Open education as Knowledge infrastructure for the 21st century – Exploring the middle space
In recent year, higher education institutions worldwide have opened up part of their educational offer to the general public. Open educational resources (OER) and (Massive) Open Online Courses are attracting millions of users who use this opportunity for self-learning, professional development and study or career advancement. These activities are situated in a “middle-space” in which formal educational institutions are creating learning opportunities which are mostly used in a non-formal context by learners. This middle-space creates a lot of confusion not only amongst the public, but also in the scientific community who are grappling with the role of open education in society and about the implications for higher education institutions. At the same time HEI’s are contributing to an accessible knowledge infrastructure that could become available to address the biggest challenges of our societies in the 21st century.