D4.2U Policy advice for universities

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Specifications

Type of outcome/product/results: Paper (public) Delivery date: September 2013

Nature: Report - see File:POERUP D4.2U v1.0.pdf

Language versions: English

Target languages: Summaries for each sector in English, Hungarian, French, and Dutch


Policy-makers including regional, national and European decision-makers are the main target group for this Deliverable. We will provide these with valid, in-depth information on policy support of OER for the schools, the university and the college/other sectors. This will be based on the inventory, country reports (including mini-reports), the case studies and any existing reports on policy recommendations. (This last category is rather sparse but by late this year there may be more reports available.)

The policy advice will provide them with an in-depth understanding as to the importance of, amongst other factors, the policy context. In particular, an analysis of past policy-relevant successes (and any failures we can discover) will make a significant contribution towards better decision-making by this target group.


Outcomes

Executive Summary

This is Deliverable 4.2U Policy advice for universities developed as part of Work Package 4 of POERUP. The report reviews EU policy developments in higher education (ISCED levels 5-8 inclusive) and developments in OER analysed by POERUP and other current OER-related projects. It takes account of information from the Open Education Experts Group and the Open Education 2030 series of workshops at IPTS. It was completed before the Opening Up Education proposals were released.

The report makes 18 recommendations across nine areas: Innovation - new institutions; Accreditation of institutions - new accrediting bodies and mutual recognition; Quality agencies; Bologna-bis: competence-based assessment; Assessment and accreditation of modules; Funding mechanisms for institutions and content; IPR issues; Training of academics; and: Further research.

Many of these nine areas are similar to those targeted in POERUP recommendations for other subsectors of education, and in Opening Up Education - though sometimes different in vocabulary or purpose; but a few, such as Innovation and Bologna-bis, are specific to the universities' subsector.

It had been originally planned that Deliverable 4.2U would be updated into a second edition towards the end of the POERUP project; in the event the recommendations proved stable against the comments received and so there was no need to update the Deliverable.

Detailed recommendations to the Commission(18)


Innovation – new institutions

1. Set up a competitive innovation fund to develop one new “European” university each year with a commitment to low-cost online education around a core proposition of open content.


Accreditation of institutions – new accrediting bodies and mutual recognition

2. Foster the development of transnational accrediting agencies and mutual recognition of accreditations across the EU.
3. Reduce the regulatory barriers against new kinds of HE providers.


Quality agencies

4. Quality agencies in ENQA (the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) should: Develop their understanding of new modes of learning (including online, distance, OER and MOOCs) and how they impact quality assurance and recognition; Engage in debates on copyright; Consider the effects of these new modes on quality assurance and recognition; and: Ensure that there is no implicit non-evidence-based bias against these new modes when accrediting institutions both public and private including for-profit (if relevant), accrediting programmes (if relevant) and assessing/inspecting institutions/programmes.


Bologna-bis: competence-based not time-based assessment

5. The Commission and related authorities developing the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) should reduce the regulatory barriers against new non-study-time-based modes of provision: in particular by developing a successor to Bologna based primarily on competences gained not duration of study.


Assessment and accreditation of modules

6. Recommend to universities that they should work to improve and proceduralise their activity on APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning) including the ability to accredit knowledge and competences developed through online study and informal learning, including but not restricted to OER and MOOCs, with a focus on admitting students with such accredited studies to the universities’ own further courses of study.
7. Recommend to the larger Member States that they should each set up an Open Accreditor to accredit studies which could lead to an undergraduate degree.


Funding mechanisms for institutions and content

8. Foster work into standardised syllabi EU-wide for undergraduate degrees in certain professions (e.g. medicine, nursing, mathematics, IS/IT) where this is appropriate for EU-wide action, and in the light of a successful outcome to such initiatives, foster the developments of common bases of OER material to support these standards, including relevant open repositories and (ideally jointly with publishers) open textbooks.
9. Ensure that any public outputs from its programmes (specifically including Erasmus for All and Framework) are made available as open resources under an appropriate license.
10. Encourage Member States to do likewise for their national research and teaching development programmes, including for the public funding component of university teaching.
11. Encourage Member States to increase their scrutiny of the cost basis for university teaching and consider the benefits of output-based funding for qualifications.


IPR issues

12. Adopt and recommend a standard Creative Commons license for all openly available educational material it is involved in funding. The Commission should also recommend this license to all Member States.
13. Study the issues in the modern European HE system round the “non commercial” restriction and make appropriate recommendations for its own programmes and for member states.
14. Support the development of technological methods to provide more and standardised information on IPR to the users of digital educational content.
15. Mount a campaign both centrally and via the Member States to educate university staff on IPR issues.


Training of academics

16. Support the development of online initial and continuous professional development programmes for teachers, focussing on online learning with specific coverage of distance learning, OER, MOOCs and other forms of open educational practice, and also IPR issues.
17. Encourage Member States to do this also and recommend the use of incentive schemes for teachers engaged in online professional development of their pedagogic skills including online learning.


Further research

18. Fund research into the verifiable benefits of OER, with greater efforts to integrate such analyses with its ongoing research on distance learning, on-campus online learning, and pedagogy; and recommend the same to Member States.

Executive Summaries in other languages

See:

Reports for other sectors

See also:

For the actual report for universities see File:POERUP D4.2U v1.0.pdf


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