SRC launches Open Educational Resources advocacy campaign

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The UNB Students’ Representative Council has been promoting Open Educational Resources, an initiative that would help students throughout their university years.  

One of the posters created for the UNB-SRC’s OER campaign. (UNB-SRC/Facebook)

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources, or OER, are licensed, free, and online textbooks. These books are hosted on the OER Repository, a platform created by The Council of Atlantic University Libraries (CAUL). 

Advocates claim that if students had access to these textbooks, they would not need to worry about buying expensive required material and it would make it easier for them to succeed in their studies.  

Why do students need OER? 

CAUL and the New Brunswick Student Alliance (NBSA) released data that shows why students need OER.  

According to the data, the cost of textbooks has risen by 298 per cent in the last 14 years, and on average students have been paying between $500 and $900 on textbooks per semester. 

Students have shown that in order to pay for textbooks, 30 per cent have given up a trip home, 31 per cent register for fewer classes than originally planned, 43 per cent have skipped meals, and 69 per cent worked while studying. 

Future events 

Patrick Hickey, the President of the SRC, claims that he is not sure whether there will be events for the campaign. 

However, they are still advocating for the use of OER on campus. 

“We are also working with the New Brunswick Student Alliance to advocate the provincial government to further develop more Open Educational Resources,” he said. 

How students can help 

Hickey mentioned that if students are interested in bringing more open educational resources on campus, they could reach out to him. 

“We have many ways for students to get involved in our advocacy work, whether it’s with the SRC or the NBSA.”

Students can also let the SRC know why they would need it by using the hashtag #studentswantoerbecause on their social media. 

To learn more about OER, click here.