Korean National Open University (KNOU)
KNOU was founded in 1972 as a cable TV station
to provide education to Koreans. It is their Open Universitysomewhat
analogous to our community colleges.
KNOU now serves 350,000 students. Not
only are they a huge institution today, but they will continue
growing. Now, they are capitalizing on their resource base.
They are digitizing the 18 hours of video and audio programming
they produce each day, storing these "lessons" in
a digital library then integrating it into a web-browser accessible
course shell (LearningSpace), and making education available
at any time from anywhere. Although KNOU serves Korea today,
their goal is to serve Koreans, worldwide.
You may not think of KNOU as a competitive
threat. However, UCLA might. Approximately 30% of UCLAs
students are Korean. If these students could take courses
from KNOU and shorten their time to graduation or have more
flexibility, KNOU, indeed, might have an impact on UCLAs
student credit hours.
Monterrey Tech is another institution that
is expanding rapidly. They currently have 80,000 students
at 27 campuses, and they expect to double their size by 2005.
How? Distributed learning. They are transmitting courses into
other Latin and South American countries today. They also
have 2,500 courses available online using LearningSpace. Their
goal is to convert 20% of their courses to LearningSpace each
year, and, so far, they have exceeded that goal. Monterrey
Tech is also an institution that excels at partnerships. Many
of your institutions may have collaborative agreements with
Monterrey Tech. Those collaborations are not just in the U.S.
and Canada, either. And, they are accredited in the Southern
Region. So, if you take a course from ITESM, you are taking
a course from an accredited university.
British Open University
British Open University or The Open University
is probably the best known distance learning institution in
the world. Their goal is to become the worlds largest
educational provider. They have recently incorporated
in the state of Delaware and are currently seeking Middle
And, it wont take long to "Americanize"
their courses. They recently have affiliated themselves with
the Western Governors University, as well. The Open University
provides degree programs as well as non-credit coursesthe
kinds of learning modules that many adults seek.
GROWTH IN PROPRIETARY EDUCATION
It is not just the open universities that
are growing. There is significant growth in proprietary education.
Almost everyone has heard about the University of Phoenix,
and many know about ITT, the DeVry Institute and other for-profit
A powerful proprietary educational model to
pay attention to is that of Information Technology Institute
(ITI). ITI was founded in Canada and specializes in IT training.
Their primary customers are students who have graduated from
Canadian universities but who do not have the skills to enter
the IT industry. ITI provides an in-depth, 9-month program
of study involving problem-based learning, collaboration,
teamwork and adult learning theory.
Not only does ITI provide this education
directly to students, but they also offer it through other
institutions in an original equipment manufacturer model,
or OEM. An OEM model that most are familiar with is Intel.
Whether you have a Compaq computer, or one from Dell or IBM
or Acer or any number of vendors, you have an Intel chip inside.
Intel is the OEMthe original equipment manufacturer.
Chances are that your disk drive came from IBMIBM has
a very large OEM business, as well.
As an OEM, ITI provides the curriculum and
faculty for an MIS degree at Dalhousie University and at American
InterContinental University. The degree you receive carries
the Dalhousie or American InterContinental brand, but the
education is from ITI.
STUDENTS ARE BECOMING MORE SELECTIVE
At the same time that there is change in the
academy, there is change in students. Todays college
students are behaving differently than their previous counterparts,
particularly in terms of being more selective. It is becoming
fairly common for students to piece together an academic program
from several institutions. They are choosing from a variety
of educational providersoftentimes based on convenience.
To make it easier for these "consumers"
to shop around, many states have aggregated their distance
learning courses in structures such as the California Virtual
University. Although CVU does not offer degrees, it does provide
a clearinghouse for courses from over 80 accredited colleges
and universities in California.
There are similar ventures in Minnesota and
Michigan. The Southern Regional Electronic Campus is an aggregation
facilitated by The Southern Region Education Board (SREB).
A group of eight community collegesthe Distance Learning
Networkhas banded together, as well. The list of aggregators
continues to grow.
LINKAGE TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
These distance learning ventures are not just
showing up on a state level. Perhaps even more powerful
is the emergence of these distance learning consortia on an
industry basis. Why? Because of their linkage to economic
A few years ago a study of the Michigan auto
industry revealed that there would be a significant retirement
bubble between now and 2003. Up to 250,000 people in the auto
industry would retire. For Michigan to retain dominance in
the auto industry25% of the Michigan economythere
have to be trained and educated employees. The study recommended
the creation of the Michigan Virtual Automotive College (MVAC).
In its first few months of operation, MVAC has already delivered
an impressive number of courses. However, its role has already
Rather than just providing courses, MVAC
is now acting more as an industry consultant.
The idea is for MVAC to take the initiative in telling its
clients what their educational needs are. One survey, for
example, asks engineers what skills they have, what skills
they use and what skills they expect to need. If at some point
the survey results indicate that engineers dont know
enough about pneumatics and feel they could do their jobs
better if they did, MVAC can take that information to the
auto companies, arrange to have courses prepared and get the
program online. The goal is just-in-time delivery of skills
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