• Building on Open Science and Open Education Capacities across the Mediterranean to Support the Emergence of Open Scholars


What is the OpenMedScholars project about?

Open Science has been institutionalised in Switzerland in the past years, in-line with Swissuniversities, the European Commission’s, OECD, and UNESCO recommendations (EuropeanCommission 2020; OECD 2021; Swissuniversities No date; UNESCO 2021). Policies and support exist at national and institutional levels to guide the different stakeholders (e.g. Universite-de-Genève 2020). In contrast, for Open Education, Switzerland does not have any national policy yet but several initiatives around the topic are flourishing throughout the country (e.g. ZWAH institutional OER policy, Digital academy skills, Swiss OE day, SNSF scientific exchange: A Roadmap for Open Education in Switzerland: First Steps, UNIGE-HES-SO mandate, etc.).
In the MENA region, the movement is rather the opposite. Open Education has been well developed through several international projects supported by the European Commission, ALECSO and different organisations (e.g. ALECSO 2019; OERWiki@MENA 2021; OpenBookProject 2014; OpenMed 2015; UNIMED 2018) with growing OERs libraries and national and institutional policies in the making (e.g. OpenMed 2016). Open Science though is still in its infancy.
Within this project, we will build on each other’s expertise in terms of Open Science and Open Education to educate scholars of the Swiss-MENA region to the Open paradigm. Indeed, the ultimate goal of this research project is to create a pool of scholars from the 5 countries involved (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Switzerland) who deeply understand the Open paradigm and act as catalysts and disseminators with the backdrop of an international network of Open scholars. We argue that this is a Swiss-Mediterranean contribution to the building of the collective intelligence needed to craft the knowledge society (Innerarity 2015).


This project brings together several institutions from the South and from the North and is supported by the Leading House MENA:
University of Geneva, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FPSE), TECFA & ERDIE, Switzerland;
Université Mohammed 5 Rabat, Morocco;
Centre de Recherche sur l’Information Scientifique et Technique, Algeria;
Lilia Cheniti, Laboratoire de recherche Pôle de Recherche en Informatique du CEntre (PRINCE), Institut Supérieur d'Informatique et des Technologies de Communication Sousse, Université de Sousse, Tunisia;
Alexandria University, Egypt

Training part

To reach the project's goals, partners will design a training and identify features for a suited professional development environment for the Open Scholar. This endeavour will be based on existing open material.
This phase will be preceded by several phases conducted in the research part of the project.

Research part

Within an overall design-based research approach (McKenney & Reeves, 2019), stakeholders will crossbreed their expertise to:
Identify respective institutional and if possible national policies towards distance education, Open Education and Open Science;
Identify a list of competences for the XXIst century Open Scholar to lay the ground for a competences framework;
Work towards a consistent research project focused on a) prioritising research topics for an Open paradigm in the Swiss-MENA region, b) consolidating / extending the network of international Open scholars, and c) developing the training and professional development environment, from the design phase realised in this project.
Link to work in progress folder and shared space
Presentation at the Swiss Open Education Day 06.05.2023: OpenMedScholars - Towards identifying competences for Open Scholars accross the Mediterranean.

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