Open and virtual universities worldwide

Susan Bainbridge, Mohamed Ally

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Open universities (OUs) were established to grant individuals a ‘second chance’ to obtain a tertiary education without having to meet the common criteria required for traditional universities. Students are able to register for programs regardless of location, age, gender, or academic history. The fundamental principles of open universities stand firmly on the concepts of flexibility and ‘learning’ rather than ‘teaching’ (Dabbagh, 2005; Geith, 2008; Khoja, Sana, Karim, & Rehman, 2008; Lorentsen et al., 2001). The flexibility afforded to open university students translates into a form of democratization of education in the sense that individuals who have not been able to complete secondary school or physically attend a higher education institution (HEI) are able to further their education. The emphasis on learning rather than teaching naturally led open universities to implement learner-centred approaches rather than the common teacher-centred lecture of brick-and-mortar institutions of the 20th century.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of E-Learning Volume 2
Subtitle of host publicationImplementation and Case Studies
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781317643579
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb. 2015


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