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PublicationHuman Development for Innovation: Changing the Profile of Global Higher Education( 2007-03-02)China now has the largest postsecondary education system with 21 million students and an Age Participation Rate (APR) of 19%. India lags behind with an APR of 10% and some 10 million students. Creating an innovative society requires postsecondary education to be more widely available and developed countries have APRs of 40% or more. China and India must continue to grow their postsecondary systems. India's combination of demography (60% under 25) and democracy will propel its postsecondary enrolments past those of both the US and China. // As China and India come to dominate postsecondary education in the 21st century their patterns of provision will effectively define its global profile, which will differ from the current profile for both economic and technological reasons. First, private, for-profit education will play a larger role because the public sector will not be able to afford the necessary investments. Second, distance learning, conducted at scale, already accounts for a larger proportion of enrolments in China and India than in America. Third, distance learning lends itself readily to conducting higher education across borders. Distance learning, by its nature, is more likely to foster the spirit of innovation than face-to-face instruction. // In America the for-profit sector, for example the Whitney International University System, is attempting to take distance learning to scale at low cost by making investments aimed at achieving the quantum shifts in price and volume necessary to serve those at the bottom of the economic pyramid around the world. // The paper notes how connectivity and open educational resources could be combined in conducting postsecondary education at scale with lower costs and consistent quality. It also indicates steps being taken internationally to regulate and assure the quality of these very large postsecondary systems in the interests of protecting students.
PublicationReflections on a Career in Distance Education( 2007-01)Reflections on a Career in Distance Education, Sir John Daniel, Commonwealth of Learning, January 2007 // I found distance education whilst seeking something else. My first real job, after a long, conventional and highly specialised education, was an assistant professorship of Metallurgical Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique (Université de Montréal). Fate appeared to have made me a university teacher so I thought I ought to develop some professionalism in my new métier by undertaking formal study of education. // Before I realised that this was an unusual - even a perverse - reflex for a young engineering academic, I had enrolled in a Master's programme in Educational Technology at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University). I had little idea what educational technology was but swallowed my scepticism because it was the only programme in Montreal with 'education' in the title that could be studied part time and appeared to offer some intellectual challenge.
PublicationPeace and Conflict Resolution in a Globalised World: Issues of Culturalism: Can Higher Education Make a Difference?( 2007-01-06)INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE, Peace and Conflict Resolution in a Globalised World: Issues of Culturalism, Can Higher Education Make a Difference?, Sir John Daniel, Commonwealth of Learning, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, 6 January 2007 // This Commission, which met for the first time last month, has a practical focus. It is charged to explore initiatives to promote mutual understanding and respect among all faiths and communities in the Commonwealth. It will look at the communities that work well in the Commonwealth - those that really manage 'respect and understanding' - and suggest how to replicate these successes across the Commonwealth's 53 member states and beyond. // So there are my caveats; there are my health warnings. I am a latecomer to your event; I am not versed in peace studies; and I wonder what I can say that India has not already thought.
PublicationCelebrating Open Universities( 2007-01-10)Vardhaman Mahaveer Kota Open University, 3rd Convocation, 10 January 2007, Celebrating Open Universities, Remarks by Sir John Daniel on the conferment of the honorary degree, Doctor of Letters honoris causa // I congratulate the graduates and I thank you for making me an honorary doctor of Vardhaman Mahaveer Kota Open University. I am proud to become a member of your academic community. // University convocations are enjoyable events. I estimate that I have taken part in 150 such ceremonies. At the UK Open University I shook hands and talked to some 50,000 graduates as they were presented for their degrees. // For me today's convocation is an anniversary and a double milestone. 2007 marks the 35th anniversary of my involvement with open universities. It was in 1972 that I went to the British Open University as an intern, had a conversion experience and re-oriented my career to advance the concept of open universities.
PublicationWhat is an Open University?( 2007-01-11)TAMIL NADU OPEN UNIVERSITY, Convocation 11 January 2007, Address by the Chief Guest, Sir John Daniel, Commonwealth of Learning, What is an Open University? // At the moment some 24% of the ten million Indians engaged in higher education are learning at a distance: in the Indira Gandhi National Open University; in 12 State open universities like this one; and in the many dual-mode providers. The Government wants to raise this figure to 40%. Moreover, India's commitment to distance learning extends beyond the university level. The National Institute for Open Schooling is the world's largest open school and India is now creating state open schools analogous to its state open universities. // There is intense international interest in open schooling, particularly in Africa. Those countries that are struggling to get all children into primary school cannot aspire to universal secondary schooling in the foreseeable future using conventional methods. They must seek alternatives like open schools. COL often works as an intermediary between India and Africa; helping to share Indian expertise on alternative schooling with African governments. // This is the convocation of the Tamil Nadu Open University, so I shall narrow my focus to a simple question: what is an Open University? I once had the inestimable privilege of serving for eleven years as Vice-Chancellor of the British Open University, the institution that pioneered, and continues to lead, the implementation of the concept of the open university.