Tertiary Distance Education and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa

The need for life-long learning which enables workers to upgrade their skills and maintain competitiveness within rapidly evolving economies is increasing worldwide. Tertiary distance education is a necessary alternative for sub-Saharan African countries which confront unrelenting pressure to expand access to education in spite of declining educational quality and stagnant funding possibilities. The expansion of tertiary enrollments using conventional methods is unlikely because of economic constraints. However, distance learning techniques using new information and communications technologies are a viable solution.# #This paper addresses the question of how African nations might improve the balance between tertiary education, access, and funding, without further sacrifices in quality. It provides a rationale for the potential benefits of tertiary distance education, which can increase educational access and improve quality, while being cost efficient. This rationale is backed up by the use of facts and statistics from distance and tertiary education efforts in numerous countries. For countries interested in developing their tertiary distance education capacities, this paper also addresses the need to define a strategy in formulating policies for teaching and learning, and capacity building. Tips on choosing institutional models and making management choices are also given., eng

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