Global Perspectives on University Policies and Management

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Daniel, John
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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You have given me an interesting and challenging title: Global Perspectives on University Policies and Management for Distance Education. I shall stick closely to that title but keep it simple.// First, I shall attempt a global perspective on the aims of distance education. Today there is a lot of talk about the convergence of distance education and education on campus. Conventional universities are making more and more use of modern technologies in their teaching. Many of them are putting in place policies for eLearning. But we must not be misled by this convergence over methods into thinking that there is a convergence of aims. I shall argue that distance education should have a fundamentally different set of aims from campus education. If distance education institutions like open universities forget that they are doomed.// Second, I shall talk about the means of distance education. Technology is evolving daily and we have a wonderful set of tools at our disposal. This should allow us to do an even better job of pursuing the aims of distance education.// Third, I shall move to the question of policy. The title that you have given me refers to university policy, and I shall address that. But it is also necessary to talk about government policies. Universities exist within a national context and the policies of governments have a considerable impact on their effectiveness. Having suggested the policies that governments should adopt I shall look at policies for distance education from the perspectives of both open universities and campus universities. // Finally, policies are necessary but not sufficient conditions for success. For success you need good management and I shall draw on my own experience of three decades of managing universities and distance education to make some suggestions.
Distance Education, Higher Education, Education Management, Education Policies
Costa Rica