ERIC Number: ED194976
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Universal Access to Post-Secondary Education: Some Policy and Administrative Observations from British Open University Experience.
Morgan, Colin; Glatter, Ron
The British Open University (OU) offers university degree programs to adults who are employed and study at home. It does so through a nationwide universal access (open admission) policy. A key feature of this program is that it imposes traditional university standards of excellence. Access is not limited by formal entry requirements, geography, prerequisites, departmental structure, or attendance requirements. The OU courses use a variety of teaching media, including television, radio, tapes, and written materials. A number of administrative problems are engendered by such a program. One problem is that the teacher's role is redefined and academics must work under new conditions, especially as members of teams. Another problem is maintaining a balanced student load in each course or region. A third problem is compensating for variable enrollment. Finally, there is a tenuous balance among excellence, equality, and cost benefit. Since achievement standards are so high, it is unclear whether the program truly does offer universal access to the most disadvantaged students. It is now unclear which component of the program has more impact, universal access or a sophisticated teaching system based on long-distance teaching methods. (Author/JM)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Access to Education, Administrative Problems, Admission Criteria, Adult Education, Correspondence Schools, Cost Effectiveness, Degree Requirements, Educational Opportunities, Educational Radio, Educationally Disadvantaged, External Degree Programs, Higher Education, Nontraditional Education, Nontraditional Students, Open Enrollment, Open Universities, Telecourses
Not available separately; see EA 013 022.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: British Columbia Univ., Vancouver. Center for Continuing Education.
Identifiers: Open University (Great Britain)
Note: Published in "Canadian and Comparative Educational Administration" (EA 013 022). Based on a paper presented at the International Intervisitation Program in Educational Administration (4th, Montreal and Vancouver, Canada, May 1980). For related documents, see EA 013 022-050.