ODL – Answer to access to tertiary education in Southern Africa?
Van Vollenhoven, W.
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The introduction of open and distance learning (ODL) has generally been understood as a response to the new challenges of increased and diverse demands for learning being placed on the education sector, and is seen as one of the strategies through which universities can substantially increase access to tertiary education. However, recent studies indicate that ODL has generally made a significant contribution towards access to tertiary education in developed countries and less so in developing countries, where access remains limited. Even though Botswana identified ODL as one of the strategies to increase participation in tertiary education, its expansion remained very slow for a long time compared to face-to-face provision, resulting in its contribution to increased participation being insignificant. In this article, document analysis was used to review policies affecting ODL as a mode of delivery. The study sought to determine the reason for the limited use of ODL to improve access to tertiary education, in some dual-mode universities. A case study of the University of Botswana (UB) was conducted to determine reasons that some dual-mode universities in Southern Africa still appear hesitant to increase access to many of their programmes through ODL. Reasons uncovered include financial resources, limited planning and monitoring of implementation, stakeholder attitudes and perceptions
- Faculty of Education