UNESCO Chair on OER @Fontys


This week I received confirmation from UNESCO HQ in Paris of the establishment of a UNESCO Chair on OER at Fontys University of Applied Sciences. At the School of ICT of this institution, I am working as lector OER since June 2014. For those not familiar with the Dutch system of Higher Education: “lector” is the title for a professor at a university of applied sciences in the Netherlands. UNESCO agreed with the proposal of Fontys to appoint me as the Chairholder for this Chair. Of course, I feel grateful and proud about this.
The full title of the Chair provides a summary of the kind of applied and practice-based research I am currently conducting: Open educational resources and their adoption by teachers, learners and institutions. I am interested to find out what actions will lead to large-scale adoption by OER and open online courses (whether or not massive)  by (in Rogers’ terminology) the early and late majority of teachers in higher education.
Being appointed Chairholder does not change the subject of my research fundamentally, but it provides more opportunities to extend the research, in cooperation with the already existing Chairs on OER, to other regions of the world. I intend to explore opportunities with my collegue OER Chairholders of how to shape such an extension. I also expect to get involved in activities on OER that UNESCO will perform, e.g. those in preparation for the 2nd OER World Congress, next year in Slovenia. 
In the end the results of my research will contribute to realisation of UNESCO Sustainable Development Goal 4:

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Massive sharing and reuse of OER and open online courses will contribute in reaching this goal because of its opportunities to lower access barriers to education. I am convinced that quality education is key to create a world where every single individual can develop and use his or her capabilities to contribute to a better world. I consider it an honor to have the opportunity to contribute to this goal. The label that UNESCO has provided recognizes the ambitions of Fontys and my own ambitions in this regard.
A disclaimer to end this post. The logo at the top of this post is provisionally assembled out of the two logos from UNESCO/Unitwin and Fontys. UNESCO will create a definite version of the logo for communication purposes. This final version can differ from the one in this post.

Posted in Open Educational Resources and tagged , , .

One Comment

  1. Dear UNESCO Chairholder
    Prof. Carmine Gambardella, UNESCO Chairholder on Landscape, Cultural Heritage and Territorial Governance, President and CEO of the Benecon University Consortium, including five Italian Universities, (www.benecon.it) has the pleasure to inform you that the UNESCO Chair at Benecon developed a Web-GIS including all the geographic data and information related to UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs worldwide. We kept info by the UNESCO database and geo-localized each UNESCO Chair in order to find it on a Web-GIS platform and create a global network. On the Web-GIS platform it is possible to find geographical information, which can favorite international cooperation and also contribute to strengthening North-South-South cooperation, and collaborate around the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. In the Web-GIS, it is possible to create thematic maps for scientific sectors or areas of interest and joint programmes, which can facilitate the search of partners involved in common goals.
    The Web-GIS includes information not included in the UNTWIN Platform for around 40% of the 830 UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN cooperation programmes in over 110 UNESCO Member States. Moreover the interested UNESCO Chairs can update the platform sending additional information to the UNESCO Chair at Benecon to info@benecon.it
    It is possible to have access to the WebGIS at the link: http://www.benecon.it/UNESCOwebGIS
    I would really appreciate if the Web-GIS can be linked to you Institutional website.
    The UNESCO Chair at Benecon can offer “for free” courses in line with its topic of excellence “Landscape, Cultural Heritage and Territorial Governance” regarding Italian scientific researches, operative projects and best practices carried out in the last decade. In this framework the Benecon is looking for partnership to share knowledge and educational expertise with UNESCO Chairs worldwide. The UNESCO Chair at Benecon organizes, since 2003, the International Forum of Studies ‘Le Vie dei Mercanti’ in Naples and Capri, in 2020 at its XVIII edition by the title ‘World Heritage and Contamination’. The Forum encouraged the development of an International Scientific Community of around seven thousand Researchers and Professors in all the Countries: http://www.leviedeimercanti.it
    The UNESCO Chairs at Benecon really hopes to share knowledge and establish cultural and scientific Agreement with your prestigious UNESCO Chair.
    Best Regards.
    Prof. Carmine Gambardella
    UNESCO Chairholder
    President and CEO Benecon

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