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Germany

942 bytes added, 06:50, 6 June 2014
/* National OER policies */
„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 actions in that field have occured. Because of pressure from teachers, other educational institutions and non-profit organisations, a hearing took place in 11/2012 between the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Standing Committee of the German Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) about the issues of OER and especially the copyright problems of digitalising parts of textbooks for the classroom. In the end, an agreement was found between KMK , textbook publishers and collecting societies about the digitalisation of textbooks.
 Teachers and schools were not very happy with the agreement since it did not solve all the problems of OER and copyright law. Therefore the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) launched in 8/2013 three surveys to determine their policy in the different aspects concerning OER:* [http://www.pedocs.de/volltexte/2013/7868/pdf/DBS_2013_OER.pdf Outline of OER in Germany ("Freie Bildungsmedien (OER)"):] The first siurvey covered the fields of action, actors, development options in Germany in an international perspective.* [http://www.pedocs.de/volltexte/2013/8008/pdf/Kreutzer_2013_OER_Recht.pdf Judicial matters ("Open-Content und Urheberrecht")]: The second survey tried to solve some questiona concerning open-content and copyright law.* [http://www.pedocs.de/volltexte/2013/8024/pdf/TIB_2013_Metadaten_OER.pdf OER and Metadata ("Metadaten für Open Educational Resources (OER)")]: The third survey is about metadata and how these can help to find, produce and distribute OER in your own country and internationally.
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.
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