[ok-london-announce] The Higher Education Funding Council for England puts £5.7 into Opening up resources for learning

Yishay Mor yishaym at gmail.com
Thu Oct 16 00:40:41 UTC 2008

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

'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 learning.

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

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

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

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