Transforming tertiary institutions for mass higher education through distance and open learning approaches in Africa: a telescopic view

  • D Braimoh


The recent global occurrences are in one way or another affecting many individuals, institutions and even governmental structures, particularly in the developing countries of the world. Those who are hard hit within the premise of our article, include the Universities on the continent of Africa, where their hitherto status quo as "ivory towers" is being challenged by private competitors while this situation has been aggravated by the fast dwindling financial support from their varying governments. In addition, the process of democratization of education has inevitably led to the explosive demands by the citizens of the different African countries for open admission into the tertiary institutions as full time students but the universities have no absorptive capacity to meet the demands due to some perennial factors. Against this background, this article therefore, analyses the current spate of "transformation process" which is going on in most of the Southern African Universities. This is done using the telescopic view to assess the rationale, with a view to synthesizing the positive dividends which may accrue from the adoption of distance and open learning approaches in order to achieve greater accessibility and the massification of educational products. This is especially pertinent during this era of technology driven educational innovation, so as to make universities' programmes not only accessible but also relevant to the needs and aspirations of the teeming African population.

(South African Journal of Higher Education: 2003 17 (3):13-25)

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eISSN: 1011-3487