SPARC Europe to launch large-scale Open Education initiative

27th August 2020News, Open Education

SPARC Europe is poised to embark on a new, two-and-a-half-year programme to grow Open Education capacity among libraries of higher education in Europe. The project will allow us to gain a better understanding of the European Higher Education library community’s needs and progress in OE, to share knowledge across countries, and to advocate for more OER, OE policy and open infrastructure. This work will contribute to the implementation of the UNESCO OER Recommendation

“This work is something that will really benefit Europe,” said Vanessa Proudman, Director of SPARC Europe. “While interest and action in Open Education has been growing for some time in Europe, this year, in light of Covid-19, has shown us how important it is for Higher Education; this new programme will allow us to make greater headway in Open Education.”

SPARC Europe will lead a research effort that will identify which European academic HE libraries are offering OE services and how; this will grow our understanding of how libraries can deliver on UNESCO OER Recommendation objectives and reveal where there is more work to be done. Who has established OE policies and strategies? What do they include? These are among the issues that will be explored through our research. What we learn will be used to inform the new SPARC Europe OE program and to help guide the community manager.

We will seek to develop the European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL) into a thriving Community of Practice and we will also work to grow the network itself. The grant will enable the creation of a new position—a community manager, who will be immersed in the network, working to ensure we are tapping into and sharing the individual knowledge of members on OE, OER policy and practice.

Other aspects of the programme will encompass advocacy and communications, developing OE and OER policy on an international European level seeking to support the development of new policies and programmes; and addressing open education infrastructure sustainability. 

This work is made possible by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic institutions in the United States.

More details about this programme, as it progresses, will be shared here.