The Open Education Leadership Award of Excellence is presented to an individual who has shown strong leadership in the field of Open Education.
It is awarded by the Open Education Consortium to recognize truly exceptional work and dedication to the ideals of Open Education. Previous winners are leaders such as Nicole Allen, Peter Smith, Anka Mulder, Fred Mulder.
This year two awards are granted in this category:
Jet Bussemaker, Minister of Education, Culture and Science for the Netherlands since 2012 and major advocator of Open Education. Her support of openness has served as an example for governments around the world.
During her 4 years as minister of education, Jet Bussemaker has positioned open education as an important strategy of her policy. She started a structural granting programme, supporting bottom-up initiatives for universities. During the EU Presidency of the Netherlands (first half of 2016) she placed open education on the agenda and organized a big event during the Open Education Week.
The Dutch Minister of Education has made major policy changes towards open education. By 2025 all educational resources should be open and available via an (inter)national platform. She has also made available a grant programme for open education with a yearly budget going to 2 mln euro. In 2015, eleven projects were approved and in 2016, twelve projects were approved.
Dr. Bakary Diallo, is the rector of the African Virtual University, a pan-African project with 35 partner universities. He has served two terms on the OEC board of directors and has been treasurer during that time. His service to the global open education movement has come from his lifelong commitment to the expansion of educational opportunities.
Through Dr. Diallo’s leadership, the AVU has developed OER-based courses and degrees in math and science teacher education and in computer science. Through his advocacy for open educational resources and his broad international network, Dr. Diallo has shone a bright light on open education, on our global consortium, and on the opportunities that expanded access to higher education will bring to underserved communities throughout the world.
Both winners trully deserve this award. They will receive the award at the upcoming conference in Cape Town 8-10 March. You can still register and attend this great conference!