MIT Joins Leading Global Universities to Support OpenCourseWare's Future

Universities pledge funds to support OpenCourseWare Consortium

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 1, 2010 - MIT joins a core group of leaders in the OpenCourseWare community to collectively pledge US $350,000 over the next five years to support the OpenCourseWare Consortium, the non-profit association of global OpenCourseWare publishers. Other members will pay annual dues of US $50 to $500 dollars to ensure the Consortium has the funding necessary to catalyze the development and use of OpenCourseWare content worldwide.

This furthers MIT'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. "MIT joins other leading OCW publishers in making a strong statement about the value of OpenCourseWare and the Consortium," said Consortium President Stephen Carson. "Through MIT's contribution, the Consortium will continue to support universities worldwide in publishing their educational materials."

MIT is a recognized leader in the OpenCourseWare community. Launched in 2003, MIT OpenCourseWare shares educational materials from 1,970 of MIT's courses. In total, these materials have received more than 91 million visits from an estimated 65 million visitors. MIT has been a member of the OpenCourseWare Consortium since 2005, and Stephen Carson of the MIT OpenCourseWare staff currently serves of the Consortium's Board of Directors and as the Consortium's first president. MIT OpenCourseWare Executive Director Cecilia d'Oliveira described MIT's reason for supporting the Consortium in this way: "From the start of MIT's OpenCourseWare program, we've not only worked to share MIT's course materials but also helped other schools launch and maintain their own OCW sites. By making this contribution, we are furthering that longstanding commitment."

In addition to MIT, the following universities and organizations have each pledged US $25,000 over the next five years in support of the OpenCourseWare Consortium: 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), Open Universiteit (the Netherlands), Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico), Tufts University (United States), (Spain), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain), University of California, Irvine (United States), University of Michigan (United States), and University of the Western Cape (South Africa).

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, and have received an estimated 100 million visits from virtually every country and region in the world.