Tony’s bio


Tony smiling 2013 UBC

Tony Bates is President and CEO of Tony Bates Associates Ltd, a private company specializing in consultancy and training in the planning and management of e-learning and distance education. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor in the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University, Toronto and a Research Associate at Contact North, Ontario.

Tony Bates Associates Ltd was started in 2003, and since then has served over 50 institutional clients. 

Past contracts include work for UNESCO, the World Bank, U.S. state higher education commissions and universities, the U.K. Open University, the Council of Ontario Universities, and for many Canadian colleges and universities, advising on their online learning strategies. He has worked as a consultant in over 40 countries. He has been a Research Associate with Contact North since 2007.

He has been Chair of the International Experts Panel for the Open University of Portugal, advisor to the Universidad de Guadalajara’s Maestría en Tecnologías para el Aprendizaje (Mexico) and to Universidad Tecnologica Metropolitana’s Magíster en Educación a Distancia (Chile). He was also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Technology and Education between 2008-2009.

He was part-time Chair of Research in e-Learning at the Open University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain between 2003-2006, and was on the Academic Advisory Board of the Volkswagen AutoUni, based in Germany, 2003 -2007. From May 2004 to September 2005, he was part-time Cisco Systems Chair of e-Learning at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, where he led a strategic planning process for e-learning throughout the Institute.

He was Director of Distance Education and Technology in the Continuing Studies Division of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada from 1995 to 2003 and also Research Team Leader of MAPLE, the Centre for Research into Managing and Planning Learning Environments in Education at UBC. While at UBC, he was instrumental in setting up, initially in partnership with Tec de Monterrey in Mexico and UBC’s Faculty of Education, UBC’s fully online Master in Educational Technology, which has been running successfully since 2002.

From 1990 to 1995, he was Executive Director, Research, Strategic Planning, and Information Technology at the Open Learning Agency of British Columbia.

Prior to that, he was Professor of Educational Media Research at the British Open University, where he worked for 20 years as one of the founding members of staff.

He is the author of twelve books, including

His research groups at the UKOU, OLA and UBC published over 350 papers in the area of distance education and the use of technology for teaching. He has been on the editorial board of six journals specializing in distance education and educational technology.

This web site ‘Online learning and distance education resources‘ has nearly 2,500 posts, over 3,000 ‘followers’, and receives over 30,000 visits a month.

He has a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of London, England. He was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the Open University of Portugal in 1995, Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa, from Laurentian University, Canada, in 2001, Doctor Honoris Causa from Athabasca University, in June 2004, Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa from the Open University of Hong Kong in December 2004, and Doctor Honoris Causa from the Open University of Catalonia, Spain, in June, 2005.

His hobbies used to include skiing and flying a small plane, but now he mainly plays golf. He is married, with two sons, three grandsons and a granddaughter.

For full-cv, click here (warning: 60 pages!)