The OERu network includes recognised universities, polytechnics and community colleges from five continents. We are collaborating to widen access to more affordable education through social inclusion. The implementation of the OERu is also a formal project of the UNESCO-COL OER Chair network.

Objectives of the Intervention

The OERu envisions a world where all learners have affordable access to tertiary education. Our objectives are to assemble courses based entirely on OER which are offered at no-cost to learners using open online courses with pathways for learners to achieve academic credit towards credible degrees.

Origins and rationale of this initiative

The OER Foundation, Otago Polytechnic, Athabasca University and University of Southern Queensland proposed the OERu concept at an open meeting in 23 Feb 2011 which was streamed live on the Internet. The concept was then further developed by the 13 founding anchor partners at their inaugural meeting on 9 – 10 November 2011.

The key driver is to widen access to affordable education especially those learners who will be denied the privilege of a tertiary education.

Target groups intended as beneficiaries of this initiative

Learners who are qualified for a seat in tertiary education who for lack of funds or provision in their home country will not have access to education. Conservative estimates predict that over 100 million prospective learners will fall into this category of the next 20 years.

The project is being implemented at all levels mentioned

Political and socio-economic factors that you believe have been important enablers for your initiative

Stakeholders: Learners, public funded tertiary education institutions. The success of the OERu is attributed to the rigour of our open planning and not innovating beyond the capacity of society or the economy to adopt the OERu model.

Please consult the OERu Strategic Plan 2015 – 2017 for details of strategic aims.

Overall Programme design and the methods and tools used to reach the goals

Consult the strategic plan for priorities and activities, approaches and targeted outputs for the next 3 years.
A key feature of the OERu is that we are distinctively open and all planning is conducted openly and transparently in the wiki.

Describe if the project ensured its sustainability

The OERu collaboration is well on track to achieving a sustainable collaboration without reliance on 3rd party donor funding. As of the beginning of the 2015 fiscal year we have no material debt and 76% of our revenue is currently generated from sustainable institutional membership fees. The recurrent costs of providing assessment services are guaranteed as these will be provided on a cost recovery basis.

Resources used in the initiative

Please consult 2014 OERF Annual report for details of budget

76% of our revenue for the OERu is generated from membership feeds. Gold partners contribute 0.2FTE for the assembly of OER courses. As open courses, these are reused by partners for their own full-fee students so they do not necessarily incur additional expenses. This becomes part of normal operations at our partner institutions.

Did the intervention reach its objectives?

This is an ongoing long term project and we have been achieving our objectives thus far.

Please see 2015 mid-year report.

Our strategic plan commits us to implementing the CIPP evaluation model