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Online Learning in Denmark: A Personal Account By Søren Nipper Søren Nipper is Head of Department at UNI•C – The Danish IT Centre for Education and Research. He has worked with distance learning and online learning since 1982, in Denmark as well as abroad. In the early 1980s he was involved in setting up Jutland Open University and its first distance learning programs. From 1988 till 1993 he worked for EuroPACE, a European industry-university consortium that delivered high-level training programs to professionals, managers and researchers via satellite and computer networks. From 1995 to 2000 he worked for the European Commission in Brussels and the European Training Foundation in Turin. His assignments included the establishment of a network of 50 distance education study centers in Central and Eastern Europe. He joined UNI•C in 2000.

Online learning was introduced in Denmark in 1982. The following 16 years it led a quiet, modest and rather secluded life as a mostly experimental and, in the bigger picture of Danish education and training, marginal phenomenon. However, in 1998, it became Very Big Business. Almost overnight.

The Big Bang, Big Business and Big Bucks of 1998 Within a few months in 1998 tens of thousands of adults enrolled on online courses, and many institutions, mostly business and technical colleges, made Really Big Bucks providing courses via the Internet, primarily the ECDL course (European Computer Driving Licence®). Three factors helped catapult online learning in general, and the ECDL course in particular, into being a business opportunity:

© Søren Nipper 2003

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