Education has never been as in today's rapidly changing world-where
one thing is certain: that yesterday's educational system will not meet
today's demands. The development of the human capital is the main factor in
the over all development of countries. Distance education has proved to be
the right alternative to the conventional system as it is not only
cost-effective but has the potential to reach out to large segments of
In both developed and underdeveloped countries, distance education
has established itself as an important component of higher and adult
education. This book considers the experience of the various types of
distance education systems that have emerged in the developing countries. At
a time when new technologies are emerging and are changing the nature of
education, such an in-depth study of the practice of distance education in
general. and the open university in particular, at the national and
international levels becomes imperative.
The emergent collaborative network in the system have been outlined, keeping
in view the growing need and relevance in today's context. The authors have
offered valuable insights to the present scenario.
For the first time, the Indian distance education
system has been reviewed in a holistic perspective. The areas and issues
relating to the openness, delivery systems and funding of distance education
in general and open universities in particular, have been critically
examined. In an attempt to eliminate biases and improve current image
perceptions about the "quality" of distance education, the authors have
suggested the incorporation of the market philosophy and orientation.
Twenty five years ago it was only a prophesy that the home would be
at the center of society, in which work, education, service consumption and
leisure would be mediated through new technologies. What was a prophesy
then, is becoming more than a reality today because of the electronic
revolution powered by the developments in the Information and
Communication Technologies (las), particularly the internet and the
world wide web. These new las have not only changed the traditional sources
of knowledge but have also altered the mode of delivery, instructional
methods and even the sites and places of learning.
I cannot even start to show my sincerest gratefulness for your kind and most overflowing assistance. Not only that it was your dedication exceptional but your honest interest was stimulating and earnest.
This dramatic technology -driven change is penetrating and
transforming the fabric of higher education all over the planet, both
because of its scope and speed and its global reach. It has struck at the
very heart of the conventional system as well as the open and distance
learning system, at the same time opening the doors to new competitors like
industry, corporate houses, etc., which have expanded the reach and range of
education, making it possible to deliver education, anywhere, anytime across
the globe. Globally more and more institutions of higher education are
adopting las as a means of achieving competitive advantage, as well as to
meet the upswing in demand for their services.
The main thrust of this books is to examine and explore the wide
range of initiatives that are taking place allover the world, which have
been presented in the form of 34 detailed case studies, covering virtual
universities, dual modeh universities and open universities, from both the
developed and developing countries around the world. Contributors to this
resource are well known Vice Chancellors of reputed universities,
internationally renowned theorists, distinguished policy makers, leading
practitioners and others in the field of open and distance education. These
case studies document the major global trends, changes and issues in the
arena of higher education specifically with reference to virtual, distance
and open learning and detail the variety of initiatives being undertaken
across the planet to cope with the rapidly changing scenario.
The epilogue truly embodies the vision of the visionaries, "the who's who of
Distance Education" today. Eminent scholars and policy makers like, Desmond
Keegan, Michael Moore, Ing Carlos Cruz Limon, Tam Sheung wai, Xingfu Ding,
Mary Oakes Smith, Anthony Melck, David Hardy etc., have envisioned what Open
and Distance Learning would be in the new millennium.
The diversity and richness of the content in this volume will serve
as a major source of information and knowledge not only for students,
distance educators, researchers and policy makers around the globe, but also
for industrialists and business executives who are players in the global
higher education marketplace.