Open Educational Resources in non-English speaking countries

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Since 2010 the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) has been implementing a project on Open Educational Resources in non-Englishspeaking countries.


The project is aimed at advocating the OER movement and building the capacity in production, sharing and use of OER in UNESCO Member States, in particular, in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Baltic States and other non-English-speaking countries.


The project activities build on the results of examination of the needs, capacities, opportunities and challenges for the production and use of OER in the selected countries. Emphasis is placed on the exploration and dissemination of best practices, raising awareness of open licenses and development of recommendations for a wider use of OER in educational practice.

Initial stage

At its initial stage the project was focused on educational content in the Russian and national languages and involved most CIS and Baltic States. The state-of-the-art, challenges and prospects for the development of OER were studied in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Armenia, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, as well as in Latvia and Lithuania. The surveys covered national policy for ICTs in education with a focus on OER-related issues, the current state of advancement of educational content, major achievements, challenges, and obstacles, including technological and IPR aspects. A synthesis report “CIS on the Way towards Open Educational Resources” provided recommendations for expanding the use of OER.

Dr András Szűcs, Secretary General, EDEN, commented:

The book „CIS on the way to open educational resources” gives most useful summary about policies, initiatives and practice in the countries concerned. It describes the development of ICTs and the networking services in education, the state of art and trends in the use of information and communication technologies in learning, the legislation approaches and the movements towards international collaborations. It serves as valuable background for mapping of leading initiatives, organisational developments and as revelant resource of information. The factual compilation is completed by a critical analysis openly mentioning both bottlenecks and the progressive elements promoting development in the systems.

2011 work

In 2011, the geographical scope of the IITE OER project expanded to include Japan, People’s Republic of China, Brazil, Turkey and Vietnam. These surveys provided a further insight into how OER-related patterns vary in non-English-speaking countries. IITE published the case studies on OER in Brazil, China, Lithuania and Russia. Several other case studies surveying best practices in OER in non-English-speaking countries are being prepared for publication.

In total, surveys in 16 non-English speaking countries have been completed, several more are in progress, surveys in France, Germany, Korea and Poland are planned.

The 16 countries are believed to be:

  1. Armenia
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Belarus
  4. Brazil
  5. China
  6. Japan
  7. Kazakhstan
  8. Kyrgyz Republic
  9. Latvia
  10. Lithuania
  11. Moldova
  12. Mongolia
  13. Russia
  14. Turkey
  15. Ukraine
  16. Uzbekistan
  17. Vietnam

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