The Open Universiteit, which welcomed its first students in September 1984, is an independent government-funded institution for distance learning at university level. The Open Universiteit develops, provides and promotes innovative higher distance education of top quality, in collaboration with networks and alliances. As a leading university for lifelong learning, it addresses the wide-ranging learning needs of people during their course of life, plus the need to achieve a considerable increase of the knowledge level of the community at large. It seeks to be an institution that is strongly anchored in the Dutch higher education system through its educational, research and innovation activities, but that also operates successfully in the field of lifelong learning. It is a pioneer in open higher distance education and a leader in educational innovation, both in the Netherlands and internationally. For more (in English) see http://www.ou.nl/eCache/DEF/36.html
OUNL has a UNESCO Chair for OER with Prof. Fred Mulder, one of only two in this area (see list at http://www.unesco.org/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/ED/UNITWIN/pdf/Doc_annexes/TB%20Chaires%2028%2002%202011.pdf).
The Ruud de Moor Center (RdMC) is a knowledge and expertise centre, established in 2002 within the Open Universiteit, one of three such (http://www.ou.nl/eCache/DEF/1/91/147.html). Its mission is primary and secondary schools.
RdMC is involved in the National OER initiative Wikiwijs, initiated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in Netherlands. It helped to start up this initiative and carries out research to indicate the needed professional development for primary and secondary teachers to stimulate the uptake of OER (this is likely to be a needed policy aspect in many countries).
It conducts research on professional development of teachers in primary and secondary schools together and in co-creation with the teachers. It works on projects, submitted by school managers, directors and teachers, to tackle hard problems and help to start up innovation processes with an aim to stimulate the professional development of teachers. RdMC also does research in the field of teacher motivation, social learning and school organisation and leadership. It has a lot of expertise in the field of networked learning and communities.
RdMC takes part in the POERUP project because it wants to share its expertise in this field and work further on the methodology to indicate critical factors to initiate and sustain dynamic learning communities. The results of the POERUP project will be sustained in its daily activities and the European and Global expertise will help RdMC to take Dutch National projects to the next level.
Due to its expertise RdMC was asked to be Leader for WP 3: The role of Community in OER.