Democratising higher education: the ignou initiatives
Starting with two courses and 4,000 students in 1985, IGNOU has reached the ladder of success being the world’s largest mega university, most diverse and inclusive institution offering over 3500 courses and catering to over 2.5 million students. IGNOU is committed to be accessible to all by ensuring learner convenience through its unique ‘age no bar, place no bar and pace no bar’ approach. This approach of IGNOU falls in line with the objectives of democratizing higher education as the current initiatives of IGNOU indicate. During last few years IGNOU has been experimenting various innovative ideas and methods for meeting the above mentioned objectives and ultimately to cater to the diverse needs of people. This has resulted into successful launching of number of programmes, courses, medium and modules. To name a few, Community College establishment, programmes for physically challenged, providing second career opportunity to Indian Army: Gyan Deep, Convergence of distance education and higher education, starting of face to face programmes, use of 3G technology for imparting education , Flexilearning mode, satellite based communication etc. // In this paper an attempt has been made to present an overview of the above mentioned innovations that has been carried out by IGNOU in order to align with the mission of democratising higher education. Also the current status of these innovations and the related issues are highlighted.
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