Distance education - distribution or collaboration?
Summary, in English
New interactive information and communication technology (ICT) has opened up new possibilities in the field of distance education. The traditional distance education organisations are challenged by conventional universities who have developed into dual mode institutions using interactive ICT. This challenge from conventional universities may also involve a conceptual challenge - from distribution of education to collaboration. The academic dogma has as raison d´aitre that research results and knowledge is a common and public good. This in opposition to relations and attitudes that are commercial or characterised by political and cultural domination. If commercial interests and developed countries continue to dominate in the field of technology and education, inequalities in society and the world will increase even further. But modern ICT has also created new conditions for internationalisation of education. Through ICT student groups from different parts of the world are able to study together independent of space and time. This situation creates new possibilities for comparative studies and collaborative learning. Cooperation between universities from different parts of the world demands cheap technical solutions. It is important to stimulate the use of free software. Otherwise the lack of resources will exclude many universities as well as their students. Support from international, non-commercial, organisations is important to stimulate this kind of cooperation between universities. In 1998, Lund university (inspired by previous experiences of developing interactive models of distance education) initiated a project to use ICT for internationalisation. In collaboration with, among others, universities in Bulgaria, Rumania and Latin America (including transnational education and research institutions like FLACSO and distance teaching networks like Cread), we will develop internetbased courses on Master´s level with students from the participating countries. This project is also related to the global UNESCO research project MOST (Management of Social Transformation) and EU. The general topic of the courses that we will develop and give jointly within this network is globalization and its consequences in different parts of the world.