New Study

Inspiring Higher Education for Future Directions

Oslo (NO), April 2018 - On the occasion of the opening of the new offices of the Permanent Secretariat of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), Gard Titlestad, the Council’s Secretary General, announced that the study "Online, Open, Flexible and Technology-Enhanced (OOFAT) Models for Education" is developing very well. ICDE commissioned the Berlin-based FiBS Research Institute for Education and Socio-Economic Research and Consulting to undertake the study after an open call in 2016.

The idea was to map various examples of online and technology enhanced delivery in a rapidly changing higher education landscape and to see if it was possible to narrow the findings down to a few, significant delivery models of online, open, flexible, and technology-enhanced higher education (OOFAT).

The study includes 69 institutional cases, covering all regions of the world and more than 30 countries. It sets out to analyse how higher education providers from across the world are harnessing digitalization to improve teaching and learning and learner support, as well as to identify emerging types of practice.

This report particularly targets senior management in higher education institutions, but also policy makers in governments and companies engaged in higher education. Higher education institutions can use the report for strategic development, comparison, peerlearning, benchmarking, and inspiration. Governments can get input for future directions of their educational frameworks and companies may detect potential innovative business opportunities.

For institutions that want to find out their current strategic position or identify which type of model they aspire to, the report offers a step-by-step guide. The report states that most higher education providers are just at the beginning of developing comprehensive strategies for harnessing digitalization. That makes this study and its findings very timely.

ICDE suggests that the report can support educational stakeholders in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 4, Education 2030: "Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning".

When completed, ICDE will make the report available.