In Search of a Dual Mode Organisational Structure

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5: Cross-Cutting Theme // The importance and potential of open and distance learning is widely recognized internationally and rapidly growing in developing countries. The rapid expansion of lower level education, and the need for continuous upgrading of qualifications and skills for the workforce have increased pressure on Institutes of Higher Educations (IHEs) to increase access. The existing capacity of the IHEs is inadequate to meet the growing demand and there is a remote chance of an expansion in the higher education system in the near future mainly due to financial constraints. The private sector distance learning institutions are structured as mostly single mode institutions and in some cases are generally extensions of overseas institutions. The organizational structure of distance learning programs of public institutions is based on dual mode model. // Dual mode institutions in most cases have established a unit within their organizational structure as college or department with limited autonomy and authority. These administrative units are under enormous pressure to grow and deliver courses with limited capacity and technical knowhow. Programs development and delivery through the distance mode usually depends on the mercy of the academic departments whose primary responsibilities are to serve the on-campus students. Distance education programs in some cases are treated as cash cow to augment their income. Thus the effectiveness of the current organizational structure is in question for the promotion and development of distance learning programs. This paper provides an understanding of the magnitude of issues on structural adjustment which will stimulate discussions and allow people to share experiences. // Paper ID 258

Distance Education (Dual Mode),Distance Education,Open and Distance Learning (ODL),Higher Education