In both the Dutch and international market of lifelong learning, the Open Universiteit wishes to establish firm footing. Our organisation aims to play a key role as the prime university for lifelong learning. The key element is lifelong, open and flexible learning, available for everyone. Linking up with formal education, an expansion is needed to forms of education that are not primarily aimed at acquiring diplomas, but also to education that recognizes competencies that have been gained elsewhere and in alternative ways. To education that eliminates thresholds and motivates more people to enrol for study programmes and to keep studying. Various initiatives demonstrate that the Open Universiteit fulfils its role as the university for lifelong learning successfully and with enthusiasm. It has all the resources needed to fulfil this role with passion: over twenty years of experience in open and flexible education that students can follow wherever and whenever they choose.
Netherlands Laboratory for Lifelong Learning (NELLL)
NELLL is the research institute of the Open Universiteit specializing in research on lifelong learning. The institute wants to develop into a world-class institute in the field of lifelong learning and focusses on fundamental, application-oriented and innovative research. The research revolves around four themes: innovative educational methods, learning technologies, learning in professional environments, and social-economic aspects of lifelong learning. The schools of the Open Universiteit, the Ruud de Moor Centrum, and the Educational Technology Expertise Centre participate in the programme of NELLL. The programme has a strong interdisciplinary character and will result in applicable knowledge for the field of education, the professional world and governmental organisations.
Open Educational Resources
In 2006 the Open Universiteit introduced Open Educational Resources (OpenER-project) in order to provide free accessible open learning materials via the Internet, as a means to increase the participation in higher education. We now offer about 20 free accessible courses. With a subsidy of subsidy of € 500,000.= from the ministry of Education and another € 160,000.= from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in order to execute the OpenER project the Open Universiteit developed a range of free course materials for self study. These are availble at the OpenER website.