36 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PD

T +44 (0) 20 7958 8251

LIDC Focus on Distance Learning for International Development

LIDC has been investigating where to focus its activities in education so as to best support international development goals. One area which has emerged is distance learning. Our six Colleges operate about 30 distance learning degrees in areas relevant to international development, mostly through the University of London External System. About half of the 2000 current students registered on these degrees are from countries outside Europe and North America.
Distance learning has particular opportunities for international development, which includes its potential to be accessed from anywhere by people with ongoing careers, its low cost relative to London-based taught degrees, and its modular nature, which makes it possible to organize modules and courses to address specific, inter-disciplinary development needs. For instance, besides full degrees, groups of modules can be used for training particular professionals or CSO groups, or can be used by partner institutions in developing countries in their own taught or distance learning programmes.

On 2 April, LIDC organised with the Centre for Distance Education of the University of London a Conference on Distance Learning for Development. Specialists from the University of London , other UK universities and Indian and African universities participated in a programme which examined challenges to access, partnerships and impact and how these can be met. An evening session focused on information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) under development around our Colleges. The Conference results will be used to develop an LIDC programme to promote improvement and integration of distance learning across Colleges. A wiki on this conference, including powerpoints and contacts, will be available here shortly.