Higher Education ODL Knowledge Base

The Higher Education Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Knowledge Base Project has been approved by the 31st General Conference as part of its newly implemented cross-cutting strategy on the contribution of information and communication technologies to the development of education,science and culture and the construction of a knowledge society. This project aims to support decision-makers in developing countries and countries in transition on policy issues relating to implications of open and distance learning including transnational education and e-learning provisions, such as virtual universities.

In particular the project will focus on content, accessibility, quality assurance, cost-effectiveness, social and cultural relevance and impact of ODL provisions at the tertiary level. Based on an analytical study of the findings, capacity building for policy and decision-makers will be fostered.

Close co-operation between the UNESCO's Education and Communication and Information Sector as well partnerships with key institutes/field offices and the regional committees for the recognition of degrees will play a central role in this project.

Preparatory Activities 2001
A series of needs' analysis in target regions have been initiated in Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, the Arab States Region and in CIS countries. In addition, a survey of existing databases and knowledge bases with relevance to this field is being elaborated.

These preliminary activities, which have been largely funded through cooperation with the Communication and Information Sector, will be completed in early 2002 and serve as the basis for detailed workplan for the project in 2002-2003.

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