Sustaining Single Mode Medium-Sized Open and Distance Learning Universities: lessons from Canada

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2006-10
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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PCF4 // The year 2005 witnessed a dramatic transformation in the provision of open and distance learning (ODL) in Canada. On the one hand, the Télé-université de l’Université du Québec (TÉLUQ) gave up its status as a self-standing, single-mode ODL university within the Université du Québec (UQ) system, and joined the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). On the other hand, the British Columbia Open University (BCOU) was acquired by the University College of the Cariboo (UCC), which in turn became Thompson Rivers University (TRU), the sixth public university in today’s British Columbia system. While TÉLUQ’s change in status resulted from a process that the institution had itself initiated, the wheels for BCOU’s transformation were set in motion by a provincial government decision. As such, and after about 30 years, Canada has moved from boasting three single-mode ODL universities to having only one, Athabasca University. // This paper analyzes the factors that led to these mergers, projects the impact that the new configurations will have on the provision of ODL in Canada, argues for the critical role that only public, single mode ODL institutions can provide, and offers lessons with general applicability for their preservation and sustainability. // Paper ID 365

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Canada
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Caribbean and Americas
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