Making the case: opening education through collaboration

Havemann, Leo; Corti, Paola; Atenas, Javiera; Nerantzi, Chrissi and Martinez-Arboleda, Antonio (2023). Making the case: opening education through collaboration. Rivista di Digital Politics, 3(2) pp. 305–326.



Open education (Oe) describes a range of practices which support and promote the open sharing of knowledge, resources, and educational opportunities, often with the goal of making these free at the point of use, regardless of socioeconomic status or geographic location. Through Oe it is possible to build public capabilities across the spectrum of formal, informal and non-formal educational routes and to create lifelong and lifewide learning opportunities and education for all. Grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Unesco regards education as a basic human right that reduces poverty and lessens inequalities, which should be viewed as a cornerstone of sustainable development and ultimately, social justice, and promotes Oe as foundational for these activities and aims. To ignite and sustain these innovative learning and teaching opportunities and make them available for all, policies are needed. Social justice, redistribution, recognition, and cultural diversity underpinning inclusion are a challenge for education, including Oe, although it offers multiple opportunities and tools aimed precisely at adapting to very diverse user communities. Enabling policies at the institutional level can play a crucial role in fostering Oe, and higher education can thereby play an important role in overcoming challenges created by neoliberal educational systems which lead to lack of funding in education, and a lack of prestige associated with the educator role as compared with that of the researcher. The article examines the micro politics of Oe and examples of collaboration across institutions and roles, in order to make the case for higher education institutions to support knowledge equity, and to prioritise collective expert knowledge-building and radical collaboration.

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