Attempting to Regulate Distance Higher Education: Reflections on the Portuguese Experience

António Moreira Teixeira
Universidade Aberta
Pedro Barbosa Cabral
Universidade Aberta
Maria do Carmo Teixeira Pinto
Universidade Aberta


The continuous expansion in the use of digital technology to enhance teaching and learning experiences has led to a major shift in the Higher Education sector across the world. The large impact of new educational practices and forms of education delivery, as exemplified by the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) phenomena, has contributed to accelerate dramatically the digital transformation of Higher Education Institutions (HEI). As a result, an increasingly amount of distance and eLearning provision is now part of HEIs mainstream operations. In this new hybrid environment, the border between formal and non-formal education, as well as virtual and face-to-face becomes blurred. Moreover, the development of online learning has set new challenges to European and national regulation bodies as well as quality assurance systems.

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