New UNESCO Chair on Open Technologies for Open Educational Resources and Open Learning in Slovenia

n recent months OpeningupSlovenia managed to follow its strategy in providing funding for OER related projects, building partnerships and pushing the OER research agenda further into computer science and other national open education domains. On September 30th 2014 the UNESCO Chair on Open Technologies for Open Educational Resources and Open Learning was established in Slovenia. UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, and the Director of the Jožef Stefan Institute, Professor Jadran Lenarčič, signed an agreement establishing a UNESCO Chair at the Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The Institute being one of the leading powers behind OpeningupSlovenia.

The signing ceremony took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, in the presence of the Chairholder, Mitja Jermol and the Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Slovenia to UNESCO, H. E. Ms Veronika Stabej. The Chair will serve to promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation on online learning for OER and open learning. It will facilitate collaboration between high-level, internationally-recognized researchers and teaching staff of the Institute and other institutions around the world. The signing coincided with the holding at Headquarters of a UNESCO Chair Workshop organized with the Jožef Stefan Institute, the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO and the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Slovenia to UNESCO.

According to the new Chairholder, Mitja Jermol, the Institute has been working on OER since 2001, pushed by the conviction that education needed a new approach. “We started a national initiative to set the country in the direction of open learning, from infrastructure to legislation, in order to make use of technologies for learning.” commenting on OpeningupSlovenia.