Document Details

Title Online Learning in Asian Open Universities: Resisting ‘Content Imperialism’?
Author David Murphy, Wei-yuan Zhang, Kirk Perris


This report presents emerging research data concerning online learning in Asia. For the most part, it concentrates on the progress and achievements of 12 open universities in a variety of Asian countries. The emerging picture is one in which Asian open universities are actively and successfully engaging with online learning. Though they are experiencing similar difficulties to their western counterparts, they are not slavishly following their lead (e.g. often, for example, developing their own software platforms). Fears of rising western-led ‘content imperialism’ appear to be unfounded, due to a variety of factors. Overseas institutions seeking to offer online learning in Asia may need to revise their thinking, (e.g. embrace partnership and collaboration with local providers) if they are to succeed in this complex environment. Many Asian open universities are already offering cross-border studies at a quality and cost that cannot be met by their western counterparts. Could they be the ‘someone’ that Universitas 21’s Alan Gilbert predicted “will succeed in mobilizing the immense potential of the Internet to deliver high quality higher education to millions of people” (quoted in Olsen, 2002)? It is the mega-universities, most of which are in Asia, that are already serving the numbers of students that the emerging global providers can only dream about, and it thus seems entirely feasible that one of them will be that ‘someone’.

Date 01/06/2003
Region(s) Asia, Middle East & Gulf States
Countries China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Israel, The Philippines
Theme(s) Transnational Education (TNE) Models
Topic(s) Online Learning

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