Open education is an educational movement founded on openness, with connections to other educational movements such as critical pedagogy, and with an educational stance which favours widening participation and inclusiveness in society. Open education broadens access to the learning and training traditionally offered through formal education systems and is typically (but not necessarily) offered through online and distance education. The qualifier "open" refers to the elimination of barriers that can preclude both opportunities and recognition for participation in institution-based learning. One aspect of openness or "opening up" education is the development and adoption of open educational resources in support of open educational practices.
An example of an institutional practice in line with open education would be decreasing barriers to entry, for example, eliminating academic admission requirements. Universities which follow such practices include the Open University in Britain, Athabasca University and Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning in Canada and the Open University of Catalonia, in Spain, among many others (see full list here). Massive open online courses (MOOC) and OpenCourseWare are among the most recent and visible approaches to open education, adopted by universities worldwide. Although many MOOC's have free enrolment, the costs of acquiring a certification may be a barrier. Many open education institutes offer free certification schemes accredited by organizations like UKAS in the UK and ANAB in the United States; others offer a badge.