Terms of Service

The Open Education Resource (OER) Foundation (OERF) maintains the highest level of respect for the privacy of individuals who create accounts on the websites maintained by the OERF and information collected by other means to support the delivery of the philanthropic services of the OER university (OERu) network.

This policy documents the terms of service which the OERF provides in good faith to support free learning opportunities for OERu learners. OERu learners and participants in the OERu network agree to the terms of this policy by registering for OERu courses or websites maintained by the OERF to support the OERu network.

The OERF has adopted a formal Privacy policy to ensure that we handle your personal information in accordance with the New Zealand Privacy Act 1993 (the country where the OERF registered offices are located).

Table of Contents



  • Open Educational Resources (OER) are materials used to support education that may be freely accessed, reused, modified, and shared by anyone (Downes 2011[1].)
  • OER universitas (OERu) is a philanthropic international collaboration of accredited universities, community colleges, and polytechnics which aims to provide more affordable access and pathways to achieving formal academic credit from participating partners.
  • Open Education Resource Foundation (OERF) is an independent non-profit entity which provides leadership, international networking, and support to education institutions to achieve their strategic objectives using open education approaches. The OERF coordinates the OERu initiative.
  • OERu learners are individuals who register to participate in OERu courses hosted on the OER Foundation websites for free. OERu learners may include academic volunteers, learners participating informally out of personal interest, and learners intending to enrol for formal assessment and credentialing services at one of the OERu partner institutions.
  • OERu students are learners who decide to formerly enrol and pay assessment fees for credentialing services at one of the OERu partner institutions.
  • Users include any individual or organisation who registers an account on a web site maintained by the OERF to support the OERu network, using the oeru.org domain.
  • Parallel delivery mode refers to an OERu anchor partner who offers an OERu course in parallel with OERu learners for full-tuition students enrolled at the respective institution.


This policy:

  • is restricted to personal information held by the OERF and terms of service for courses and technologies hosted by the OERF to support the OERu.
  • excludes personal information held and related terms of service provided by OERu members for OERu courses offered in parallel delivery mode, or as standalone courses hosted by OERu members. These services are governed by the specific institutional policies of the respective OERu members.
  • excludes any services of third-party providers which OERu learners may choose to use in support of their learning.

OERu terms of service

The OERu is a philanthropic initiative which provides free learning opportunities for OERu learners.

You are responsible for the use of the services provided by the OERF, for any content you post to the OERF maintained websites, and for any consequences thereof. The OERF does not accept responsibility or liability for the actions of its users. Any use or reliance on any content or materials posted via the OERF websites or obtained by you through these websites is at your own risk.

The following statements clarify our terms of service:

  • OERu learners may participate in OERu courses at no-cost.
  • Accreditation and / or additional services offered by OERu anchor partners or the OERF are optional and provided on a fee-for-service basis (see below).
  • OERu courses are based solely on OERs and/or open access materials.
  • OERu learners are not required to purchase any textbooks or resources in preparation for formal assessment and credentialing services from the OERu anchor partners.
  • OERu courses are designed for online self-directed study and incorporate technologies and opportunities for peer-learning support.
  • As an open project, academic volunteers from the community may provide some level of support to OERu learners.
  • There are no entry requirements for participation in any of the OERu courses. However, there may be institution specific entry requirements for enrolling as an OERu student at one of the anchor partners providing assessment and credentialing services. Links to these entry requirements, if any, will be provided on the website of the specific OERu course. It is the responsibility of the OERu learner to appraise themselves of any entry requirements at the beginning of the course if they intend to pursue formal academic credit from an OERu anchor partner.
  • There is no contractual relationship between OERu learners and the respective OERu partner institution until they formally register as OERu students at the respective anchor partner for assessment and credentialing services. The relationship between OERu student and the anchor partner is governed by the terms of service between the OERu student and the OERu partner concerned.

Assessment, credit transfer, and credentialing services

The OERu collaboration operates in accordance with the following terms of service:

  • The OERu does not provide summative assessment services.
  • The OERu does not confer degrees or credentials. OERu partners who are accredited institutions within their own jurisdictions provide assessment and credentialing services.
  • Credentials are conferred by the respective OERu partner in accordance with the local institutional policies of the partner.
  • Individual OERu partners may not necessarily provide assessment and credentialing services for all listed OERu courses. The OERu course websites hosted by the OERF will provide information on which OERu anchors partners provide assessment and credentialing services for the respective OERu courses.
  • The OERu network aims to maximise credit transfer for courses within the network in the future, but this is subject to individual articulation agreements between the anchor partners and/or local recognition of prior learning policies. During the initial implementation of the OERu, credit transfer will limited. Where credit transfer agreements are in place, these will be clearly linked from the respective OERu course.
  • The OERu assessment and credentialing services are provided by the OERu members on a fee-for-service basis to OERu students.
  • The price for assessment and credentialing services is determined by the individual OERu partner and indicative prices for these services from the respective anchor partner(s) will be linked from the OERu course websites.

Your copyright

Users retain copyright of any content submitted, posted, or displayed on OERu services. By submitting, posting, or displaying content on, or through, the OERF maintained websites you provide this under a default Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International or Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International license. This means that you provide permission to copy, distribute, display, and perform your work, to make derivative works and to make commercial use of the work on condition that you are attributed. Users may also apply the Share-Alike provision but this must be clearly indicated in the relevant content contribution.

Your rights to use OERu content

The OERF does not own the copyright of the course materials, other than the contributions of OERF staff members. The OERF courses are generally owned by the respective contributors.

All OERu course materials hosted on the OERF web sites are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International or Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International license (or earlier version) . The license is clearly identified on the respective web pages. This means that the copyright holders provide you with permission to copy, distribute, display, and perform their work, to make derivative works and to make commercial use of the OERu content on condition of attribution and/or ShareAlike provisions specified by the respective license.

Third party web services

OERu learners may choose to use third party web services to support their learning including, for example, blogs, microblogs, online document services, etc. The OERu terms of service and privacy policies do not extend to third party web services and OERu learners should consult the respective terms of service of these third party web sites.

The OERF may suggest that OERu learners use third party web services available at no-cost to the user. The use of these services are optional. The OERu privacy and terms of service policy does not extend to these third party web services and OERu learners should consult the respective terms of service of these third party web sites. Suggestions for the use of these optional third party web services are at your own risk, and does not in any way constitute an endorsement by the OERF for these services.

Public forums and websites

The OERu publishes user communications associated with OERu courses on the Internet including wiki edits, and posts on chat rooms, forums, message boards, microblogs, and/or news groups which are openly accessible by users and the general public. These posts are typically accessible to the general public without username or password access. Please remember that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution and take responsibility when deciding to disclose any personal information.

Acceptable Conduct

As an open initiative, the OERF does not moderate forums, chat rooms, discussions, wiki posts, etc. While we apply reasonable measures to manage SPAM, unsolicited advertising, or inappropriate comments the OERF does not accept responsibility for the behaviour of its users. The OERF does not have any control over the content of posts which are sourced and aggregated from third party websites in support of the OERu learning environment.

The OERu serves many countries and users are encouraged to be respectful of the diverse cultures participating in OERu courses. Offensive comments, insults, personal attacks, obscenity, and inappropriate language will be deleted from OERF maintained websites. The OERF reserves the right to ban disruptive user accounts on any of the websites maintained by the Foundation to support the OERu network or filter out comments originating from third party sites.

Always be civil when posting on OERF maintained sites:

  • Don't post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive or abusive.
  • Avoid profane language.
  • Don't post anything obscene or sexually explicit.
  • Don't post spam (including advertisements of commercial services).
  • Don't harass anyone, impersonate people or expose private information of individuals.

A number of websites hosted by the OERF provide functionality to report offensive posts. OERu learners are encouraged to flag posts in contravention of our acceptable conduct policy.

Disclaimers and limitation of liability

As a charitable initiative, OERu courses are developed in good faith by the contributors and are peer-reviewed by the OERu partners to ensure acceptable international quality standards.

As an open source collaboration, the OERu courses are provided on an "AS-IS" and "AS-AVAILABLE" basis. The OERF and OERu partners do not provide any express or implied guarantee or warranty for fitness of any purpose of the free services and corresponding content hosted by the OERF for the OERu network and OERu learners. The terms of service do not constitute a service level agreement between users and the OERF and while the Foundation operates these websites under best practice, we do not guarantee continuity of service which may, for example, be disrupted due to excessive demand for these services.


If you have questions about this OERu Terms of Service Policy or the OERu Privacy Policy or if you wish to be removed from our email/postal contact lists, then please email for the attention of the Privacy Officer at privacy@oerfoundation.org or write to:

The Privacy Officer
OER Foundation Limited
c/o Otago Polytechnic
3rd floor, F Block
Forth Street
Private Bag 1910
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand

Policy Changes

The OERF may amend its Terms of Service and Privacy policies from time to time by resolution of the executive management of the Foundation.

This policy was updated on 23 May 2018.