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UC Irvine Joins Leading Global Universities in Support of OpenCourseWare Consortium

School Pledges to Advance the Future of Open Educational Content

IRVINE, Calif. – March 9, 2010 – In an effort to enhance the open education movement, the University of California, Irvine joins a core group of leaders in the OpenCourseWare (OCW) community to collectively pledge $350,000 over the next five years to support the OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCWC), the non-profit association of global OCW publishers.

“UC Irvine is proud to be a part of this exceptional group of likeminded organizations—serving the purpose of further enhancing the goals of the OCWC,” says Gary W. Matkin, Ph.D., dean of Continuing Education at University of California, Irvine. “By strengthening UC Irvine’s OCW initiative and providing support to the OCWC, we are investing in the future of learning both locally as well as world-wide.”

UC Irvine is a recognized leader in the OCW community as the first West Coast university and UC campus to join the OCWC. The University joined the OCWC in November of 2006, and currently shares educational materials including complete courses and video lectures from more than 50 UC Irvine courses and is adding nearly 10 new courses every month to its OCW Web site. In addition, Dean Maktin currently serves as treasurer of the OCWC.

“This furthers UC Irvine’s substantial commitment to open education and is an investment in the effort to create a shared body of open educational resources that spans cultures and regions. UC Irvine joins other leading OCW publishers in making a strong statement about the value of OCW and the Consortium," said Consortium President Stephen Carson. "Through UC Irvine’s contribution, the Consortium will continue to support universities worldwide in publishing their educational materials."

In addition to UC Irvine, the following universities and organizations have each pledged $25,000 over the next five years in support of the OCWC: China Open Resources for Education (China), Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands), Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium (Japan), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (United States), Korea OpenCourseWare Consortium (Korea), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States), Open Universiteit (the Netherlands), Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico), Tufts University (United States), Universia.net (Spain), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain), University of Michigan (United States), and University of the Western Cape (South Africa). Other members will pay annual dues of $50 to $500 to ensure the Consortium has the funding necessary to catalyze the development and use of OCW content worldwide.

To date the approximately 200 universities of the Consortium have published materials from more than 13,000 courses, available through the Consortium‘s Web site. These materials are freely available on the web as resources to support informal and formal teaching and learning worldwide, and have received an estimated 100 million visits from virtually every country and region in the world.

About UC Irvine’s OpenCourseWare Initiative

The University of California, Irvine was the first University of California campus–and West Coast University–to join the OCW Consortium. UC Irvine's membership in the OCW Consortium is consistent with its public- and land-grant missions and its desire to play a significant role in contributing to the social welfare of the state, the nation and the world. Open educational resources (OER) showcase the University's high quality education and makes courses and course materials free for everyone in the world. UC Irvine's OCW is a large-scale, Web-based resource that houses educational assets that are discoverable, searchable, modifiable, and, best of all, free and easily available. Through the OCW movement, UC Irvine provides University-quality courses and learning assets to populations of self-learners that are underserved and in many cases, unable to participate in formal education at a university. This site also offers access to UC Irvine’s online continuing education offerings. For more information about UC Irvine's OCW initiative, visit http://open.uci.edu/, e-mail open@uci.edu or follow us at Twitter.com/UCI_OCW and Facebook (UC Irvine OpenCourseWare).

About the University of California, Irvine

Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation, and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit uci.edu.