Leadership and Innovation – the future of ODL

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Leaders who will shape the future of open and distance learning (ODL) must invest in philosophy, people and processes. This was the core of Professor Asha Kanwar’s keynote address titled “Leadership and Innovation for the future of ODL,” at the 2nd High Level Roundtable for Vice Chancellors and Heads of ODL Institutions in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on May 10, 2018.

Professor Kanwar noted that leaders must create an institutional culture where innovative thinking flourishes. She said that “The founding philosophies of ODL institutions should inspire future leaders of such institutions, who must not only motivate and inspire staff, but also provide incentives where appropriate. Leaders must also develop the policies and processes that foster innovation. There must be an environment for a healthy discussion and debate and a targeted approach to addressing specific issues.”

She observed that ODL as an innovation has continued to challenge mainstream face-to-face higher education where demand has been sustained for over 900 years by states, students and parents. With the advancement of technology, ODL has evolved to cater to those who were left outside the mainstream higher education. For ODL institutions to stay relevant leaders must continue to engage with governments, build relationships with other institutions and cultivate communities of students and alumni.

The High-Level Roundtable was organised by the Commonwealth of Learning in collaboration with Asia e University, Malaysia. It was attended by 31 Vice Chancellors and Heads of ODL institutions from 19 countries.

The full text of the speech can be found at this link: http://hdl.handle.net/11599/2973

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