Page 1


ICDE is a non-governmental organization in formal consultative relations with UNESCO, and works together with UNESCO in the service of international cooperation and development. This status grants ICDE’s members a voice at UNESCO, while obliging ICDE to acquaint its members with UNESCO’s programmes, activities and achievements within open and distance education.


Policy engagement

Conference on Higher Education, ICDE President, Frits Pannekoek, President of Athabasca University, Canada and ICDE Secretary General, Carl Holmberg helped to form the final communiqué. It stated that approaches such as open and distance learning (ODL) and information and communications technologies (ICTs) are required to realize the goals of Education for All, and to address the worldwide shortage of teachers.

ICDE’s voice at UNESCO is assured through involvement in policy debate. At the 2009 UNESCO World

“ODL approaches and ICTs present opportunities to widen access to quality education, particularly when

ICDE became formally affiliated to UNESCO in 1967.

Photo: Michel Ravassard, UNESCO

Quality initiative The Open Educational Quality Initiative is a partnership between ICDE, UNESCO and five other organizations and institutions which focuses on the provision of innovative open educational practices, both in higher education and adult education, and promotes quality, innovation and transparency. Both ICDE and UNESCO - represented by

Photo: Michel Ravassard, UNESCO Open Educational Resources are readily shared by many countries and higher education institutions.” (Source: wche2009)

General Delegate at UNESCO

workings of UNESCO, and a broad

ICDE is supported in its work

“Formal relations are […] granted to

by Bernard Loing, ICDE’s

international NGOs that are widely

General Delegate at UNESCO,

representative and expert in their

who is also President of the

field of activity, and are recognized

International Conference of

as having a genuinely international

NGOs for the period 2010-

structure and membership.” (Source:

2012. His position brings ICDE

tremendous insight in the


the sections for Communication and Information and for Education - see clear opportunities for enhancing the use of open educational resources in an international setting, and enabling


network of contacts within the organization.

institutions around the world to help form this important area of research. The initiative is funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission.




Insert 1. 2011


The ICDE Standing Conference of Presidents (SCOP) is an annual closed forum of policy level decision makers from ICDE member institutions and co-operating organizations. SCOP provides a unique opportunity for Rectors, Presidents, and Chief Executive Officers of open and distance education universities from around the world to exchange information, share expertise, establish benchmarks, and determine advocacy directions. The meetings

ICDE Standing Conference of Presidents are entirely confidential, in camera meetings affording institutional executive leaders the opportunity to speak freely in a peer-to-peer environment on a wide range of critical and extraordinarily sensitive subjects. SCOP 2011 was attended by 70 institutional leaders and other executives from 30 countries and every continent.

Participants at SCOP 2011, New York City, USA. Photo: SUNY Empire State College

Hosting SCOP

Global insight and influence SCOP affords unique access to transnational and global views and to invaluable and detailed information about policy, strategic thinking and development in open and distance education around the world. It offers strong opportunities for exploring partnerships and strategic cooperation with other ICDE member institutions from around the world. It also offers opportunities to participate in setting the international priorities and agenda for the future of open and distance education. Since 2010, an ICDE Policy Forum has been held immediately prior to the SCOP meeting. The Policy Forum covers key issues and challenges for national open and distance learning policies worldwide, and seeks to find common solutions.

From SCOP 2010, Pretoria, South Africa. Photo: University of South Africa

Working Group at SCOP 2011. Photo: SUNY Empire State College

ICDE member institutions may apply to host the SCOP meeting, and undertake the organization in consultation with the ICDE Secretariat. The President of ICDE and one further member of the Executive Committee usually partake in the work of the programme committee.

SCOP meetings since inception Year 2011



The State University of New York Empire State College

New York City, USA


University of South Africa

Pretoria, South Africa


Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Barcelona, Spain


Shanghai TV University

Shanghai, China


Open Universiteit Nederland

Heerlen, The Netherlands


Lillehammer University College

Lillehammer, Norway


Fernuniversität in Hagen

Cologne, Gemany


Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Barcelona, Spain


University of South Africa

Pretoria, South Africa


Fernuniversität in Hagen

Neuss, Germany


Brazilian Association for Distance Education

São Paulo, Brazil



Vienna, Austria


University of Southern Queensland

Noosa, Queensland, Australia


Universidade Aberta

Lisbon, Portugal


Lillehammer University College

Lillehammer, Norway


The Open University UK

Birmingham, UK


The State University of New York

Saratoga Springs, New York, USA


Universidade Aberta

Lisbon, Portugal

SCOP 2012 will be held 12-15 November in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, hosted by Hamdan Bin Mohammmed e-University. This will be the first occasion on which the SCOP meeting takes place in the Middle East.

Insert 2. 2011

ICDE World Conference on Open and Distance Learning


The biennial ICDE World Conference on Open and Distance Learning is widely recognized as the leading world event in open and distance education and offers a forum for the presentation of cutting edge developments, network building, and professional development. Running over three days, the conference normally consists of both plenary and parallel sessions, and attracts high profile speakers from leading distance education institutions, government and corporations. The programme allows for approximately 300 paper presentations in addition to posters and pre-conference workshops.

Hosting a World Conference

Remove indent World Conference attracts up to 1,000 participants representing the research community, teaching staff, management of educational institutions, the public sector, training companies and commercial suppliers. 16 delegates from countries with developing economies, including a number of students, received sponsorship from the ICDE Fellowship Programme Delegates at the 23rd ICDE World Conference. to take part in the 24th Photo: Open Universiteit Nederland ICDE World Conference. The programme was made possible by the generosity of member institutions, and ICDE both contributed to and administered the scheme.

World Conferences of the past 25 years Year

ICDE’s World Conferences are organized in cooperation with member institutions. The first ICDE World Conference was held in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 1938.





24th ICDE World Conference

Universitas Terbuka

Bali, Indonesia


23rd ICDE World Conference

Open Universiteit Nederland

Maastricht, The Netherlands


22nd ICDE World Conference

Brazilian Association for Distance Education

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


21st World ICDE Conference

The Open University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong, China


20th ICDE World Conference

FernUniversität, Hagen

Düsseldorf, Germany


19th ICDE World Conference

FernUniversität, Hagen

Vienna, Austria


18th ICDE World Conference

Penn State University

Pennsylvania, USA Birmingham, UK


17th ICDE World Conference

The Open University UK


16th ICDE World Conference

Sukhothai Tammatirat Open University

Bangkok, Thailand


15th ICDE World Conference

Universidad Nacional Abierta

Caracas, Venezuela


14th ICDE World Conference

Norwegian Association for Distance Education

Oslo, Norway

The 25th ICDE World Conference will be hosted by Tianjin Open University, China in October 2013. Tianjin Open University, founded in 1958, has 60,000 students with 21 campuses and a distance education network covering all counties of the municipality. The university places great emphasis on international exchange and cooperation and hosted the 22nd Asian Association of Open Universities Annual Conference in 2008. Tianjin is a coastal city approximately 120km from Beijing.

The Minister of National Education of Indonesia opening the 24th ICDE World Conference. Photo: Universitas Terbuka

Insert 3. 2011


ICDE International Conferences Case study

It is a well-established tradition in ICDE to hold International Conferences on distance education in different parts of the world based around regional structures and activities. ICDE member institutions may apply to host an ICDE International Conference aimed at a regional audience, and can draw upon ICDE’s resources to attract leading figures from the world of open and distance education to speak at the event.

Promotion and influence International conferences give local institutions and host countries the opportunity to showcase their institutions, experts, and educational values and systems to a broad international audience. At the same time, such events have proven their ability positively to affect local attitudes and policy towards distance education. International Conferences represent an important opportunity for fostering greater regional cooperation in order to further the goals and objectives of individual institutions. They are an excellent opportunity to consolidate or to initiate inter-institutional relationships, discover new opportunities for cooperative work, and discuss practice and research in the field of education and technology. ICDE International Conferences have been held over the past decade in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, China, Puerto Rico, Peru, India, Australia, Brazil and Canada.

Universidad del Caribe hosted an ICDE International Conference in the Dominican Republic in November 2008 which attracted approximately 380 participants from the region. The conference afforded professionals from Latin America the opportunity to interact with their peers in other regions using their own language, with simultaneous translation to English, Spanish and Portuguese.

The opening session of the ICDE International Conference in the Dominican Republic. Photo: Universidad del Caribe

The theme of the conference was “The Current Challenges of Virtual Learning”, and dealt with distance education as an element of social inclusion and civic participation, research and development in distance education, construction and knowledge management through distance education, and contributions of distance education in its various fields of application.

University, USA, Imma Tubella, Rector of Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain, and ICDE President Frits Pannekoek, President of Athabasca University, Canada. Extensive coverage of the conference in the main national newspapers highlighted the importance of this event for the country. Two conferences will be held in 2011: in Italy, hosted by Università di Roma

The main speakers were Lalita Rajasingham of Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand, Michael G. Moore of Pennsylvania State

Tor Vergata in cooperation with Società Italiana di e-Learning; and in Argentina, hosted by Universidad Nacional de Quilmes.

Delegates at the ICDE International Conference in the Dominican Republic. Photo: Universidad del Caribe

Insert 4. 2011


ICDE has a long history of member-driven projects, and through its current activity is working to contribute to the development of new methodologies and technologies, to promote quality, and to create global arenas for the discussion of distance education policies.

ICDE Project activity

Learning Programme of the European

Open Educational Quality Initiative

Commission. The involvement of ICDE and UNESCO

The Open Educational Quality

underlines the project’s strategy of

Initiative focuses on the provision

connecting European organizations

of innovative open educational

to international debate. By the end

practices (OEP), both in

of 2011, the project had produced

higher education and adult

guidelines for open educational

education. It moves beyond

practice, a self-assessment tool, and

the issue of access to open

a clearing house of best practices.

educational resources (OER),

The initiative has also succeeded in

and seeks to promote quality,

raising awareness of the opportunities

innovation and transparency.

for improving quality and innovation, including at the political level. As part

ICDE provides opportunities to its membership to lead and contribute to projects of global signiďŹ cance.

The initiative is a partnership

of this strategy, ICDE launched and

with six other organizations

presented international awards for

including UNESCO and ICDE

open educational practices within

member institution, the

learning contexts, institutions, and

Open University UK, and has

bodies which have succeeded in

received funding from the Lifelong

P Regulatory Frameworks for Distance Education It is argued that the social relevance of distance education, as well as security, quality and equity of access, are closely linked to the application of sound regulatory systems. ICDE has therefore sponsored an investigation of regulatory systems within distance education. The aim of the project is to identify the main regulatory frameworks that apply to distance and online education in different regions of the world, and to identify good practices. The results of this study - which has been carried out in the Asia-Pacific area by an Australian-led consortium - will be published in early 2012. ICDE is working towards being able to offer member institutions an external peer review of the student learning experience.

influencing policy.




International Marketing Campaign for Distance Education ICDE is collaborating with Marie Ferreira, Executive Director: Corporate Communication and Marketing at the University of South Africa on an international campaign to increase awareness of the impact of distance education. A mapping survey of existing marketing initiatives promoting distance education was carried out among ICDE member institutions as the

first stage of this project. The ultimate aim is to produce materials and tools which member institutions can adapt for their own marketing and outreach work.

Insert 5. 2011

ICDE Information and Publications


ICDE publishes research reports, conference outcomes, and news and developments from the world of distance education, as well as the online journal, Open Praxis. The organization also has a significant online presence, providing resources and news stories on developments of significance for open and distance learning worldwide.

Influencing perceptions of distance education ICDE is able quickly and effectively to disseminate policy work and recommendations to the worldwide education community through relevant media, regional associations and the press offices of member institutions.

Membership visibility ICDE provides members with opportunities to raise their institution’s profile within the worldwide education community through exposure for their own events and research through the ICDE website and newsletter service. ICDE also disseminates calls for papers, survey invitations and cooperation requests on behalf of members. The ICDE electronic newsletter reaches 12,000 active email addresses twice a month, as well as through social media channels.

Describing distance education

Recent reports have included reports on the ICDE Policy Forums held in 2010 on barriers to the growth and development of ODL as one of the solutions to the impending global education crisis, and in 2011 on the quality, international collaboration and inter-institutional quality assurance.

The ICDE website features an overview of the world of distance education and describes the key international, regional and institutional actors. The aim of the newly established website has been to create an authoritative reference tool and a virtual meeting place for all sections of the open and distance education community. Key elements of this are a global conference calendar, a video library section, message board, and an overview of key journals with links.

ICDE’s Executive Committee and Secretary General also disseminate this work through presentations at third party conferences and meetings where they are invited to attend as representatives of ICDE.

The ICDE website:

Report on the ICDE Policy Forum, September 2010 An ICDE Policy Forum was held on 13 September 2010 at the 2010 ICDE Standing Conference of Presidents in Pretoria, South Africa, and was attended by university executive heads from 23 countries.1 The Policy Forum was convened at the request of leaders of ICDE member institutions who have consistently voiced concern at meetings in Shanghai2, Maastricht3 and Barcelona4 at formal limitations and negative attitudes towards open and distance learning (ODL) courses and qualifications. At the same time as policies and regulations conspire to hinder the development of ODL, the pressure on existing higher education provision is intense. In a report commissioned by the Hewlett Foundation in 2007, Atkins, Brown and Hammond noted that over 30 million young people worldwide under the age of 20 were qualified to attend a university, without sufficient capacity being available. They argued that the number was likely to reach 100 million over the coming decade.5 6 The intention of the Policy Forum was therefore to explore barriers to the growth and development of ODL, and to begin the work on formulating strategies for the furtherance of ODL as one of the solutions to the global higher education crisis. This report summarizes the discussions for the wider ICDE membership and creates a starting point for further action.

Report on the ICDE Policy Forum held in Pretoria, South Africa in 2010

Transparency and openness ICDE embraces the free flow of information, and work produced by the organization will normally be governed by Creative Commons licences allowing for unhindered distribution and citation. ICDE aspires to make its policies and activities transparent for

members and other interested parties through the ICDE website. Minutes of Executive Committee meetings are made available to members within ten days of a meeting taking place. Requests for further information and explanation receive a detailed response from the ICDE Secretariat within two working days. ICDE’s constitution, strategy plan, strategy reports and annual reports are available online.

Insert 6. 2011


ICDE Membership

Benefits Membership brings access to a tremendous network of knowledge and expertise, and the opportunity to make use of this network both on your own initiative and through participation in ICDE events and projects. ICDE can provide support and strategic advice to your institution during the planning of field seminars, Photo: Massey University, New Zealand study tours and academic exchange programmes, and invites members to take part in its own study tours. An open invitation ICDE is the leading global is extended by the ICDE Secretariat to members wishing to study the membership organization for distance education systems in Norway the open and distance education and northern Europe. community with members from 60 countries representing every Membership of ICDE also allows your continent. institution to raise its profile internationally and provides a stage The ICDE membership comprises open universities, higher and adult education institutions offering distance and campus-based Institutions wishing to apply for learning, consortia, authorities, membership of ICDE are required to agencies, companies and provide evidence of recognition in individuals. National and regional their home country and references distance education associations may to confirm their institution’s good standing and commitment to codes apply for associate membership. of ethics in distance learning. New member applications are presented to ICDE’s Executive Committee for their approval on a monthly basis,

Application procedures

for the dissemination of information relating to your institution, events and research. ICDE members benefit from a discount on the ICDE World Conference fee, and may also apply to host an ICDE International conference where ICDE will help to attract leading figures from the world of open and distance education to the host country. Rectors, Presidents, and Chief Executive Officers from ICDE member institutions are invited to attend the annual Standing Conference of Presidents (SCOP), a closed forum for peer-to-peer discussions. Members receive all publications and materials issued in each period for which fees are fully paid. 33% of ICDE’s membership is in Asia, 27% in Europe, 13% in North America with the rest split evenly between Africa, Australasia and Latin America.

and institutions are only accepted as members after this stage. This procedure works to combat attempts by suspected diploma mills to become members. 20 of ICDE’s institutional members are universities with over 100,000 student enrolments - so-called “mega universities” (Ref: Daniel (1996) The Mega-universities and Knowledge Media (The Open and Flexible Learning Series)).

Membership fees

and upper-middle-income World Bank Country Group economies.

The annual membership fee for an institution is governed by the size of that institution’s budget. Discounts are available for institutions from low-income, lower-middle-income

Membership fees are subject to change. Full details may be found at


Photo: The University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia

Institution A1 Institution A2 Institution A3 Institution A4 Institution A5 Educational Authority/ Agency B Corporation C1 Corporation C2 Individual D1 Individual from member institution D2

Budget > USD 100 mill. USD 50-100 mill. USD 25-50 mill. USD 5-25 mill. < USD 5 mill. > USD 100 mill. < USD 100 mill. -

Fee EUR 5,000 EUR 2,500 EUR 1,800 EUR 1,000 EUR 800 EUR 1,000 EUR 5,000 EUR 2,500 EUR 150 EUR 100

Insert 7. 2011

ICDE Governance and Strategy


According to its constitution, ICDE is governed by the following bodies:

of the Executive Committee.

Strategy and activities

The Election Committee verifies the qualifications of potential candidates for the Executive Committee.

The ICDE strategic plan and activity plan provide the basis for the organization’s work during the period 2009-2012.

ICDE’s Secretary General is responsible for the day-to-day business of ICDE and all legal and financial matters, and manages the Permanent Secretariat.

Developed in close cooperation and consultation with members, the key points of the strategic plan are as follows:

• •

The Executive Committee is responsible for making policy decisions in accordance with ICDE’s mission and constitution, and is composed of six elected members who hold office for a period of four years. The Board of Trustees advises the Executive Committee, and monitors the conduct of the Secretary General, the President and members

ICDE is governed by its constitution which can be found at:

Executive Committee The Executive Committee holds at least six committee meetings annually including two physical meetings. The Executive Committee members’ time, the work of their support staff,

and their travel costs represent a significant in-kind contribution to the organization from their respective institutions.

1. ICDE shall be the global arena for the discussion of distance education policies. 2. ICDE shall promote quality in distance, flexible and ICT-based education, and work for the achievement of a global understanding of quality within distance education. 3. ICDE will contribute to the development of new methodologies and technologies, through the dissemination of information, supporting efforts to find solutions for countries with developing economies, and through working to increase awareness of the digital divide and steps taken to minimize the divide. 4. ICDE will foster cooperation between members, leading to significant increases in cooperation between national and regional organizations, and greater opportunities for collaboration between institutions in the northern and southern hemispheres. The strategic plan and member feedback is available at:

The ICDE Executive Committee 2008-2011: (front row left to right) Marta Mena, General Coordinator of PROCAE, Cabinet of Ministers, Government of Argentina; Tian Belawati, Rector, Universitas Terbuka, Indonesia; Denise Kirkpatrick, Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Quality, The Open University, UK; (back row left to right) Mandla S. Makhanya, Principal and Vice Chancellor, The University of South Africa; Frits Pannekoek, President of Athabasca University, Canada (President); Fredric Litto, President of the Brazilian Association for Distance Education. ICDE Secretary General, Gard Titlestad, is also pictured.

Insert 8. 2011

ICDE membership pack 2011  

ICDE and ICDE activities