innovation in education . Why are we here today? We are here to boost the creation and take up of OER. Why? To show children, the youngsters, the adults, the lifelong learners, the underprivileged, to all who want knowledge – that open means hope .
4. Universities Even OER goes far beyond Open and distance learning Universities, you could understand why these actors early saw the potential of OER. Committed to openness, OER quickly has become an integrated part of learning in these universities. All over the world you will find local, regional, even global initiatives that come from these universities. And they are not alone; in fact, it is the other way around. University leaders, advocates for openness and a broad range of committed idealists together with governments and their organizations have made it possible and feasible for us to adopt a declaration that will give us the first global framework for OER. I believe you should regard all higher educational institutions, all universities, and in particular Open and Distance Learning Universities, as core future resources for facilitating the worldwide breakthrough for openness in education.
5. The educational system Is our global education system ready for the global challenges – as it is? We know that: No less than 67 million children and 74 million adolescents are out of school 793 million people lack basic literacy skills 100 – 150 million new places for higher education are needed before 2025 All are numbers from UNESCO.
5. The educational system Is our global education system ready for the global challenges – as it is? We know that: No less than 67 million children and 74 million adolescents are out of school 793 million people lack basic literacy skills 100 – 150 million new places for higher education are needed before 2025 All are numbers from UNESCO. In addition we know: There are far too many drop outs – or push outs from the educational system. On average, 25% are pushed out from high school education in OECD countries, and in many countries the numbers are much, much higher. Each push-out is one too many . And the higher education system itself leaks like a sieve. Unemployment among youths has in many parts of the world reached unthinkable, unacceptable rates. Education has to contribute in knowledge supply for new jobs and growth. It almost goes without saying. On top of all this - There is an enormous need for re-educating the adults in public and private sector on a higher education level all over the world. Look at China, to give you an idea: In Tianjin only, one of the largest cities in China, the city government foresee that 2 – 3 million civil servants will need to be reeducated on a higher education level the next years to satisfy the needs in public services. Or in my own country, Indonesia, no less than 2 million teachers need to be up-graded in both qualification and competencies within the next two years.
The educational system needs reinvention, and Openness is a key opportunity for that.
6. Even an idealist cannot do the job for you I would love to do the job for you, but I know, we universities, cannot do the job for you. Even we are an enormous unreleased resource, we cannot. I can contribute, though, if I can trust that you, Governments, will give us a favorable framework for the development, the take up and use of OER, to realize the hope of openness. I can contribute together with all my colleagues around the world if you Governments and international stakeholders offer incentives for taking OER to the next phase. I believe that is the best investment you can make, now. So, we need a favorable framework and incentives from you, from the governments and the international community. We don’t need regulations; we might even need de-regulation and get the trust in being self regulators, because the responsibilities for the content and quality of OER ultimately have to be with us – the faculty and the students. The producers and the users. We also need you to help us remove all barriers for high quality open education! That might be barriers in law, in guidelines, in practice, in finance, in attitude, in awareness – in culture. I will take the responsibility to move, but you have to stand by me.
What does a favorable framework mean?
I am very happy with the initiative for the OER declaration and the favorable framework should be grounded on that declaration. However, I will highlight the following issues: We, as higher education institutions, are dependent of governments that are committed to the public funding for educational resources be made open educational resources. Remove all hinders for utilizing OER – make open to an opportunity – including enabling environments for use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), and also in laws! That governments and international stakeholders offer incentives for Universities in creating regional and global networks to take up OER, to harmonize OER guidelines, to create sustainable and global OER repositories, to intensify research and innovation in OER, and to cooperate regionally and globally in meeting challenges from a more open and online world. I believe these three measures will help in realizing the potential of openness. 8. Educational leaders We, as leaders for the educational community in the world –, must put OER on top of our knowledge agenda to achieve breakthrough for the use of OER. I see that as a duty for me as a university leader. We need to initiate strategies and actions so that - Faculty can harvest the opportunities from OER and change from a teacher oriented to a student oriented education. - The students use OER as a primary educational resource and are key participants in the further development of OER. - The production and use of OER contribute to innovation in education, in educational institution, in universities – and in the relation and exchange with private and public sector, in the knowledge supply for developing the society. OER becomes a key factor in reinventing education.
9. End Finally, As a representative for: Idealism and International Council for Open and Distance Education As a Woman, from Indonesia As a Rector, of one of the largest Universities in the world I feel no contradictions between these roles in promoting Open educational resources Openness in learning means hope. OER means hope.
OER Idealists vs. Realists at UNESCO OER World Congress
IDEALISTS VS REALISTS ON THE FUTURE OF OER : OER is HOPE Tian Belawati Rector, Universitas Terbuka, Indonesia President, The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) UNESCO OER World Congress Paris, 22 June 2012
67 million children & 74 million adolescents are out of school 793 million lack basic literacy skills 100 – 150 million new places for HE are needed before 2025
The educational system needs reinvention &Openness is a key opportunity for that