Middle East OCW
The OCW movement catches some flak for having colonialist effects, pushing northern content south and materials from the developed world to the developing world, but I’ve held a longstanding belief that the concept is at its most powerful when all cultures and regions are empowered to share the best of their own intellectual heritage. I really enjoy seeing regions come into their own as producers of OCW materials, and I see this beginning to happen in the Middle East. We’ve just put out a press release through the MIT and OCWC sites, documenting some of this emergence:
…the Middle East is emerging as educational leader in the digital age through the provision of open educational content online. With the recent launch of its OpenCourseWare site, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals becomes the most recent university in the region to join the global movement toward open sharing of educational content online. KFUPM OpenCourseWare contains Arabic and English language materials from approximately 80 KFUPM courses, spanning disciplines including engineering, sciences and industrial management.
KFUPM joins other leading universities in the Middle East as a member of the OpenCourseWare Consortium. In addition to KFUPM, the Consortium membership also includes the Open University of Israel and its Open Book Project, which plans to publish courseware and more than 500 textbooks in Hebrew, Arabic and Russian. The Middle East Technical University, also a member of the Consortium, leads a coalition of Turkish universities engaged in open education and publishes material from 23 courses through METU OpenCourseWare. Other members of the Consortium from the region include Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (Iran), International University of Iran – Farabi Institute of Higher Education, Global University (Lebanon), and Alfaisal University (Saudi Arabia).