Report: Survey results provide insights into Open Education among European Higher Education Libraries

24th June 2020News, Open Education

Today, SPARC Europe is releasing “Open Education in European Libraries of Higher Education” — an in-depth report on the findings from a recent survey that was designed to help glean insights into the current OE landscape within higher education institutions and their libraries. The intent of this undertaking is to strengthen Open Education and Open Education Resources across Europe.

The report details the findings while including concrete recommendations, a handful of which we highlight below, for how libraries can act take to increase OE and OER offerings within their own institutions. 

In our survey and this resulting report, we defined OE and OER as resources, tools and practices that are free of legal financial and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared and adapted in the digital environment.

With interest in OE growing, SPARC Europe, among other long-time Open advocates, views libraries as natural partners in helping drive OE and OER. Reason being: they have shown consistent leadership in opening up their research, developing policy and practices around Open Access, Open Scholarship and Open Science.

Following are a sampling of recommendation highlights from the report; these are intended for HE libraries and institutions:


  • Earmark some of your library budget for Open Education
  • Explore opportunities for seed-funding projects to kick-start OE efforts
  • Consider establishing a grant programme to support the creation of OER


  • If you haven’t already, consider taking a leadership role to help drive OE at your institution/library; many of your peers already are doing so
  • Step up advocacy efforts within your own organisation—teaching staff and management; identify and equip your own internal champions.
  • Help initiate or develop an OE policy (locally or nationally); there is still a shortage of such policies. (Policies of peers can help aid in the process.)


  • Engage in the creation of Open Education Resources; help grow what is available.
  • Identify the skills you need for OE/OER, and upskill by partnering more internally / externally

Monitor & Grow:

  • Establish an overview of OER resources being created within your institution; optimise accessibility and monitor growth of such resources over time.

For an in-depth look at the survey results and a full review of the recommendations, download the report in full.

The survey referenced here was developed by SPARC Europe in consultation with members of the European Open Education Librarian Network.

Download the report.