Open Education

What does developing and providing open education mean? The vision of the Open Science programme is to encourage academics to adopt an open attitude in the research that they do and the education they provide. At Utrecht University, open education is the translation of the open science philosophy into an educational context. The most important topics of open education are outlined below:

Open attitude as education goal

  • Students are the scientists/scholars and professionals of the future. Therefore, it is important that students learn what an open academic attitude is.
  • We encourage UU  students to act now and later in this open spirit and enable them to make considered choices in this, for example by publishing their publications open access, making their data FAIR available, using open software and involving society in their research.
  • An open attitude among students prepares them for their role in which they engage in social, and sometimes polarised, dialogue, now and in the future. Open Education is working on ways to prepare students for this.
  • The student's open attitude also takes shape in cooperation with partners in society. This collaboration in academic education is not only valuable for students themselves; teachers and students can also help societal partners with solving their challenges. That is why open education is also about involving people from outside in academic education

Open attitude in designing and delivering education

  • Developing educational resources together and reusing each other's educational resources can have many advantages, such as providing inspiration and improving quality. Utrecht University stimulates the development storage, findability and availability to others of reusable educational resources and works towards an open culture that puts the quality of educational resources first.

  • Open education is also about removing barriers to participating in university education,  such as: finance, language, and the accessibility of locations. These barriers can be reduced by using new forms of education such as Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs), Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) or cooperation between international partners

Recognition and rewards in education

The way academics and university staff are recognised and rewarded is key to the behavioural change towards open science. Recognising and rewarding teaching as equal to research is one of the university's major challenges today and essential for making the change towards open science and education.


Many aspects of Open Education already have a place (implicitly) within the numerous educational innovation initiatives at UU (e.g. community engaged learning interdisciplinary education , and Education for Professionals ). Open Education collaborates closely with them to together further develop the UU vision for Open Education and to put it into practice. Utrecht is also contributing to national developments in the field of open education, for example within the Versnellingsplan and the national association of universities: Universities of The Netherlands .

Additionally, the Open Education teams ensures acceleration on three specific themes that fit particularly well with the Open Education vision and for which there are no ongoing projects or programmes yet:

  • Integral vision on educational innovation
  • Open Educational Resources
  • Training the new generation of Open Science academics and professionals

Want to know more? Then read the Plan of Action Open Education:

Core team Open Education

Advisory Group