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Open and distance learning in the BRIC countries

The International Council for Open and Distance Education hosted a special session at the recent Online Educa Berlin conference to explore important trends and challenges in open and distance learning in the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The ICDE has also presented an excellent summary of the BRIC panel on their website, including detailed reports and presentation decks from the participating panelists. This is an excellent resource for recruiters, whether for face-to-face programming or open or distance programmes, with an interest in these major world markets.

A few quick highlights:

  • In Brazil, the percentage of students in distance education has risen from 1.4% in 2002 to to 14.6% in 2010. Almost one in six students enrolled in undergraduate studies in Brazil enters into a distance learning course.
  • The number of distance learning students in Russian higher education programmes increased by more than 50% from 2000 to 2010.
  • India currently has 13 open universities plus one national open university: Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). IGNOU alone serves more than 4 million students from India as well as 36 other countries.
  • In China, efforts to expand open and distance education programmes now include a movement toward increasing the range of learning resources that are available and open to the public via open and distance learning systems.

Source: International Council for Open and Distance Education, Online Educa Berlin

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