Athabasca University and the Open University of China are open universities. Athabasca University is located in the developed country of Canada and the Open University of China (OUC) is in the developing country of China. Athabasca University and the Open University of China have made education more accessible to their citizens. Due to the differences in each country, the online universities have different missions and have been implemented differently.
Athabasca University did not start out as an Open University, when it first opened it was a traditional University. It was established in 1970 through the province of Alberta, Canada (Daniel, 1979). A combination of a change to a Liberal government and the quickly rising student enrollments led to the development of online education in Canada. Previously, the churches had organized education, but in the early 1970s the government began to get involved (Daniels, 1979). During this time period news was spreading of the Open University model. The government made the decision that Athabasca University would pilot a distance education program to address the rising number of students, even though the university had been function as a traditional university for the two previous years (Daniels, 1979). Athabasca University became a leader in distance education in Canada.
The Open University of China began as the China Central Radio and Television University (CCRTVU). In 1979 the CCRTVU was set up by the Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping as a way to solve a human resource problem that China was facing (Gaba & Li, 2015). Policital, economic, and social reasons led to the need for more educational opportunities. Deng Xiaoping had learned about the Opening University of the UK and used that as a ...
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... by the news of the Open University of the UK. AU has a mission to make higher education more accessible. The OUC has a mission of making the citizens of China lifelong learners by making education accessible for all people of all ages. The AU and OUC focus on making education accessible to students that would not otherwise have access. AU focuses on university level education, but the OUC focuses on education for everyone. Both universities have given autonomy to the local branches of their programs in order to better meet the needs of the students. AU and the OUC have integrated technology into their programs, which makes the programs more accessible. Through both open universities students have the ability to use synchronous and asynchronous communication. Through both AU in Canada and the OUC in China, the people in each country have greater access to education.
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