Open Universiteit (OUNL, The Netherlands) is an independent government-funded institute for distance learning at university level. Its mission is to develop, provide and promote innovative higher distance education of top quality, in collaboration with networks and alliances. As the prime university for lifelong learning, it addresses the wide-ranging learning needs of people during their course of life, plus the need to achieve a considerable increase of the knowledge level of the community at large.
OUNL is a frontrunner in new learning technologies and educational insights and continuously works to improve and innovate its education and to support Dutch higher education in preparing for new learning approaches. OUNL invests about 7 million euro per year on research and innovation in this area.
Expertise on learning for sustainable development is located in the School of Science. The School offers BSc and MSc programmes in Environmental Sciences. Already for more than a decade, staff members develop and evaluate innovative learning environments that enable students to learn for sustainable development, e.g. the European Virtual Seminar on Sustainable Development, which is offered in cooperation with more than 10 partner universities from all over Europe. Staff members of the School of Science participate regularly in national and international projects and programmes in the field of learning for sustainable development, recent examples being the EU-funded projects on Virtual Campus for a Sustainable Europe (VCSE) and Lifelong Learning Networks for Sustainable Development (3-LENSUS).
OUNL is internationally also one of the frontrunners in Open Educational Resources (OER) and has investigated the technical, pedagogical and financial conditions for successful provision of OER. Since 2006 OUNL has its own OER portal (OpenU), through which it offers open resources and associated network services. Expertise on development of OER by and for teachers is located in LOOK. LOOK, Scientific Centre for Teacher Research, is an expertise centre focusing on professional development of teachers. The Centre has successfully developed a national platform (Wikiwijs) for the purpose of creating tailor-made learning materials.
The operational and financial management of the project within the organisation will be handled by persons with ample experience in LLP-projects. Operational management of the project within OUNL will be handled by Dr. J. de Kraker, who has been responsible for this in several other LLP-projects (3-LENSUS, LECH-e, NetCu). Financial management will be handled by the controller of the OUNL School of Science, who has handled a dozen of LLP projects over the past decade.
Role of OUNL in the project:
- Coordinate the mapping exercise in the Netherlands and complete the template.
- Write a case study for the leading practice publication.
- Assist in the development of an online platform of resources as well as get familiarised and review the online tool.
- Translate project materials into the national language.
- Contribute to the bi-annual newsletters.
- Provide feedback to the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework.
- Contribute to the dissemination and exploitation of the project outputs, outcomes and future network activities.
- Participate and actively contribute to the discussions generated in regional and annual meetings, seminars and conference.
Operational and financial management:
- The project team will coordinate the above administrative and academic project activities.
- Financial administration will be handled by project team who will liaise internally with the institution’s finance department.