Apereo Values: Section 7 - Regional and National Partnerships

7. Regional and National Partnerships

As part of its commitment to diversity, Apereo was founded on the principle that there is not a single, universal organizational or development path appropriate to all open source software initiatives serving education. These will vary by geographical, cultural or other contexts, or at different points in the development lifecycle. International collaboration is necessary and practical, but requires recognition and respect for diversity. It is from these perspectives that  Apereo develops and maintains partnerships of reciprocal benefit and understanding. Our partnership with the North American LAMP consortium and ESUP-Portail in France are exemplars of how we intend to progress this agenda. 

ESUP-Portail is a distinct and self-governing consortium serving the higher education community in France, where it represents over 80% of the sector. Apereo, recognizing that ESUP-Portail represents the needs of the community in France, negotiated a practically focused and annually reviewed memorandum of understanding between our organizations. Apereo does not recruit organizational members in France. ESUP-Portail makes a financial contribution to Apereo, and encourages its member institutions to participate in Apereo communities. The two organizations collectively focus on

  • Resource pooling around the incubation and growth of new initiatives, software communities and communities of interest. 
  • Encouraging the adoption of Apereo software, and of contributions of code, documentation and experience back into our software communities and communities of interest. Adoption of uPortal, CAS, Karuta and the Open Academic Environment as a platform in France all are examples of how our partnership has made a significant difference.

The LAMP Consortium is a group of small institutions, largely located in North America, which cooperate to negotiate support for commercially provided hosted services based around open source software. There are advantages in this approach: cooperation creates a more powerful negotiating position, and basing services on open source software acts to mitigate risks of lock-in should the need arise to transition to a different provider.

Apereo is actively growing regional communities in many parts of the world. As they continue to develop, we anticipate that they may establish their own non-profit entities to meet specific local needs, and work with Apereo where it makes most sense to do so. The principles of subsidiarity and federalism will guide us into this more collaborative, complex – and more rewarding – future.