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Josep Planell - Open and Distance Universities: the medium is the message


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Josep Planell - Open and Distance Universities: the medium is the message

  1. 1. Professor Dr. Josep A. Planell President EADTU Annual Conference 2022 Open and Distance Universities: the medium is the message
  2. 2. Diversity of HE Institutions
  3. 3. Known today as the research university, observed especially in the university-business relationship through applied research and technology transfer. Depending on the mission 01 The German Humboldtian model Strongly oriented towards providing professional training mainly required by the State, to the detriment of the development of research. This model strengthens the relationship between universities and the State. 02 The French Napoleonic model Based on the traditional university aspects contained in the medieval universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the British university model provides the most general training possible regardless of future professional activity of the graduates, and is different from scientific and research education. 03 The Anglo-Saxon model
  4. 4. Open University (UK) FernUniversität in Hagen (Germany) 1969 1970 1972 UNED (Spain) 1974 Athabasca University (Canada) Universidade Aberta (Portugal) 1984 1988 Open Universiteit (NL) 1992 Hellenic Open University (Greece) 1995 UOC (Spain) Open University of Cyprus (OUC) 2002 2005 Universitá Telematica Internazionale UNINETUNO (Italy) 1st online Online Universities (Virtual Campus based) Open and Distance Learning Universities Depending on the methodology
  5. 5. Source: “Can the universities of today lead learning for tomorrow? The University of the Future” Depending on the external context
  6. 6. The great diversity of higher education institutions predicts different futures for each one of them Depending on public or private ownership Depending on their size, with hundreds of students or hundreds of thousands, with one or several campuses, at national or international level Depending on the type of programmes they offer: undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral Depending on their type of campus: residential, urban, virtual Depending on the fields in which they specialize Depending on their research intensity Depending on the university system they belong to Depending on the kind of relationship they have with their environment Depending on their governance model J. Gallifa, A. Sangrà (2022) Transformar la Universidad. Ed UOC
  7. 7. Change of paradigm Education in critical thinking and creation Fields or disciplines: Philosophy, Science, Art, Humanities High-level professional training Professions: engineering, nursing, business administration, teaching, medicine... Education in ? (perhaps interdisciplinary skills?) ???? (occupations that do not exist yet) Traditional society Industrial society Informational society To know To know and To know how to do Students determine what they need to know and do
  8. 8. "The medium is the message" Marshall McLuhan Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964)
  9. 9. Challenges of HEI today
  10. 10. Issues that universities must address right away
  11. 11. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The UN 2030 Agenda > Quality Higher Education as a fundamental right Academic knowledge and the technological development are key to make the 2030 Agenda possible. Global Sustainable Development Report 2019: The Future is Now – Science for Achieving Sustainable Development (United Nations, 2019)
  12. 12. Promoting teaching innovation 2020 Pandemic outbreak Digital transformation within universities Digitalisation = incorporation of technologies into existing processes with a twofold objective: 01 More efficient management procedures 02 The central position of digital technologies becomes undeniable Pandemic propels Higher Education to the 21st century
  13. 13. The pandemic forces to adopt virtual training methodologies… Emergency remote teaching vs Quality online teaching
  14. 14. Recommendations were approved in relation to the evaluation criteria and standards for the verification, modification, monitoring and renewal of the accreditation of official undergraduate and master's degrees offered in virtual and hybrid teaching modalities. Spain Official approval of online assessment in Higher Education in April 2021 90,000 online tests were conducted in the 2020/2021 academic year at the UOC … and to change Higher Education regulation Peru Official recognition of online learning as a training modality in HE in August 2020 ON-SITE Up to 20% (max) of the credits can be taught online BLENDED Between 21% and 70% of the credits can be taught online ONLINE Between 70% and 80% of the credits can be taught online Master's and doctoral degree programs can be exclusively online Source “Nuevos parámetros de SUNEDU para programas presenciales, semipresenciales y a distancia”
  15. 15. Opportunities for open and distance universities today
  16. 16. Increase in the demand for online education In the US, in fall 2020, 75% (11.8 million) of all undergraduate students were enrolled in at least one distance education course, x2 regards to fall 2019 (11.8 million vs. 6 million). And 44% (7 million) of all undergraduate students exclusively took distance education courses, which represents x3 in 2020 compared to 2019 (7 million vs. 2.4 million). Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) In the EU, in 2021, 27% of people aged 16 to 74 reported that they did an online course, a 4% increase in regards to 2020. Compared with 2019 before the pandemic, the share of people doing online courses increased in almost all Member States. Source: Interest in online education grows in the EU; Eurostat In Australia, in fall 2017, 42% of future students preferred online learning, versus the 22% of students who were actually receiving the majority of their degree online. Source: “Can the universities of today lead learning for tomorrow? The University of the Future” 01
  17. 17. 02 Broaden access to Higher Education 68% of UOC students are older than 25. They have family obligations and a career they want to make compatible with their studies. People aged over 25 #refugeeuniversity 7 scholarship programmes open since 2017 with over 200 grantees, reaching refugee camps in Greece, the Sahara, several European countries, including Spain. Groups of migrants or refugees Over 6,600 of UOC students live abroad Countries where the most UOC students live: Ecuador, Colombia, Germany, Andorra and the United Kingdom People who change their place of residence 1,944 people certified with disability levels of 33% or above were studying at the UOC in the 2020-21 academic year. UOC students account for 43% of all university students with a certified disability in Catalonia. People with disabilities 64% of the UOC students living in Catalonia in small rural towns (under 10,000 people) are women. Women in rural areas making Life Long Learning a reality The UOC’s case: Making Lifelong Learning a reality
  18. 18. 03 Contribute to the capacity building of universities and educational systems The UOC’s case: Helping to transform HE around the world Transfer of the model to governments and institutions Argentina, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Jordan, Mexico, Peru, Chile Virtual mobilities 2,000 Latin American students have benefited from this mobility programme since 2016 Grant programme More than 60grants have been awarded for continuing education courses on e-learning In partnership with SENESCYT, SEGIB, OAS and ICETEX
  19. 19. 04 Improve teaching and learning The UOC’s case: Promoting global competences Students living in 141 countries on 5 continents A diverse and global student community at the centre of the learning process and technological developments GRAF: competency assessment tool Niu: content aggregator FOLIO: community empowerment and skill-building model
  20. 20. Challenges for open and distance universities today
  21. 21. A remedial perception 01 Online learning provides a framework for flexible and highly customisable learning models. It is therefore an ideal approach for delivering the lifelong learning that will be crucial in adapting to a changing world. However, it is still perceived as complementary to traditional learning modalities by the rest of agents within the system: face-to-face universities and policy makers.
  22. 22. Quality online training can provide access to a larger number of students without proportionally increasing the cost, but it also requires funding. The Iron Triangle COST Underfunding 02
  23. 23. For-profit initiatives 03
  24. 24. Regulation 04 Source: Source: students-unhappy-with-online-learning-regulator-finds Source: Source: Source:
  25. 25. Conclusions
  26. 26. Open and distance universities can be universities for all. Collaboration is key. We need to work together to get one step ahead than higher education institutions with a public mandate. It is important that the commitment towards a high quality university be supported by an adequate funding and an enabling regulatory framework.
  27. 27. “We have to make the classroom count. Universities have to become a place of action, creation and impact” Sanjay Sarma, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Vice President for Open Learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) UOC inaugural lecture, academic year 2020-2021 (min 9.40 – 29.45)
  28. 28. UOC.universitat @UOCuniversity @uocuniversitat Thank you