OpenUP2U: accessible education in times of crisis

Did you know that over 47% of the world’s student population in 46 countries have been affected by school closure? How do we make sure that pandemic lockdowns do not lead to an educational shutdown? How do we keep students motivated and engaged when they can only work remotely?

In these unprecedented times of crisis, education needs support and improvement based on advanced digital technologies, in order to continue the real work in academic and school communities on an international level. In an effort to support continued learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU-funded Up2University (Up2U) project rapidly accelerated development of a version of its trusted, remote learning platform, and offered it to all schools and universities across Europe.

About UP2U

Up2U is a collaborative project coordinated by GÉANT with the key objective to bridge the gap between secondary schools and higher education & research by better integrating formal and informal learning scenarios into a more open, effective and efficient school approach where students can co-design, co-create and use of personalised, collaborative and experimental digital content, tools and services in preparation for university.

What is openUP2U?

The openUp2U platform is a Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE) that is open-source, highly customisable and portable offered on a best-effort basis to secondary schools and academic communities who wish to develop and enhance their teaching and learning skills to university standards.

What are the benefits?

People at all levels of education can benefit from openUp2U. The platform’s portfolio provides the tools to revolutionize teaching methods and motivates students to benefit from the latest technology. It enables them to create their courses, store their content and also attend and participate in the online courses remotely allowing greater ease of communication inside and outside of the classroom, improving interactions and providing new ways to access knowledge in the digital age.

offers tools aimed at empowering teachers and students to develop skills that are key in the 21st century’s educational environment, such as programming, problem solving, communication, media & technology literacy, self-direction and learning to learn.

this tool allows teachers to create and manage course content. They can set participant’ lists and create subgroups for specific activities, as well as monitor them

an interactive, web-based videoconferencing platform, supporting distance learning and meetings with the possibility of file sharing

a cloud-based storage, synchronisation, and sharing service for documents, pictures and videos developed at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN)

this platform allows users to write and run scientific and non-scientific code with only a web browser, and also produce tutorials and demonstrations

Teachers, students and educational institutions are encouraged to check the openUp2U booklet and user guide available on the platform’s webpage. Registering to the platform can be done instantly and for free from there as well.

Fitting within the UN Global Education Coalition

GÉANT is among the organisations worldwide pledging their support to help address the challenges. In June 2020 it joined the Global Education Coalition launched by UNESCO, an open partnership which seeks to ‘facilitate inclusive learning opportunities for children and youth during this period of sudden and unprecedented educational disruption’, and to ‘ensure the continuity of education for all learners.’

openUp2U is an example of GÉANT’s and its partners’ efforts not only in Europe but on a global scale to support the development of knowledge, the transfer of knowledge, development of skills and a joint response to a crisis.

Published: 02/2021

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