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Thompson Rivers University is officially at the forefront of making free online education more accessible around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
TRU is set to be the first North American school to offer an international credential transfer based on open educational resources that are available free online. It is also among the first in the world to recognize micro-credit transfers towards a university-level qualification.
Because of this, students around the world can study micro-courses and compile them to get university credit from a respected institution. This achievement puts TRU among the leaders in making education available to people everywhere, especially those in developing countries with limited funds.
“TRU has led the way to implement an international micro-credentialing system with pathways to achieving a university qualification,” said Wayne Mackintosh, Open Education Resource Foundation managing director.
Established in 2011, Open Education Resource universitas (OERu) is a non-profit network of post-secondary institutions from five continents. Students take free courses in small blocks through the institution of their choice and only pay for assessment services. All online courses are based exclusively on open educational resources, so there are no expensive textbooks or other materials required.
“We believe in what this is trying to accomplish. We believe in the reduction of barriers and we believe in the right of people to have access to post-secondary education,” said TRU President Brett Fairbrain.
“Co-operation requires work, dedication, thoughtfulness. As we see through this pandemic, the financial pressures institutions are feeling, there is an understandable and natural desire to contract, keep what you have, pull in and survive the storm. This is a wonderful example of the opposite. We can continue with our various missions, we can continue to do good. It’s an act of trust.”