Governance of Open and Distance Learning in a Dual-mode University: A Case Study of the University of Delhi, India

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5 Sub-theme: Cross-cutting Themes // Open and distance learning(ODL) is an emerging area to address the fundamental issues of access, retention and quality of higher education to improve human capabilities and achieving the vision of knowledge economy. In India, a higher proportion of younger population is found due to unique demographic transition. Providing quality higher education to such a large proportion of population, in a soft democratic country, is a Herculean task, where hardly ten percent of the youth are enrolled in higher education. The gross enrolment ratio (GER) of marginalized sections of society in the context of social and gender is even less than six percent. // The need for cost effective and need based quality education capable to produce employable youths is self evident. The Knowledge Commission of India (2006) and the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) highlighted better governed participatory structures and processes for inclusive educational development. At present, more than 300 institutions of higher learning are functioning in different parts of India. The experience shows that the access has improved to some extent, but quality of teaching learning process could not be adhered to. In the context of soaring cost of higher education, reducing state funded subsidy and less availability of capable man power, even the issue of accessibility needs to be tackled strategically. // At present, two types of institutions are imparting higher education, namely, conventional and open learning. Conventional institutions could not be able to fulfill the mission of quality higher education to such a large number of youth spread widely in different geographic regions along with diverse social and economic characteristics. Moreover, the cost implications of expansion of conventional higher education work as major constraint. Under such a situation, expanding the opportunities of quality higher education becomes the responsibility of already established conventional institutions and universities blending conventional education along with ODL. It is, in this context, the status of ODL is being analyzed in the present article. University of Delhi is selected as a typical case study, which is imparting higher education to more than 350 thousand students blending the conventional and open learning. // Paper ID 732