President’s Award 2021 – Education for All

Open Education Global recognises Willem van Valkenburg, Executive Director TU Delft Extension School for Continuing Education, as exemplary leader in the open education field – an achievement showcased in the 10th Anniversary book about outstanding contributions of open education luminaries around the world.

Starting in 2011, as part of its stewarding role, Open Education Global has provided annual recognition to outstanding contributions in the global open education community, recognizing exemplary leaders, distinctive open educational resources, and open projects and initiatives. TU Delft has been the proud recipient of several of these awards in the past.

This year, Willem van Valkenburg, sees his long standing advocacy and contributions to ‘open education for all’ publicly recognized – not only through the President’s Award but also within a special edition book, which collects and celebrates all ten years of award winners into a single volume. The President’s Award is a recognition presented by the Board of Directors to an institution or an individual with exceptional contributions to the field of open education, serving as an inspirational model of engagement and commitment.

Van Valkenburg, who holds a Master of Science in System Engineering, Policy Analysis & Management from TU Delft, has participated in OEGlobal since 2008 and since 2013 as a Board Member, including as Board President from 2018-2020. Now leading the Extension School for Continuing Education, which offers open and online courses for professionals and lifelong learners, he remains strongly committed to promoting open access to quality education, irrespective of socio, geographical and economical circumstances.    

External recognition supports our lecturers

“Since the introduction of the OEGlobal Education Awards for Excellence, we have been actively nominating our courses and projects. The external recognition of the great work of our course teams and individuals who are putting time and effort into open education also supports lecturers in their career – it does look good to write ‘I developed an award-winning course’!”, he comments. “It also helps to get funding and to focus the internal discourse on open education and making our courses openly available. Additionally, it provides a great marketing opportunity.”

“After seven years the Extension School is now a university department tasked with actualizing TU Delft’s mission for lifelong learning. It is responsible for 200 open MOOCs, 50 professional education courses and close to 300 OpenCourseWare courses. We have more than 3.5 million enrolments in our MOOCs and over 1,500 visitors per day for our OpenCourseWare (OCW) website. For the latter, we are currently working on new strategy to meet the needs of our university and the learners for the next 10 years”, he remarks.

“Of course, personally, I have enjoyed receiving awards, but as President of the Board of OEGlobal it is much more rewarding to present the awards to individuals and teams at the OEGlobal Conference and to support the organisation in its mission”, he concludes.

Find out more about the full portfolio of online courses and programs.

Explore the work of OEGlobal, its awards, and the book Education For All: Ten Years of Open Education Luminaries from Around the World celebrating past winners, including TU Delft lecturers and educational initiatives.

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