The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Svava Bjarnason

Borderless Education and Development

Svava Bjarnason
Association of Commonwealth Universities

Over the last decade higher education has been transformed through considerable growth in the use of information and communications technology. Mobility of learners, academics and providers is increasing apace with developments in cross-border or transnational education growing exponentially. What are the issues that arise given this context? What are the tensions identified for learners, providers and policy makers? What are some possible ways forward?

The centrality of higher education in helping countries achieve their development goals is increasingly recognised by international and inter-governmental organisations. Thus, governments and potential learners are seeking innovative ways to meet demand in an economically efficient manner.

Publicly funded universities still form the core of providers of higher education across the Commonwealth. However, new providers are increasingly active. Innovative collaborative ventures are emerging as a positive response to these challenges. Examples of regional virtual activities, open source/access initiatives and international partnerships will be explored to see how they are responding to development needs through borderless higher education.

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