Expanding Higher Education for the 21st Century: How Can We Expand Open Learning?
I shall begin with the need to expand higher education. This is well-trodden ground so I shall be brief. After that I shall look at two trends that are contributing to the expansion of higher education and open learning around the world, first the growth of private providers operating for profit, and second the steady increase in cross-border education, that is to say the supply of distance learning courses and programmes across national borders. Where to the Asian Open Universities stand in relation to these phenomena? How can you make learning more open and increase the proportion of higher education that is carried out through open learning? // I shall then examine technological trends that affect the development, delivery and support of distance learning. I shall say little about the delivery technologies - the Internet, eLearning and so on, because I expect they will be extensively discussed elsewhere at this meeting. Instead, I shall focus particularly on technologies that can make course development more cost effective, most particularly the trend towards open educational resources. Do open educational resources have the potential to make distance learning more open and more cost-effective and, if so, how do we exploit that? // Finally, I have always arged that success for an open university depends as much or more on good leadership, management and organisation as it does on pedagogy and technology. I shall conclude with some remarks on that theme.