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The Open Education Consortium Welcomes New Members (March 2016)

The Open Education Consortium is pleased to announce the addition of three new members:

1. Oregon State University

Oregon State is a leading public research university. Founded in 1868, Oregon State is the state’s Land Grant university and is one of only two universities in the U.S. to have Sea Grant, Space Grant and Sun Grant designations. As Oregon’s leading public research university, with $308.9 million in external funding in the 2015 fiscal year, Oregon State’s impact reaches across the state and beyond. With 11 colleges, 15 Agricultural Experiment Stations, 35 county Extension offices, the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport and OSU-Cascades in Bend, Oregon State has a presence in every one of Oregon’s 36 counties.

Oregon State University is a land-grant institution devoted to making a positive impact in the lives of people around the state, country and world. To that end, Open Oregon State aims to take advantage of OSU’s national reputation in the field of online learning to establish a competitive open educational resources (OER) program that focuses on, Learning module development, Reusable digital components and Open textbooks.

Open Oregon State works in collaboration with OSU’s world-class faculty and OSU Extension professionals to develop online educational resources. These educators conduct research to create content for K-12 students, OSU students and the general public. They are also a partner of OSU Press and OSU Libraries, working together to create open textbooks that are freely accessible online to students everywhere. The open textbook initiative aims to reduce student costs and further position Oregon State as a leader in research and teaching. Open Oregon State is part of the Division of University Outreach and Engagement. It falls under the umbrella of Extended Campus.

2. Universite Republicaine d’Haiti

The Universite Republicaine d’Haiti (URH) is a comprehensive, independent university that delivers challenging and high quality educational experiences to a diverse group of learners. They offer more than 20 areas of study through a core curriculum in the liberal arts and professional master’s programs in business, nursing, and education as well as continuing studies programs for adult learners. URH students explore global issues, examine career possibilities, and refine communication and critical thinking skills.

The University attracts students, faculty, and staff from around the world with diverse backgrounds to facilitate intercultural awareness and understanding. The University is committed to the development of each student to become a productive and responsible citizen. To this end, the University ensures that students balance “learning by thinking” with “learning by doing.” Students are taught by highly qualified, experienced faculty members who are committed to teaching, academic advising and continued intellectual growth. Classes are conducted in personalized settings in which learning is enhanced through application. Students participate in learning partnerships with faculty and the community through independent studies, internships, re-search, and other practical experiences that complement classroom learning. The University’s academic services and co-curricular activities support individual discovery and development and provide leadership opportunities. Involvement and participation inside and outside the classroom are valued. URH welcomes expats and Haitians professors living abroad to cooperate in variety learning experience and expertise.

Haiti suffered an irreparable loss of heritage and human capital in the 2010 earthquake. Many universities will likely never be rebuilt, the impact and implications of this disaster cannot be overstated. The URH’s position reflects the urgency of higher education as a tool to create leadership for Haiti’s future on par with other priority areas including technology, agriculture, health, and economic development. Strategic investment with smart policy reform in the higher education system will ensure Haiti’s longer-term recovery and development goals. It cannot be overemphasized that higher education needs to be a priority for Haiti’s rebuilding strategy. Haiti has a large population of young people that need to be trained and skilled to rebuild the country in the years and decades to come. As the Haitian society is being rebuilt, there is an urgency to reform higher education institutions and protect them from the politicization that has hindered scientific inquiry and effective collaboration between these institutions in the past.

3. Sicher-im-Inter.net eG

Sicher-im-Inter.net is founded by like-minded entrepreneurs with special interest in the internet. Bespoke founders of Sicher-im-inter.net have been engaged for years now in developing and marketing web-based apps, tools, software products, etc. with a strict focus on open source, data protection and security. Big data, “Yes, we scan!” and the absence of first and foremost fundamentally and intrinsically safe and secure web-based apps, tools, software products, etc. have led us to no longer rely upon what the IT-market already offers. By now we either develop our own software solutions that then really do meet our stringent standards in terms of data protection and security, or where it does make sense, we have software solutions exclusively developed by our standards for us. We bring to bear the combined real world knowledge from our professions with entrepreneurial approaches to problem solving, personal coaching, sales, marketing, IT business development, coding and software engineering. Our team is and operates multi-lingual: we speak German, English, Spanish, Arabic, Urdu and Malay.

Our OER LMS-Project is available here.