Open Education and Openingup Slovenia // by Davor Orlic (Part 2)

Slovenia is the first EU member state that actively and holistically adopted the European Commission's Opening up Education communication. Through the national Openingup Slovenia initiative, Slovenia became the world’s leading country in developing, deploying, testing, evaluating and sharing of good practices in open education to the world. Slovenia is a prototypical country that develops, deploys and combines open education on the national level throughout formal and informal education.

It is becoming a role model, a centre recognised by EU and UNESCO and attractive for business development in the domain. Openingup Slovenia is not a working group or an interest group, it is a national wide initiative that gathers together all stakeholders from the field of education that recognised the need for change and are working together in various projects with operational real results (bottom-up approach).

Openingup Slovenia was launched on April 23, 2014 at the OCW Consortium Global Conference 2014 in Ljubljana. Androulla Vassiliou European Commissioner, Directorate General for Education and Culture was present at the launch and stressed the importance of the conference and OpeningupSlovenia as a bold and innovative attempt on how to place Europe at the forefront of the global educational map.

“I am delighted that Slovenia has adopted a national strategy to promote open educational resources. This complements the Commission’s own ‘Opening up Education’ initiative. Our shared objective is not to replace traditional textbooks or face-to-face teaching, but to make the most of the opportunities created by digitisation and new technologies. Europe cannot afford to lag behind its international rivals if we want to ensure our young people have the skills needed in the modern world. I hope that this Slovenian initiative is successful and inspires similar schemes in other Member States,” commented Commissioner Vassiliou.

UNESCO Chairs on OER - left to right: Gasper Hrastelj (UNESCO Slovenia), Mitja Jermol (Slovenia), Tel Amiel (Brazil), Rory McGreal (Canada), Abel Caine (UNESCO Paris), Daniel Burgos, Wayne Mackintosh (New Zealand), Jane-Francis Agbou (Nigeria), Sana El Harbi (Tunisia).

UNESCO Chairs on OER - left to right: Gasper Hrastelj (UNESCO Slovenia), Mitja Jermol (Slovenia), Tel Amiel (Brazil), Rory McGreal (Canada), Abel Caine (UNESCO Paris), Daniel Burgos, Wayne Mackintosh (New Zealand), Jane-Francis Agbou (Nigeria), Sana El Harbi (Tunisia).

The idea was quite simple in theory but complicated in practice, namely OpeningupSlovenia is an unprecedented attempt to create a unique experimental platform - an Open Member State - that will be adequately large, open and flexible to provide for horizontal and vertical links within the education system involving education, research and business institutions, to stimulate the development of new open education frameworks by targeting different groups and including experimental research and users’ realistic assessment. The idea is to attract researchers, companies, and the public eye to come to Slovenia and learn from its mistakes and successes.

Slovenia continues its work in open education based on its FP7, H2020 and national projects and an initial set of unicorns such as VideoLectures.Net, an award-winning free and open educational video lectures repository, and its European mission of creating a broad and deep body of open educational content and intelligent tools using a shared model.

About Davor Orlic


Davor Orlic is currently working at Knowledge For All Foundation Ltd. and acts as Publication Manager at the video educational portal VideoLectures.NET based at the Centre for Knowledge Transfer in Information Technologies, at the Jožef Stefan Institute. This project has allowed Davor to work closely with MIT OpenCourseWare and other OER initiatives. 

Recognizing a strong connection between information studies, computer science and humanities, which was researched at the Centre. In 2011 he decided to enroll in his MA studies in Digital Humanities at the Centre for Digital Humanities, University College London, UK.

More information about OpeningUp Slovenia: