Otago Polytechnic's work with open education could see
new cash flow within a decade.
Open Education Resource Foundation chairman Dr Wayne
Mackintosh told the polytechnic's council last week revenue
streams generated by Open Education Resource Universitas
(OERu) - of which the polytechnic is a partner - could be
worth 10%-20% of revenue for the polytechnic within a decade.
OERu sought to offer international students access to free
education resources from more than 30 partnership institutes
in five continents. Students could then pay for assessment
services to gain qualifications.
Dr Mackintosh's presentation at the council meeting outlined
how OERu had developed during the past five years.
The polytechnic's contribution to the initiative during the
past five years had been $47,400 (about $9400 a year) and it
had generated income this year, which would continue to grow,
Other tertiary institutes were moving into free open
education but Otago Polytechnic was ''ahead of the game''
because it became involved seven years ago.
The foundation was working towards closing a gap between the
initiative's capability and its promise.
Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker said the possibility of
the extra revenue generated by the initiative was
''absolutely exciting'', but philanthropy was the main reason
the polytechnic was a partner.
While the potential revenue was there, it was not on the
polytechnic's ''horizon'', he said.
''This thing has been set up to allow people to access
learning for free.''
OERu was formally launched in the United States last year and
it was hoped students from around the world would begin to
access its capability as it grew, he said.