Distance Education in European Higher Education Institutions - Analysing Mechanisms for Increasing Participation of Adult Learners

Angela Owusu-Boampong
UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, Germany

Carl Holmberg
ICDE, Sweden

Monique Udnaes
ICDE, Norway


The aim of the paper is to present the research objective, the preliminary results and the potential impact of distance education within the framework of the IDEAL project1 (“Impact of Distance Education on Adult Learning”2) a project carried out jointly by the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and StudyPortals (SP). The project examines the interrelations of adult learning, higher education and distance education. It has been designed to explore if and how higher education institutions can contribute to adult learning by means of distance education. It seeks to offer insights on the needs of adult learners to both policy makers and distance education providers and to increase the participation of adult learners in higher education through distance education.

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