UNITWIN Network on Open Education: A Global Initiative for Openness and Collaboration


In a bid to advance Open Education (OE) and Open Educational Resources (OER) globally, UNESCO has approved the formation of the UNITWIN Network, uniting 15 academic institutions across the globe. This network, spearheaded by UNESCO Chairs involved in Open Education, aims to revolutionize educational accessibility and foster international cooperation in the field.

But why does the world need such a network? The answer lies in the pressing need to address gaps in Open Education research and promote greater inclusivity in learning. While Open Educational Resources (OER) have laid a foundation for accessible education, the focus must now shift towards broader Open Education initiatives and their intersection with social justice.

The goals of the network are ambitious yet crucial. They encompass fostering community building, supporting countries with limited engagement in Open Education, and collaborating closely with UNESCO and existing academic institutions. Through joint research, capacity building, and the development of free and open-source tools, the network aims to advance UNESCO’s programmatic priorities while championing principles of openness and social justice.

At the heart of the network’s mission is a commitment to generating high-quality research, promoting gender equality, inclusion, and participatory designs, and making educational materials accessible to all. By exploring the potential of artificial intelligence, learning analytics, and other emerging technologies, the network seeks to shape the future of higher education in alignment with Open Education principles.

Key goals of the UNITWIN Network include:

  • Facilitating community building and training to enhance knowledge of OE and OER.
  • Supporting teams in countries with limited engagement in OE and OER.
  • Collaborating closely with UNESCO and academic institutions to advance joint research and academic outputs.
  • Generating high-quality research documents and promoting shared research programs.
  • Exploring intersections between Open Science and Open Education.
  • Examining the future of higher education with a focus on openness, AI, learning analytics, and more.
  • Capacity building through professional development, policy-building, and mentorship.
  • Promoting social justice and gender equality within OE frameworks.
  • Sharing teaching programs, courses, and educational materials related to OE.
  • Developing curricula and academic research to increase awareness and adoption of OE principles.
  • Promoting free and open-source tools for education.
  • Investigating the roles of artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing in OE design and dissemination.

In summary, the UNITWIN Network on Open Education represents a beacon of hope for global education reform. By fostering collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity, it paves the way for a more equitable and accessible learning landscape for all.