Handbook of Distance Education

By Michael Grahame Moore; William G. Anderson | Go to book overview

54
Leading ODL Futures in the Eternal
Triangle: The Mega-University
Response to the Greatest Moral
Challenge of Our Age
John Daniel
UNESCO
j.daniel@unesco.org
Wayne Mackintosh
University ofAuckland
w.mackintosh@auckland.ac.nz
This chapter concentrates on one particularly successful manifestation of open distance learning (ODL), namely the large-scale single-mode providers, which have been called the megauniversities (see Daniel, 1996). Within the context of leading strategic futures in higher education, we argue, first, that the principles of open learning will continue to be the guiding vision for the future of the university and, second, that the large open learning systems of the mega-universities are an important model for the university of the future.In order to achieve the objectives stated above, the structure of this chapter is based on three main areas of focus that are derived from the following questions:
What is the state of tertiary education provision around the world? When examining the imbalances between global supply of tertiary education and the magnitude of the moral demand for access, it is clear that the imperative of providing a decent education for all is the greatest moral challenge of our age. Thus, distance education will have to play an important role in helping to resolve this crisis.
Why have the large open learning systems used by the mega-universities been so successful? A clearer understanding of the drivers underpinning the success of the megauniversities in conjunction with an extrapolation of what this may tell us about ODL futures will provide insights into how we can start to tackle the looming higher education crisis on our planet.
What have we learned from the mega-university experience regarding the future of the university? Innovations that have the potential for radical transformation in society also very often include the potential for great risks for society. This section draws on the megauniversity experience with particular reference to technology futures for the university.

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