Open textbooks are a gateway to education for many, doing away with barriers to access that typically accompany educational materials. The emergence and increasing availability of open textbooks offers considerable savings for students (potentially into billions of dollars) and contributes to making education more equitable and inclusive worldwide.  

There’s no time like the present to get into the world of open textbooks, because The Open Educational Resources Collective is currently running their open textbooks grant program. Full details of the grant program are available at the Open Education Collective website, but here’s an overview of what’s covered in the program, and the benefits of writing an open textbook.  

2024 Open Textbooks Grant Program 

The Open Educational Resources Collective is an initiative of the Council of Australian University Librarians.  

The Collective provides a shared open textbook publishing platform for participating CAUL Member institutions in Australia and New Zealand, with the aim of facilitating independent publishing by authors at participating institutions, as well as collaborative, cross-institutional publishing. The Collective will also build community and capacity across CAUL Member institutions to support open textbook publishing. 

OER Collective

Expressions of interest for the open textbooks grant are now open, and close on 3 May 2024. These grants are open to members of institutions participating in the collective in 2024 (this includes UTS). Head to the Open Education Collective website website to read the grant guidelines, access the Expression of Interest template and online submission form. You can also view the full timeline of the grant program, and get inspired by checking out some of the forthcoming titles that will be available on the OER Collective Pressbooks Platform.

Get in touch with UTS Library

Please note that applications for the grants must be approved by UTS Library to ensure that resourcing requirements can be met. Send an email to to discuss your application before submitting.

It would also be a good idea to look over the UTS Open Access Policy and Teaching and Learning Open Access Procedure before writing up your application.

Why write an open textbook?  

Open textbooks are taking off at UTS, with Amanda White’s Accounting and Accountability offering students an accessible and affordable way to get into “the basics of accounting without getting into the gritty details of debits and credits”. Recently covered in a session at Open Education Week, there’s also the forthcoming Designing Learning Experiences for Inclusivity and Diversity: Advice for Learning Designers. In our discussion, we touched on the importance of providing a space for non-academic staff to contribute to knowledge production through open textbooks. As I mentioned in the post linked above, as a member of professional staff the opportunity to be included in a project of knowledge creation is a rare one and something that both I and my fellow contributor Shaun Bell deeply appreciated.

One of the strengths of this book is the diversity of authors – our team represents a rich group. We come from different cultures, languages, ethnicities and abilities. We bring unique perspectives to each chapter.

Mais Fatayer, Manager LX Design and co-lead of the project

While the guidelines for this grant require that one member of the publishing team is an academic, other members of the team may be professional staff, academics in teaching roles, and even students – creating opportunities for a rich and diverse collection of voices to contribute.

In addition to the myriad benefits for students, open textbooks are also fantastic tools for educators. An open license means that educational content can be endlessly adapted and revised, allowing for expansive usage and impact of a single work which may have otherwise been kept in the confines of a much smaller audience. Open textbooks can be remixed, translated, updated and amended as needed, helping them to stay relevant with ease and avoiding the need to republish in various editions as is the norm for academic textbooks.  

Need more information? Take a look at our OER blog posts – starting with a great exploration of the why behind open education practices in We share because we care, written by Mais Fatayer.

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