SP2: Survey on OER

OER use in the Global South: A baseline survey

Project overview
Project outputs

General objective: The key objective of this research is to understand how lecturers and students create and/or use OER.

Specific Objectives:

  1. Establish a baseline set of empirical data for assessing OER use in the Global South.
  2. Examine which variables influence OER use rates, thereby enabling assessment of the most important issues in OER adoption for lecturers and students in their respective contexts.

Research questions:

  1. What proportion of instructors and students in the Global South have ever used OER?
  2. Which variables account for different OER usage rates between respondents in the Global South?


The major focus of this study was to investigate the behaviour and practices of higher education lecturers and students in different regions of the Global South in terms of their adoption of OER. Despite the many useful studies on the use of OER in higher education, most are focused on the activity of instructors located in the Global North who enjoy comparatively higher levels of economic development, educational provision, policy elaboration, and technological access than those in the Global South, the region where OER is touted as having its potentially greatest impact.

This study focuses on higher education instructors and students in the Global South, concentrating on those located in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. Based on surveys with 295 instructors and 4 658 students at 28 universities in nine countries (Brazil, Chile, Colombia; Ghana, Kenya, South Africa; India, Indonesia, and Malaysia), this quantitative research seeks to establish a baseline set of data for assessing OER use in the region while attending to how such activity is differentiated across these regions and associated countries. This is done by examining which variables – such as gender, age, technological access, digital literacy, etc. – influence OER use rates, thereby enabling the identification of the most important issues for respondents in their respective contexts.

Project outputs

Pete, J. (2017). Differentiation in Access to, and the Use and Sharing of (Open) Educational Resources among Students and Lecturers at Kenyan Universities. Paper presented at Open Education Global Conference, 8-10 March 2017. Cape Town, South Africa. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/oeconsortium/differentiation-in-access-to-and-the-use-and-sharing-of-open-educational-resources-among-students-and-lecturers-at-kenyan-universities