Egmont, BC
Egmont, BC

An Ontario online university?

I have a strict rule when reporting news to make sure it’s based on published secondary sources – in other words, if I get it wrong, I can blame someone else. Now I’m no longer working for Contact North, I don’t have such good access to ‘official’ developments in Ontario, but some of my colleagues in other Ontario institutions have been passing on rumours about the possible development of an institution-wide Ontario online initiative, a step beyond the original proposal for an Ontario Online Institute that sank from sight when Ministers changed last year.

Apparently there was a meeting in Toronto in July between Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MCTU) bureaucrats and university and college presidents at which the following was discussed:

  • the setting up of a not-for-profit consortium to develop and deliver online degrees and diplomas across the province
  • the consortium would somehow represent all public post-secondary institutions in the province (or at least those interested in joining the consortium)
  • a sum of $42 million to support the initiative
  • the universities and colleges were then to come back with a proposal for this organization on which they all agreed. (I don’t know how this was going to be done, or by whom).

Now summer is the silly season for news, and I may have got this all wrong. However, if anyone can provide me with further information on this (especially if it’s ‘official’), I’d be grateful.

Call for papers on student support services

Open Praxis, the peer-reviewed online journal of the International Council for Open and Distance Education, has a call for papers on innovative and effective student support services in open, distance and flexible education for its Volume 6, No. 1 edition. Contributions that address aspects such as the following will be accepted:

  • Distance learning students’ needs and justification of support services in open and distance education.
  • Innovative services to promote students’ retention, performance and occupational guidance.
  • Role of technologies for student support services. Possibilities and limits.
  • Successful and relevant experiences of student support services in distance learning higher education institutions.

Deadline for submission: October 30th 2013 (please send to Open Praxis)

Publication: January-March 2014

European Conference on Open and Flexible Higher Education

What: This year’s theme is about “Transition to open and on-line education in European universities“.

Who: The European Association of Distance teaching Universities (EADTU) and EADTU and hosted by the Fédération Interuniversitaire de l’Enseignement à Distance, France (FIED), with the support of the French Ministry of Education and Research

Where: Paris, France

When: 23-24 October, 2013


The following keynote speakers are confirmed, and details of their presentations can be seen by selecting the links.

How: Go to the conference web site

Call for papers for The Arab Open University’s 1st Conference on Open Learning

What: The following themes:

  • Techniques and methods of open learning and the required learning resources
  • Academic accreditation for open learning degrees and institutions
  • International trends and experiences in open learning
  • Quality assurance in open learning
  • The role of open learning in development
  • Success stories in open learning

Who: the Arab Open University (AOU) in collaboration with the Regional Center for Development of Educational Software (RedSOFT).

Where: Kuwait

When: 25-27 November, 2013

Deadline for papers: August 31

How: Go to conference web site

This is the last of my ‘catch-up’ posts for the summer. I will revert to single posts from now on.



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