University of the Highlands and Islands joins global free education network
The University of the Highlands and Islands has announced its partnership with Open Educational Resources Universitas (OERu), an international network of recognised institutions from five continents providing free top-quality online courses to students everywhere.
“Knowledge and the sharing of knowledge and education is something that we should be committed to making available to the widest audience possible,” said Professor Clive Mulholland, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of the Highlands and Islands. “We see partnering with the OERu as a natural extension of the work we are already doing. It is an excellent opportunity to share affordable education opportunities with a global audience.”
The concept of the OERu is to use the power of digital distribution to widen access to more affordable higher education using open education approaches, especially for learners excluded from the formal sector. Partnering institutions in the OERu network agree to assemble and develop two courses using existing OER material, and in turn have access to a minimum of 60 high quality courses in the partnership network.
The University of the Highlands and Islands is the first Scottish university to participate in the online learning initiative and is only the fifth institution in Europe to join.
Professor Mulholland, who is also the European representative on the Executive Committee of the OERu Council of Chief Executive Officers, added: “Our online learning degrees are delivered entirely by computer and over the internet using the latest in online teaching and multimedia technology and our way of teaching and learning has attracted international interest and recognition. Increasingly, this expertise is being used to engage with students based far beyond the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.”