State Department Expands Access to Open Educational Resources in the Middle East and North Africa

The U.S. Department of State is sponsoring a special exchange program on Open Educational Resources (OER) for education leaders in the Middle East and North Africa. Open Educational Resources are publically available course syllabi and materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools or techniques. OERs support the State Department’s goal of increasing access to education. Participants will use what they learn to increase educational opportunities for underserved youth and promote economic development through education in their home countries.
The fifteen leading educational innovators and policy makers from countries in the Middle East and North Africa will meet with their U.S. counterparts to better understand the OER landscape and to learn from and collaborate with one another. The three-week program promotes the development of a network of OER organizations in the region. Participants from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen will work with U.S. counterparts at organizations such as the OpenCourseWare Consortium, Hewlett Foundation, and Creative Commons.
Participants will visit Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Boston and partake in mini-internships at leading organizations in the open education movement, including the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education; University of California, Irvine; the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges; and the College of the Canyons.
This program supports the State Department’s OpenBook Projectinitiated in early 2013, in partnership with the League of Arab States; the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; and World Learning. The State Department’s Professional Fellows On-Demand Program is a two-way professional exchange focused on solving emerging foreign policy challenges. Follow the Professional Fellows Program on Twitter at, #profellows.


Publication Date: 
March 13, 2014