New Dynamics of Higher Education; New Dynamics of Distance Education
Open University of Beijing, New Dynamics of Higher Education; New Dynamics of Distance Education by Sir John Daniel (President, Commonwealth of Learning) and Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić, (Chief: Higher Education – UNESCO) // UNESCO’s 2009 World Conference on Higher Education charted a course for higher education in the second decade of the 21st century. The conference identified important and emerging trends, notably rising demand that has created the phenomenon of mass participation, diversification of providers, the use of new learning methods, and a sharper focus on quality assurance. However, higher education is marked by large differences in participation rates and quality in different parts of the world. It is by resolutely embracing the new dynamics that developing countries will bridge these gaps. // Open and distance learning (ODL) and ICTs offer particularly important opportunities. Indeed, developing countries in Asia have led the way in the large-scale use of these technologies. The second part of the paper focuses on the new dynamics of distance education. Now well-established in higher education; ODL will now expand at secondary level and in non-formal learning. The growing pool of Open Educational Resources will both raise the quality and lower the cost of ODL materials as they are shared and adapted around the world. Mobile technology will become an important tool in non-formal learning and the advent of very low cost computing devices will hasten the end of the digital divide.