The University of North Carolina System is committed to ensuring that an affordable education is within the financial means of all in the state. Recognizing that the cost of textbooks and other course materials is a significant component of the overall cost of education, the UNC system supports open education initiatives that further its commitment to access and affordability.
Open Education Network
The UNC System is a consortial member of the Open Education Network, an active community of higher education leaders that works together to build sustainable open education programs. The community supports the Open Textbook Library (OTL), a comprehensive resource for openly licensed academic textbooks. All textbooks are free, and the majority are peer reviewed. UNC System faculty have reviewed OTL textbooks and developed open textbooks themselves.
Open Education North Carolina
UNC System faculty and librarians participated in Open Education North Carolina, an NC LIVE initiative that aimed to reduce the cost of higher education for North Carolina students by providing free, open textbooks for the most frequently taught courses across NC’s 2- and 4-year colleges and universities.
Other Open Education Resources Initiatives
Many UNC System institutions have their own open textbook programs to encourage the adoption and use of open textbooks by their faculty. These programs have saved students millions of dollars over the past decade. UNC System libraries alert faculty to available OER repositories and how to find and use them; assist faculty with copyright/permissions questions; help faculty create and publish their own open educational resources; in some cases, provide faculty stipends/grants to create, adapt and/or use existing open resources; and assist faculty in other ways such as identifying resources and creating student assignments. The University Libraries Advisory Council’s Educational Resources Affordability Committee plays a lead role in coordinating these programs and encouraging adoption at additional schools. The Committee’s website provides additional information.