The Hewlett Foundation Grants UC Irvine $320,000 to Expand OpenCourseWare Initiative
IRVINE, Calif., September 15, 2009 — The University of California, Irvine today announced the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has provided $320,000 in grant support to further develop the University’s OpenCourseWare (OCW) program and to advance the Open Education Resources Movement (OER) which it serves. With this funding, the University will expand existing free online courses and programs, and create new content—all available free of charge, to learners across the globe.
“With this generous grant from the Hewlett Foundation, UC Irvine will continue fostering the global advancement and sharing of knowledge with learners all over the world,” said Gary W. Matkin, Ph.D., dean of continuing education at UC Irvine. “This funding will help expand not only UC Irvine’s OCW program, but also the OER movement as a whole.”
The grant from the Hewlett Foundation will support the staffing and planning necessary for the University to grow its own OCW initiative, while also actively participating in the OCW and OER communities to further advance these movements. Specifically, the University will remain an active member in the OpenCourseWare Consortium, established by the Hewlett Foundation and now including 200 institutional members, which offer over 9,000 open courses. In addition, the University will utilize the funding to update the content of existing OCW courses and develop new services associated with OCW, including an independent study model.
The Hewlett Foundation provides grants to solve social and environmental problems in the U.S. and around the world. Grantees work to reduce poverty in the developing world, curb carbon emissions that lead to climate change, and improve education for students in California and elsewhere. The Hewlett Foundation is organized by awarding grants based on a particular program. Programs available include education, environment, global development, performing arts, population and philanthropy. The Foundation has made more than $100 million in grants to develop the OER movement since 2001.