Otago Polytechnic will be signing the Capetown Declaration on Open Education this Friday 9 May in G106 at 12 noon NZST.

While I and several others are on record expressing reservations over the wording of the Declaration, this signing is more about our expression of support for the spirit of the thing, and reaffirming our commitment to open education formally set in place by our Intellectual Property policy (2007).

Otago Polytechnic has been at the fore of almost every recent step in the international effort for Open Education including significant work on the Wikieducator platform; use of popular and internationally recognised media and communication platforms; developing an Intellectual Property Policy in line with open educational practices; adopting a NZ Creative Commons Attribution copyright license; and ensuring that its spokespeople are very much a part of the dialogue on educational media and communications nationally.

As a result we have featured in international news: twice on CreativeCommons.org; twice with the Commonwealth of Learning, numerous times in educational journals and quite a few weblogs. Many thanks for all this support. Our joining in the Capetown Declaration will see that Otago Polytechnic remains in this spotlight, confirming our commitment to Open Education and our role in leading New Zealand towards a progressive and appropriate future for its educational institutions in our local and global society.

I sincerely hope as many people as possible can drop what they are doing and be there to show support for this act of solidarity and leadership. Otago Polytechnic will be the first education institution in Australia or New Zealand to join 157 other institutions in the Declaration since it was penned September 2007.