The OER Foundation, sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation,is developing an open courses of study designed to extend post-secondary access to the bottom-of-the-pyramid worldwide.

A published summary of OERu suggests that rather than infusing open content into traditional universities, OERu seeks to create a

Parallel learning universe based solely on OER for learners excluded from the system to augment and add value to the formal education sector. These learners may choose to enroll at formal education institutions in the traditional way or participate in free learning provided through the OERu network. Assessment and credential services will be provided by participating institutions on a cost-recovery basis or may be funded through scholarships or grants from the respective Ministries of Education. “

The OERu is the means by which “Education at all levels can be more accessible, more affordable and more efficient.”

The 13 member universities in including Empire State (SUNY).  Work is conducted on wikieducator, an open education wiki community.  They’ve been at this for a year.  Here’s a 20 page description of OERu.


This week, Wayne Mackintosh, Director OER Foundation, will be convening 13 Foundation Anchor partners face-to-face in Dunedin, New Zealand for the OERu implementation planning meeting.



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Tom Vander Ark is author of Difference Making at the Heart of Learning, The Power of Place, Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.


  1. This initiative of creating OERu is the best news of the century, especially for the peoples of developing countries, where more than half of young people finishing high school, workers and others, cannot access to higher education, because of several obstacles (financial, geopgraphic, insufficient space in the HE institutions, labor, physical disability, etc..).

    It is really the implementation of the dream: “education for all.”

    Many thanks to the initiators. Let us support them by our involvement and concrete actions.

    rwagasana gerard


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