The OER university: A sustainable model for more affordable education futures
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Open education provides unprecedented opportunities for universities to provide more affordable access to post-secondary education for all students worldwide. OER is a sustainable and renewable resource. The OER university (OERu) is an international innovation partnership of accredited education institutions which will provide free learning opportunities to all learners worldwide using courses based solely on OER with pathways to gain formal academic credit towards credible credentials. The OERu network is building a parallel learning universe which will serve learners who are currently excluded from the formal sector. As a philanthropic collaboration, the OERu is designed to ensure a sustainable model for the mainstream adoption of open education approaches in the formal sector. Accredited institutions from five continents are collaborating on the development of this OER ecosystem. It is a smart model because: institutional participation does not require new money, recurrent costs will be recouped and savings generated through OERu course development will improve efficiencies of the mainstream delivery model. Wayne Mackintosh, will share the history, current developments and future plans of this innovative international collaboration. The presentation will highlight the conceptual design of the OERu for sustainability and will illustrate the cost models which underpin this international network. The OERu provides a viable solution for low risk, low cost but high impact strategy innovation for the mainstream adoption of open education approaches in higher education. OER is the means by which education at all levels can be more accessible, more affordable and more efficient.