Open Access and OER in Latin America: A survey of the policy landscape in Chile, Colombia and Uruguay
- Explore the higher education systems of these three countries in order to gain a better understanding of how they operate and are funded.
- Identify the existing policies, legislation and processes incorporating open principles, either through Open Access and/or OER.
- Identify areas for action and opportunities for transformation, capacity building, and advocacy activity at national and institutional level.
Latin American countries are currently spending billions of dollars on education every year. In many of these countries, public spending on education has been increasing. This has, however, not always translated into an improvement in the quality of education. For example, the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) reveals that Latin American countries have a low performance and high inequality level compared with other countries. It is noteworthy that all eight Latin American countries that participated in the 2012 PISA evaluation were located in the lower third of the ranking among the 65 countries analysed (OECD, 2014). According to the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) analysis of the 2012 PISA results, the participating Latin American countries are among the lowest performing countries. Chile, which achieved the highest score among all participating Latin American countries, is ranked 50 out of 65, while Colombia and Peru are ranked 62 and 65, respectively (OECD, 2014). Latin America has consistently received worse educational results than what their level of per capita expenditure on education suggests it should (OECD, 2014).
Within this context, it is essential to move beyond thinking that more investment and expenditure on education is needed, to a critical reflection on how funds are spent on education, how the results of education expenditure can be made readily available to a broader public, and how the Open Education movement can contribute to meaningful responses or alternatives to the challenges of education accessibility and quality.
This study explored the higher education systems of Chile, Colombia and Uruguay in order to gain a better understanding of how they operate and are funded; and to identify the existing policies, legislation and processes incorporating open principles, either through Open Access and/or OER. A descriptive, case study approach of OER and Open Access national and institutional policies was applied and developed in three phases: first a country mapping exercise was undertaken, followed by comparative analysis, and, finally, a workshop was conducted with education experts and activists to validate the research findings.
With the knowledge gained in the process of mapping the information available, the author has identified areas for action and opportunities for transformation, capacity building, and advocacy at national and institutional levels in order to better meet students’ needs for access to affordable, quality educational and research materials.
OECD. (2014). PISA 2012 Results in Focus. What 15-year-olds know and what they can do with what they know. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/pisa-2012-results-overview.pdf.
Toledo A, Botero C and Guzman, L. (2014) Public Expenditure in Education in Latin America. Recommendations to Serve the Purposes of the Paris Open Educational Resources Declaration. Open Praxis, vol. 6 issue 2, April–June 2014, pp. 103–113