Prominent educational associations join to advance open education around the world

Agreements unite institutions to promote access and innovation in global higher education.

NEWTON, MA and SALVADOR, BRAZIL – The leaders of two important educational associations met today to sign an agreement to promote open access and innovation in higher education. This agreement brings together the OpenCourseWare Consortium’s global membership with that of ABED, the Brazilian Association of Distance Learning, to jointly promote open education and its impact on teaching and learning worldwide. This agreement marks a significant step in the advancement of open education efforts around the globe.

“ABED’s mission has long been to increase access to education for Brazilians, and we see this agreement as an important step to opening up education on a global scale,” said Fred Litto, President of ABED. “Further, uniting institutions and organizations in support of openly sharing educational resources allows for more rapid development of innovative materials and practices.”

Open Education refers to an approach to education that maximizes access and success through the use of openly available of tools and resources. Key to open education is the practice of sharing educational materials to allow anyone to access, use, modify, translate and build upon the resources, without cost. Institutions, governments and associations around the world are realizing the potential of open education to support both formal education and educational needs outside formal systems, such as for workforce development.

“We have seen significant increase in the interest and commitment to open education around the world, from the European Commission, to governments in Asia, to agencies in Latin America,” said Larry Cooperman, President of the OpenCourseWare Consortium. “This agreement with ABED shows the commitment of Brazilian intuitions to solving social problems through educational opportunity for everyone. This is a significant and thrilling moment for educators everywhere.”

Earlier this year, the OpenCourseWare Consortium entered into similar agreements with ICDE, the International Council for Open and Distance Education, a leading global organization for enhancing the quality of open, distance, flexible and online education, and Virtual Educa, an initiative of the Organization of American States to support cooperation in Education, Training and Innovation throughout the Americas.

About the OpenCourseWare Consortium
The OpenCourseWare Consortium ( envisions a world in which the desire to learn is fully met by the opportunity to do so anywhere in the world, where everyone, everywhere is able to access affordable, educationally and culturally appropriate opportunities to gain whatever knowledge or training they desire. The OCW Consortium acts to solve social problems through expansion of access to education. It does this by leveraging its sources of expert opinion, its global network and its position as the principal voice of open education.

About ABED – Associação Brasileira de Educação a Distância
ABED aims to: Encourage the practice and development of projects in distance education in all its forms; Promote the highest quality services to students, teachers, institutions and companies that use distance education; Support the “knowledge industry” in Brazil, seeking to reduce inequalities caused by isolation and distance from large urban centers; Foster the spirit of openness, creativity, innovation, credibility and experimentation in the practice of distance education.

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