About the Symposium

The last three decades have seen a phenomenal increase in the provision of higher education in almost all parts of greater Asia. Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges and Training Institutes in a variety of forms, structures, academic programmes and funding provisions have been on an almost linear upward progression. Participating and financially supporting this growth, besides governments, has been private–for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, public–private partnerships, international and intergovernmental agencies. In addition many individuals, with the arrival of and access to the Internet, World Wide Web and whole range of fast and intelligent ICTs., were prepared to share their life experiences and knowledge, with others, through YouTube, Flickr, Wiki educator and other similar tools. Consumers of education have themselves become producers of education.

All of this has meant that the world of higher education as we know it continues to change in many different ways.  Increasing demand, multiple sources of supply, higher costs, expectations and measurement of quality have, in one way or another changed the way citizens look at learning at Universities and Colleges. People want more diversity, efficiency and choice in the way they wish to learn. They also want greater access and more importantly equity that is socially inclusive and embraces all citizens.

Provisions for improving access and enhancing equity raise vexing questions for policy makers, providers and all other stake holders of higher education as they debate options, choices and costs in a world that is increasingly driven by one’s knowledge and skills. Among the many challenges nations have to confront in widening participation are those that have to do with equitable access as to whom, what, why and how these can be met. Among the many responses considered by policy makers is  a  role of technology that is changing and becoming critically important for the relevance of higher education to their communities..

A partnership with technology in reaching the ideals of equitable access is seen as an unavoidable necessity. Technologies that recognise the shared power of consumers and producers alike in common platforms are especially attractive with the availability of engines like Wiki, YouTube, Twitter, facebook etc. as well as those especially dedicated and tailor made for teaching and learning such as Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Courseware (OCW), Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) etc. The first of these i.e. OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES  has been receiving global attention, especially in the last five years, as the clamour for more  open access increases on all aspects of information and knowledge sharing and distribution.

The three day symposium will consider the organics of the relationship between the use of OERs and the ambitions of nation states to enhance access and improve equity for All especially in higher levels of learning. The symposium will consider and focus on issues in relation to Access, Equity and the use of Open Educational Resources in Higher Education. Key presentations will be made by leading educators of the region along with others of international repute. Presentations will also be solicited by policy makers, institutional administrators, scholars, international advocates and practitioners.

The Aim of the Symposium

To understand and at the same time share knowledge of the role played by these technologies in the context of increasing access, enhancing equity and promoting lifelong learning in higher education.


1. OER Institutional Policy and Strategies such as the formulation of institutional policies and implementation strategies [case studies] for OER creation and use within an Open License.

2. OER creation and use-Technology Issues including hardware and software related technological issues related to the creation, digital publication and integration of OER within an institutional context as well as within a community of practitioners. Papers reporting on innovative ways of OER search, authoring tools for creating/integrating OER and electronic platform for course presentations are especially solicited.

3. OER integration- Design Issues examining  innovative learning designs for different learning outcomes within an OER based course development especially in an e-Learning environment.

4. OER creation- Sustainability looking at conceptual papers or reports of practices and research on varied sustainable business-models of OER creation and use. These could also include experiences of establishing consortia and partnerships for evolving workable models of creating/using OER.

5. OER and  Quality Assurance papers examining all issues related to quality of digital OER on the web, assuring quality while creating OER and ways and means of maintaining QA while OER integrated courses are produced.

Speakers (Abstracts)

Opening SessionDr. GWANG-JO KIM, Director UNESCO Bangkok

Session OneProf. David Wiley, Bingham Young University, USA

The OER COUP: A research framework for Open Educational Resources
Session TwoProf. Asha Kanwar, President, Commonwealth of Learning, Canada

TEN YEARS OF OER: enlarging the circle?
Session ThreeProf. Mangala Sunder Krishnan, Indian Institute of Technology, India

Technology-Enabled and Technology-Enhanced Open Educational Resources
Session FourProf. Som Naidu, Charles Sturt University, Australia

Engines for Education: Integrating Open Educational Resources in Learning and Teaching
Session FiveProf. Wayne Mackintosh, CEO, OER Foundation and The OER University, New Zealand

The OER university: A sustainable model for more affordable education futures
Closing Session:Dr. Grace J. Alfonso, Chancellor, University of the Philippines Open University

Open Educational Resources (OER) in Asia in a Digitized World

Pre-Symposium Workshop

A One-day Pre-Symposium Workshop on the theme “Designing Learning in an OER Environment” is planned for Tuesday 18 September. Interested Participants may register for the Workshop paying an additional Fee of US$ 35. Participation in the Workshop is limited to 30 on a first come-first served basis.

  • Workshop Schedule
  • Facilitator Profiles


Wawasan Open University (Main Campus)
54 Jala Sultan ahmad Shah, George Town, Penang
10050, Malaysia

Wawasan Open University is Malaysia’s first private, not-for-profit, open learning institution, a lifelong learning community without borders. We use flexible approaches to make higher education accessible to all – anytime, anywhere. Our self-paced learning environment is specially designed for the convenience and accessibility of adult learners of any age, gender, ethnicity and background. Funded by charitable trusts, corporations and the public, we aim to lower the personal cost of learning and make it more affordable. If you wish to study for accredited qualifications or for personal enrichment without leaving your home or job, then Wawasan Open is for you.


OER Symposium Secretariat
Institute for Research and Innovation (IRI)
Wawasan Open University
54 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah,
10050 Penang, Malaysia

Ms. Khoo Suan Choo
Tel: +6042180488

First Announcement: 2nd Regional Symposium on Open Educational Resources: Beyond Advocacy, Research and Policy