Governments play a crucial role in setting policies that focus higher education systems, and have an interest in ensuring that public investments in higher education make a meaningful, cost-effective contribution to socio-economic development. In addition to playing a key role in policy development, governments also support some universities financially. Government policies on higher education financing may serve to signal key priorities, for example, on the relative emphasis to be placed on research versus teaching and learning activities, as well as which teaching and learning activities are most important.

Given these roles, governments are ideally positioned to encourage or mandate higher education institutions to produce educational resources in open formats and to license materials developed with public funding under an open licence. While there may occasionally be reasons not to encourage this kind of open licensing, sharing of educational materials has significant potential to improve the quality, transparency, and accessibility of educational delivery across higher education systems. When this is done, OER are made more readily available for use by all higher education providers. Likewise, governments can use open licensing regimes to increase the leverage of public investments, by facilitating widespread re-use of those resources with minimal additional investment.

In this context, it is suggested that governments:


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