Open Education Policies

This course is part of the programme
Master in Leadership in Open Education (Second Level)


Prerequisits include knowledge obtained atr the Year 1 course Open Education Strategies. Students should have a very general understanding about policy development processes, policy implementation and stakeholders that are usually involved. They have to know about policy dependences and the formal structure of a policy.

Students should be able to use communication and collaboration tools, and should be prepared to work in interdisciplinary teams.


During the course students will be learning about policies in general, policies dealing with openness, and with open education in particu-lar. They will get an overview of the existing international, regional and some of the nation-al policies and analyse the best and worst prac-tices. For these purposes they will be given the overview over the complex policy space in openness, the dependencies and relations be-tween different policies and relations to the formal law.

The introductory part will be followed by a deeper insight into the policy development pro-cess. Students will learn how these are imple-mented and what barriers might be encoun-tered in the process. Since policy development process differs from international and national levels, students will need to understand the entities that are responsible for policies, stake-holders that need to be involved and policy adoption mechanisms.

Special focus will be given to the policies deal-ing with some of the most important OE build-ing blocks including open access, open educa-tional resources, open software, equitable ac-cess to education, gender issues and multicul-tural issues, formal education policies, data privacy and security policies.

In the concluding part of the course, the alter-native and emerging policy models and pro-cesses will be discussed including open policies, participative governance and transparent policy development process.

The following topics will be explored in more detail:

  1. Overview of policies for OE
  2. International and cross border policies
  3. Policies for open standards
  4. Specific policies for constructing OER
  5. OE Policies embedded in other education strategic plans
  6. Critical Analysis of OE Policies
  7. Open policies and strategies to develop them
  8. Information security and privacy

Intended learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to give students the overview of the existing international, national and organisational policies and regulations that are important for open education. The aim os also to ensure that students will understand the complex landscape of these policies, their dependencies and the relation to the formal eduvcational policies exsisting on various levels.

After competing this course, students will be able to:

  • Continuously analyze and evaluate existing national and international policies relevant for open education, and develop their improvements in alignment with strategic goals;

  • Master the OE policy development
    processes and actions by being able to setup, run, manage and monitor them on the international and national level;

  • Critically evaluate existing policies, relate them to the ongoing changes in the OE domain and society in general;

  • Setup, run, manage and monitor policy development process on the international and national level;

  • Construct and implement formal OE rules, guidelines and necessary documents in a company/oragnisation.

Intended learning outcomes:
In this course, students will:

• Have a good overview of national and international policies related to OE;
• Understand the landscape of OE related policies their interrelations and dependencies;
• Gain competences on policy development and deployment processes, obstacles and necessary preparation activities;
• Master the policy development and deployments at international, national and organisational level;
• Be able to evaluate, validate and critically assess the existing policies.


  1. INAMORATO DOS SANTOS, Andrea, Policy Approaches to Open Education - Case Studies from 28 EU Member States (OpenEdu Policies), Publications Office of the European Union, 2017, ISBN 978-92-79-73495-3.

  2. Policy development handbook, Developed and financed by the NORMAK Project,

  3. NWANKWO, Wilson, Assessment of Open Educational Resources in Tertiary Institutions: The Computerized Information Model, Communications, 5(6), 58-72

  4. DIY Committee, How to Develop Policies and Procedures.

  5. Open Education Policy Network,


• Interim presentations • Final exam, combining the theoretical knowledge and a practical session on deploying proper policies in international, national and organisational level.

Lecturer's references

Dr. Dominic Orr is adjunct professor for educational management at the University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia and part of the team leadership at GIZ for the BMZ-funded digital learning platform called atingi, which has over 400 thousand registered users. He follows and shapes educational reform through his work. In 2020 a publication he co-authored on the future of higher education in 2030 was published by Springer. He has worked as an external consultant for the EU, the OECD, UNESCO and the World Bank.

Selected bibliography:

Janssen, B., & Orr, D. (2020). Falling Walls Future Learning Report 2020. Falling Walls. Unpublished internal report.

Orr, D. (2020). Bologna Process in the Global Higher Education Arena. Going Digital? European Higher Education Area: Challenges for a New Decade, 503–515.

Orr, D. (2020). Mind the gap - preparing for the future of higher education now (ACA Think Pieces). ACA.

Orr, D., Luebcke, M., Schmidt, J. P., Ebner, M., Wannemacher, K., Ebner, M., & Dohmen, D. (2020). Higher Education Landscape 2030: A Trend Analysis Based on the AHEAD International Horizon Scanning. Springer, Cham.

Orr, D., Pupinis, M., & Kirdulytė, G. (2020). Towards a European approach to micro-credentials: a study of practices and commonalities in offering micro-credentials in European higher education. European Union.

Miao, F., Mishra, S., Orr, D., & Janssen, B. (2019). Guidelines on the development of open educational resources policies. UNESCO.

Buchem, I., Orr, D., & Brunn, C. (2019). Making competences visible with Open Badges. Hochschulforum Digitalisierung.