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The Hybridisation of Conventional Higher Education: UK Perspective

  • Roger Lewis
Keywords: open learning, distance learning, barriers to innovation, communication and information technology, learning environment


Before the creation of the United Kingdom Open University (UKOU) - its Charter was given in 1969 and the first students were admitted in 1971 - the full-time residential model of higher education was pervasive, with part-time and distance modes of study seen as separate and inferior. The UKOU demonstrated the effectiveness of distance learning but also, because of its success, in some ways inhibited change in the mainstream tertiary sector. As social and political pressures on the sector grew, higher education providers were forced to innovate and models of “open learning” offered ways forward. As a result, the distinction between “distance” and “face-to-face” delivery rapidly eroded during the 1990s. However, barriers still remain to a more radical approach to provision as a whole.

Author Biography

Roger Lewis
Dr. Roger Lewis is regional consultant for the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Before that he was the Professor of Learning Development at the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside, responsible for stimulating the creation of a "new learning environment" in a "new" university. He has also worked for other institutions of higher education, including the Open University, and has had a wide experience of working, and publishing, in the open learning area. Prof. Lewis' email address is:
How to Cite
Lewis, R. (2002). The Hybridisation of Conventional Higher Education: UK Perspective. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 2(2).
Research Articles