International workshop held on policy for OER and less used languages

ICDE and the LangOER network in partnership with the NordicOER network held a workshop last week for international and Nordic country experts in post-secondary education and open educational resources.

The event - which can be viewed again online - sought to assess how OER can enhance the position of less used languages around the globe.


Speakers included Tora Aasland (left), President of the Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO and former Minister of Research and Higher Education in Norway, who underlined the importance of OER worldwide and nationally. Speaking from UNESCO headquarters in Paris, Abel Caine, Programme Specialist for Open Educational Resources highlighted recent initiatives, especially the 2012 UNESCO OER Paris declaration calling on member governments to make all educational materials produced with public funds freely available. 

On the theme of language policy in ICDE's host country, Norway, Arnfinn Muruvik Vonen (right), Director General of The Language Council of Norway noted that promotion and accessibility of resources can be improved, and underlined the importance of OER from a national, language policy perspective.

Sylvi Vigmo (left), Senior Lecturer and Director of Studies at the Department of Education, Communication and Learning at Sweden's University of Gothenburg presented the initial findings of an in-depth investigation of OER in 17 less used European languages, as part of the LangOER network. She noted challenges in areas ranging from the need to respect the contextual and cultural implications of language to the need for incentives to be created at the policy level.

Other speakers included Mansoor Al Anwar, Chancellor of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University and Wayne Mackintosh, UNESCO, COL and ICDE Chair in OER and The Open Education Resource Foundation, speaking via video link from the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand.

Members of the ICDE Executive Committee, in Oslo for their annual face-to-face meeting in ICDE's host country, Norway, contributed, as did a host of other OER experts, stakeholders and policy makers.

Approximately 30 partcipants were in Oslo, and 20 online for the workshop. It was chaired by Tian Belawati, Rector of The Indonesian Open University together with ICDE Secretary General, Gard Titlestad.

See the programme and participant list and speaker biographies

View presentations and the recording of the workshop

Tore Hoel from Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway and coordinator of the Nordic OER network provided technical assistance for the meeting, and a full recording is available at the link below. Presentations can also be viewed in PDF format.

The workshop was designed to provide input to a working policy paper for the LangOER project on OER and challenges and opportunities for less used languages in a global, European, Nordic and national perspective.

Recording of workshop    

Further background and sources


The workshop was organized by ICDE and the LangOER network in partnership with the Nordic OER network, and with participation from the ICDE Executive Committee and invited guests.

More information on LangOER, supported by the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme, OER and less used languages

More information on the Nordic OER network

More information on ICDE

The LangOER project is funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
The Nordic OER network is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers Nordplus Programme.


5 May 2014

World Conference 2015
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