It is now much clearer to analysts in open education that open education, just as education more generally, has very different interpretations and policy/funding regimes in the various European countries, ranging from the majority of countries which have no so far given open education much attention, through countries like UK/England which did provide massive funding but not now, to the relatively few European countries (such as France, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, Poland and Germany) focussing on such issues. This means that a granular/parametrised approach, not a Europe-wide “averaged” analysis, is the way forward. For the same reason, the focus in this paper is on higher education, the dynamics in schools being very different (in particular there being no business driver of distance education at schools level in almost all European countries).
The paper incorporates recent thinking linking open access for research more explicitly with open resources (for education), which provides additional business drivers and focuses attention on Masters level (second cycle), an growing area of activity in many European countries, with also an increasing prevalence of courses taught in English. It takes full note of developments discussed at the recent D-TRANSFORM leadership school (Boyer, 2016; Colas, 2016) , which brought together a range of senior university managers in institutions from several diverse countries, and in formal and informal discussions at EADTU, EDEN, OER and Online Educa conferences in the last 12 months.
Boyer, A. (2016). Guidelines [for Governance of HE institutions]. D-TRANSFORM, November 2016. Retrieved from http://www.dtransform.eu/guidelines-for-governance-of-he-institutions/. [French version also: http://www.dtransform.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/GuideLinesAnne_UK.pdf.]
Colas, J.F. (2016) Chronicle of 1st D-TRANSFORM Leadership School – day 5 (final). D-TRANSFORM blog, 21 November 2016. Retrieved from http://www.dtransform.eu/chronicle-of-1st-d-transform-leadership-school-day-5-final-nov-18th-2016/.
Fischer, L. et al (2015). A multi-institutional study of the impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of post-secondary students. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, December 2015, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 159–172. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12528-015-9101-x.
McGreal, R. et al (2015). Open Educational Resources in Canada 2015. IRRODL Vol 16, No 5 (2015). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/2404.
Pepler, G. et al (2015) Cross-border content: Investigation into Sharing Curricula across Borders and its Opportunities for Open Education Resources. JRC/IPTS, 2015. Retrieved from http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC94956.