MindSet Research (2009) Understanding Global Activity in Higher Education and Research: Primary, desk and web-based research Bristol UK: JISC

This study was commissioned by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) to review in broad terms the evolution of e-Learning and e-Infrastructure in the higher education and research sectors in a sample of countries across the world. The study seeks to provide useful insights into what is happening in a sample of countries. It is not an attempt to
objectively and exhaustively identify and discuss the situation in each country.

This report provides ‘thumb-nail sketches’ of the e-Learning and e-Infrastructure landscape in each of 10 countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States


The focus of the report is more on national or regional e-infrastructure and technology initiatives in the area of e-learning, rather than teaching applications, and the thumb-nail sketches are very selective in their examples and brief. The choice of sources for this study was somewhat surprising for some countries, and the role of individual institutions working collaboratively (such as the Kuali and Sakai projects in the North America) was completely ignored. Also there are methodological difficulties in comparing federal with unitary national systems, and the report seems to favour a governmental ‘hands-on’ management philosophy for higher education that is currently fashionable in the UK. Nevertheless, a useful starting point for looking at different national approaches in some of the major OECD countries.


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