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Germany

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The initiatives in Germany about OER are mainly from institutions, non-profit teachers and staff from universities, there are not very many national OER initiatves. Some are funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, but most of inititives are led by non-profit organisations. Since there are hardly any national policies by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany, the initiatives arise from teachers itself or non-profit organisations who believe in free OER material for schools in Germany (see section "Insitutional OER initiatives). Another reason for the lack of national OER inititives is the fact that GErmany is a Federal Republic. Each of the 16 federal states have nearly full control of the education system including universities. Therefore the state cannot normally fund national projects for education in schools and universities in the states.
Nevertheless, there are some national OER initiatives which have been or are still funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF):
OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) has worked on Open Educational Resources (OER) in the past, which led to the publication Giving Knowledge for Free – the Emergence of Open Educational Resources (2007). This working paper thus builds on exploratory and forward-looking research in CERI and invites countries to consider the policy implications of the expansion of OER, its benefits and associated challenges. A small OER expert group was established to discuss the subject, link it to other relevant developments in the field, and develop a draft questionnaire for member countries in order to collect information regarding the policy context related to OER. The expert group met in June 2011 and for a second time in September 2011. The questionnaire was sent to the 34 OECD member countries in August 2011. It outlined a short informative note about the benefits and challenges of OER. The responses to the questionnaire are analysed in this document.
Hylén, J. et al. (2012), “Open Educational Resources:
Analysis of Responses to the OECD Country
Questionnaire”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 76,
OECD Publishing.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k990rjhvtlv-en
Germany has raised a number of fundamental objections to the idea of OER. They question whether a
lack of digital content prevents learning, particularly in the case of people with low qualifications, and
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