14014 Distance Teaching Universities: The Democratization of Higher Education 1

Credits: 4 graduate credits in Education: Technologies and Learning Systems or in Democracy Studies / Education and Citizenship or History, Education and Citizenship

Prerequisites: Admission to the graduate program in Education: Technologies and Learning Systems or the graduate program in Educational Administration, Policy and Leadership, or the following prerequisites: Democracy: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Israeli Democracy: Selected Issues, Contemporary Democratic Theories; plus one of the following courses: Democracy and Democratization, Selected Problems in the History of Western Democracies, Education Policy: Education for Democracy in Democratic Societies, Democracy and Mass Communication2, Public Policy: Theory to Practice; and exemption from bibliographic assignments on computer searches in the "Alef" catalog and databases.

The course is based on Distance and Campus Universities: Tensions and Interactions – A Comparative Study of Five Countries (Pergamon Press, 1999), by S. Guri-Rosenblit, and on a reader edited by Sarah Guri-Rosenblit.

Objectives: To analyze the academic and political ramifications of democratization in access to higher education, beginning in the second half of the 20th century; Compare alternative solutions to expanding access to higher education; Present a historical and comparative overview of the phenomenon of distance learning from early times to the present day, focusing on its influence in promoting goals of “democratic” education; Examine the complex mutual relationship between open universities and mass-oriented universities and the “elitist” university sector in higher education systems throughout the world over the past three decades; Analyze the “innovative profile” that underlies several open university models in the context of the academic culture within which they function; Examine the ramifications of the growth of open universities on the demographic fabric of student populations and on the changing role of the faculty; Clarify the democratic principles embodied in the modular system of academic courses and in the various principles of accreditation in different education systems throughout the world; Analyze the impact of new technologies on access to information and on the creation of new models of academic environments aimed at opening the gates of academia to all; Discuss issues relating to costs of learning in open universities and the expenditures on the organizational infrastructure, and the ramifications of these on expanding the groups of learners in higher education systems; Examine the impact of the globalization of higher education on the future of open universities and other models of higher education.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course only in the framework of studies toward a Master's degree in Democracy Studies, in the Education and Citizenship specialization.

2or Liberalism: Texts, Contexts, Critiques (12005), for students who took it as a required course in the Culture specialization before Spring 2010.