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Germany

765 bytes added, 05:39, 6 June 2014
/* National OER policies */
=== National OER policies ===
Even though Germany has had raised a number of fundamental objections to the idea of OERin the OECD Country Questionnaire in 2011, the attitude in genral has changed since then and some national policies have taken place. In 11/2013, OER was even a topic in the CDU/CSU - SPD coalition agreement:„Free digital teaching material must be strengthened by the state and the federal states. The basis for this is an educational and research friendly copyright law and and open-access-policy. The access to textbooks for schools and teaching materials for universities should be – as much as possible – free and the usage of free licences and formats should be strengthened.“ So, despite the fact that OER was not seen as an issue which was expected to become a policy priority in the near future, some action in that field have occured. They question whether a lack of digital content prevents learning, particularly in the case of people with low qualifications, and whether well-educated people will benefit the most from OER. Furthermore, they ask if there are any sustainable business models for OER and suggest that there are questions of standards, quality, technical interoperability, and legal questions concerning copyright that have not yet been solved. The issue of copyright is widely discussed in Germany in reference to the ongoing Open Access debate. Germany was the only country who responded that the OER issue is not expected to become a policy priority in the near future. They also stated that they do not consider a lack of learning material in digital format (especially in English) to be one of the major problems in education; therefore, the potential benefit of OER in Germany is not highly rated.
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 the initiatives 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 "Institutional OER initiatives). Another reason for the lack of national OER initiatives 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):
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