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D: OER Policies

Creative Commons hosts an OER Policy Registry, ‘a database of current and proposed open education policies from around the world. Here, anyone can easily share, update, and browse open education policies and legislation. In addition, we host supporting policy resources such as case studies and guides.’ They believe that ‘Sharing our collective knowledge of existing OER policies, in the same way we believe in sharing educational resources, will help advocates and policymakers further open policies worldwide.’

African higher education institutions and countries who have uploaded their OER related policies on this site include KNUST (Ghana), African Nazarene University (Kenya), Ministry of Education, Culture and Human Resources (Mauritius), and the University of the Western Cape, Department of Higher Education and Training and Unisa (South Africa).

An institutional or country’s policy on OER does not have to be a standalone policy. Quite often, the OER items are added to existing policies on Intellectual Property, ICT, eLearning, Human Resources, Quality Assurance, or Learning Materials Development. In addition, the policy may provide for open access to an institutional open repository containing licensed learning resources and open courses (internal and external), and research resources such as dissertations and thesis, and open access journals.

OER Africa has learned that most institutions prefer to have policy statements on OER worked into existing policies rather than develop a separate OER policy. Ideally, issues around intellectual property and openness should be worked into other policies where appropriate. This is true at both institutional and national levels.

Some useful documents from the OER Africa archive:

 

Self Reflection Activity

  1. With respect to policy, what would work at your institution? Would you develop a dedicated OER or openness policy or, alternatively, integrate statements about OER into your Intellectual Property policy, ICT policy and other related policies?