Access to knowledge and Open Educational Resources at the heart of national debates on International Day for Universal Access to Information in Vietnam

Signature ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between 26 organizations (education institutions, library associations and ICT companies) to promote OERs in Vietnam © UNESCO Bangkok

Access to knowledge and Open Educational Resources at the heart of national debates on International Day for Universal Access to Information in Vietnam

How can we access quality Open Educational Resources (OERs) within a limited time? How to evaluate their credibility? How can policy makers support educational institutions to adopt OERs?

These are some of the important questions addressed at the International Conference on Policy Advocacy to Promote OERs in Higher Education in Vietnam organized jointly by UNESCO and the University of Social Science and Humanities (USSH) in Ha Noi on the occasion of the recently adopted International Day for Universal Access to Information.

During the opening, Prof. Dr Nguyen Van Kim, Vice-Rector of the University of Social Science and Humanities in Ha Noi, shared his vision of universal access to information and knowledge which is “the common property of humanity and must be shared.”

The Conference aims at taking further step in implementing the vision of 2012 Paris Declaration on OERs in Vietnam by identifying and addressing the gaps between policy and actual development of OERs in the country and the wider region.

Following the adoption of Paris Declaration in 2012, the development of OERs has become a subject of interest for many stakeholders in Vietnam, including governments, universities, libraries and the ICT industry, and the potential of OERs to support quality education is now widely recognized.

However, the actual use of OERs in educational practices is far from mainstream. According to the findings of the survey conducted on users’ perceptions on OERs by the Faculty of Library and Information Sciences at USSH in cooperation with UNESCO, the barriers for their development are various, including: difficulty to locate and access resources, copyright issues, uncertain quality and credibility of available material, lack of technical support, incentives, etc. Users also face language and cultural barriers when using content, and similar results are seen in other countries of the region.

The Conference in Vietnam addressed those gaps and the recommendations will feed in to the Expert Meeting on Facilitating Teachers’ Use of Open Educational Resources to be organized by the UNESCO Bangkok Office on 7 October in Bangkok, Thailand.

Links:

- Video teaser for the UNESCO Self-Directed Learning Courses on Open Access to Scholarly Information 54.187.125.87/vishnu/Unesco/teaser/Unesco_Teaser_English.mp4

- International Day for Universal Access to Information en.unesco.org/iduai2016

- 2012 Paris Declaration on OERs www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/pdf/Events/Paris%20OER%20Declaration_01.pdf

Contact: Misako Ito, Advisor for Communication and Information, UNESCO Bangkok 

29.09.2016