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OPAL Partnership 


Partner Name City Country

University of Duisburg-Essen



The Open University

Milton Keynes

United Kingdom

Aalto University



European Federation for Quality in eLearning





Universidade Católica Portuguesa



UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization



International Council for Open and Distance Education






The University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE, http://www.uni-essen.de ) is located in the middle of a region with the largest number of educational institutions per square kilometer in Europe. About 45,000 students are enrolled at the university; with its 3,400 academic and non-academic staff, it is one of the most important employers in the Ruhr region. The university is one of the largest in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The broad spectrum covered by teaching and research at UDE stretches from the departments devoted to the humanities, social sciences and economic sciences at the one end to the engineering and science departments and medical school at the other, with the highly regarded design departments somewhere in the middle. The Department Information Systems for Production and Operations Management of the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) hosts an interdisciplinary research team and covers all aspects of technology enhanced learning and application-orientated information systems. The department covers the industrial sector as well as information and communication systems and corresponding concepts for the service sector. Within the scope of its activities the focus lies on quality development, competence research and innovation through the use of technology for learning and research processes. By both empirical and analytical research, it has developed quality approaches, addressing needs of all actors in learning processes. 

With the Open Educational Quality Initiative the department makes another step into the field of innovation and quality through open learning technologies. The department's international partners in Africa, Latin America and South-East-Asia will collaborate on giving the European visibility beyond regional borders. The initiative is standing in a row of other European initiatives which have been carried out during the last years to advance the field of quality management and research  for European educatiaon and training systems.  





The Open University

Text here... general descrioption + how are you involved into OER initiatives?



European Federation for Quality in eLearning

Text here... general descrioption + how are you involved into OER initiatives?




Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Text here... general descrioption + how are you involved into OER initiatives?



UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Text here... general descrioption + how are you involved into OER initiatives?




The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE, www.icde.org) is the leading global membership organization for the open and distance education community, and is open to institutions, educational authorities, commercial actors, and individuals. ICDE is an NGO in formal consultative relations with UNESCO and shares UNESCO’s key value – the universal right to education for all. ICDE further derives its position from the unique knowledge and experience of its members throughout the world in the development and use of new methodologies and emerging technologies.

ICDE was founded in 1938 in Canada as the International Council for Correspondence Education and today has members from over 50 countries worldwide. ICDE's Permanent Secretariat is in Oslo, Norway, and has been hosted by this country on a permanent basis since 1988.


ICDE and OERs: In 2006, ICDE formed the ICDE Task Force on Open Educational Resources. This was in response to a call from the ICDE membership for the organization to add to the global OER movement from the self-and-distance-learning perspective rather than the mainstream content-in-classroom perspective. The Task Force involved members from around the world, from different cultures and educational approaches.

Their report was published in 2008 and can be viewed at http://www.icde.org/en/resources/open_educational_resources/.

The recommendations of the report were broad and varied and included a call to to undertake a more detailed analysis of the diversity regarding OER, to develop materials relating to OER implementation,

quality assurance and sustainability, to contribute to information exchange and discussion, to raise awareness and mobilize political resonance and media exposure and to develop further collaboration with other organizations.

ICDE's involvement in the OPAL inititiative thus provides a golden opportunity to follow up these recommendations. The involvement of ICDE and UNESCO also underlines the project’s strategy of connecting European organizations to international debate. In this regard, ICDE has also made a commitment to its membership to disseminate updates from, and findings of the project with a view to providing other regions of the world with input to their work on promoting innovative open educational practices. Finally, ICDE believes that the OPAL initiative is in tune with its recently redefined key objectives, including the aim of becoming the global arena for the discussion of distance education, to promote quality, to contribute to the development of new methodologies and technologies and to foster co-operation between members.


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