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Title: Democratising Higher Education: Reflections on Promises, Challenges and Prospects of Implementing ODL in Developing countries
Authors: Alamirew, Taye
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: St. Mary's University
Abstract: Believing that increasing higher education enrolment would improve the quality of the population and enhance national competitiveness in the globalizing world, Ethiopia has recorded a dramatic expansion in higher education in the last two decades. This has been coupled with increasingly privatized and marketwise strategies to create education opportunities to meet the pressing demand for higher education. But, access to higher education has never moved from being a benefit for the elite to a means by which members of the general population (mass) can improve their life chances under the magical formula of the sociologist Trow’s definition of three-stage higher education development (Trow,1973). Being a latecomer to higher education development, Ethiopia has made serious attempts to expand higher education enrolment in the last few decades and according to the growth and transformation plan of the education sector (ESDP V,2015), the government aimed to achieve a gross enrolment rate of 15 per cent by 2020 from the current 9.47 % gross enrollment. On one hand; rapidly increasing demands for all levels and forms of education, coupled with local and regional governments’ limited capacity to expand provision of education through traditional bricks-and- mortar institutions, leaves higher education to remain elite education; on the other hand; this further forces to launch alternative systems so as to respond to growing need of higher education such as open and distance learning (ODL) and massive open and online courses (MOOC). The objective of this paper is to reflect opportunities, challenges and prospects of implementing ODL to transform the growing demand of higher education from current elite system(less than 15% accessibility) to mass (15 to 50%) to universal (more than 50%) systems of higher education in Ethiopian context from global experiences. Key words: higher education, elite to mass, ODL, MOOC
Appears in Collections:The 5th Annual Open and Distance Education Seminar

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