An Edinburgh festival of open education: Celebrating open culture in Scotland and across the globe


OER16: Open Culture will take place 19-20 April at the University of Edinburgh. The vision for the conference is to focus on the value proposition of embedding open culture in the context of institutional strategies for learning, teaching and research.

Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services at the University of Edinburgh, says:

"I am delighted we are able to host OER16 conference at University of Edinburgh. The University is committed to open education  and the conference theme of open culture resonates with our  work and mission. We have recently launched our OER teaching and learning policy and  colleagues from across the university will present their work at OER16. It is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the value of sharing and community."

OER16 offers many opportunities for remote participation, the majority of which are free of charge.  All five keynotes by Catherine Cronin, Jim Groom, Melissa Highton, John Scally and Emma Smith will be streamed live on ALT’s YouTube channel, and will also be available to view after the conference.  There will be a wide range of social media channels including Twitter feeds, blogs, hangouts and internet radio broadcasts, facilitated by the ALT Open Education SIG, Radio #EDUtalk,Virtually Connecting and others, which will enable remote participants to engage with and contribute to the conference.

ALT chief executive Maren Deepwell said:

"ALT has been supporting the OER conference alongside the Open Education SIG for a number of years. Openness is at the heart of what we stand for as a membership body - sharing knowledge, collaborating, keeping up with technological change together, as a community. But at times when economic, political and social pressures are high learning, working or living in the open can be difficult. Convincing decision makers or colleagues of an open approach, making the business or strategic case for open education in the broadest sense can be a challenge. What are the benefits, why should we share what we have, what about keeping a competitive edge?.”

With 175 delegates, 100 presenters from 29 countries and strong support from volunteer conference committee and the ALT Open Education Special Interest Group, our community is coming together to explore key questions around openness in education, open strategy and policy and , Innovative approaches to opening up cultural heritage collections for education.

The University of Edinburgh has a long tradition of openness and civic engagement; in 1869 it was the first university in the UK to allow women, the Edinburgh Seven, to study medicine, and in 1905 it founded the Edinburgh University Settlement, which brought “graduate and undergraduate face to face with the working man to unite their energies for the common social good.”

All conference information and live streams are available at .


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Press passes

If you would like a press pass to attend the conference, please contact Maren Deepwell, .

Speakers and sponsors

If there is a particular speaker or sponsor you’d like to contact, please let us know. We have quiet spaces for interviews and meetings available. List of keynote speakers and further information is available at

Notes for Editors

  1. About OER16 information is available at .
  2. The events is hosted by the University of Edinburgh and organised by the OER community together with the ALT Open Education Special Interest Group. ALT (the Association for Learning Technology) is a professional and scholarly association which brings together those with an interest in the use of learning technology. As the UK’s leading membership organisation in the learning technology field, we work to improve practice, promote research, and influence policy.
  3. If you are writing about, blogging or sharing images and videos about OER16 using tools that support tagging, please use the tag #oer16.
  4. Association for Learning Technology, Gipsy Lane, Headington, Oxford, OX3 0BP Tel: +44 (0)1865 484 125 URL:
  5. ALT is a Registered Charity in the UK, number: 1160039