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TIDE wins award for Open Collaboration

An aerial image of 5 people sitting around a table, sharing a computer. Some are taking notes and are all looking intently at the screen.

The Open University’s TIDE project has won the 2021 Open Practices Awards (Open Collaboration category) of the Open Education Awards for Excellence. 

Launched in 2018,  Transformation by Innovation in Distance Education (TIDE) was a 3.5 year UK aid-funded project consortium of UK and Myanmar partners, led by The Open University, working in Myanmar to improve the quality of distance learning in Higher Education (HE) and enhancing it through an understanding and development of open educational practices. TIDE was one of nine partnerships managed by the Strategic Partnership for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR) programme aimed at strengthening higher education in focus countries to better meet the needs of students, employers and societies.

The Open Education Awards for Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding contributions in the Open Education community, recognising exemplary leaders, distinctive Open Educational Resources (OER), and Open Practices from around the world. The Open Collaboration category recognises an environment that fosters the collective production of open resources and open practices with a shared goal. TIDE was a joint winner of this category, alongside the Red PHAROS project in Mexico.

Chioma Obi, Senior Project Manager for TIDE said:

“This award recognises the hard work of everyone involved in TIDE. The project succeeded in introducing new concepts, practices, and ways of working, which enabled HE staff in Myanmar to gain valuable experience in OER and Online Distance Education. It was a pleasure to be part of a project that made a difference.”

TIDE built the capacity of staff at 40 Arts and Sciences Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across Myanmar, with the primary ambition of benefiting distance education students, and resulting in more informed and employable graduates. The project delivered a variety of training and professional development activities for university staff focused on educational practices and technical practices to support face to face and distance education, including change management to support embedding new practices. In addition, by enhancing programmes of study, focusing on environmental studies, in those HEIs and by strengthening national systems and structures that support the HEIs, TIDE became a catalyst for further improvements across the HE sector, helping to support strategy and leadership for the future of the sector in Myanmar and its contribution to sustainable development.

Tim Seal, IT and Support Staff Lead for TIDE, said:

“The TIDE project has worked with a wide range of people across the Myanmar higher education system. The collaboration between the partners within the UK and Myanmar was key to our success and this award is testament to such a significant and impactful OER initiative.”

The project was brought to an early closure in early 2021, following the escalating situation in Myanmar. As the project was forced to finish early, the TIDE team curated a large collection of open educational resources, including the development of new assets, to allow educational partners to continue their journey.

Professor Andy Lane, Academic Director for TIDE commented:

“All the people we worked with in Myanmar on TIDE were keen to transform their academic practices but unfortunately first Covid-19 and then the Military coup disrupted the project partners’ work. However, we were able to collate this collection of resources in just three months that university staff in Myanmar can continue to use and learn from. While this Open Education Award acknowledges this achievement by the UK partners, the true value of the collection will come from its future use in Myanmar.”      


About TIDE

For more information on TIDE, visit the TIDE website.

To go directly to the TIDE project resources, visit


TIDE was part of the UK aid-funded Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR) programme. SPHEIR is managed on behalf of UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office by a consortium led by the British Council that includes PwC and Universities UK International. 

The TIDE partnership was led by The Open University (UK), working with Yangon University (Myanmar), Yangon University of Distance Education (Myanmar), Yadanabon University (Myanmar), Irrawaddy Policy Exchange (UK), Oxford University (UK) and University of Manchester (UK).

The TIDE project was brought to an early closure following the escalating situation in Myanmar in early 2021.

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