This is the second post in a series describing some of the recent externally funded projects secured by the NIDL team at Dublin City University (DCU). In partnership with Tampere University of Applied Sciences, the NIDL was successful in securing almost €1m of external funding for a project intended to promote equity and access to higher education through Open and Distance Learning (ODL). Known as the BUKA Project, the aim is to help enable increased access to higher education for people in rural and remote regions as well as those with diverse backgrounds (e.g. mature age students, working students, first-in-family students, students with learning difficulties) in Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. Local partner universities include:
- Wawasan Open University
- Open University Malaysia
- Universitas Terbuka
- Universitas Negeri Padang
- University of the Philippines Open University
- Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology
All Partner Countries belong to Region 6, Asia. When designing the project, special care has been taken to involve the key decision makers in all the partnering universities as key staff in the BUKA project. This is to ensure that the project deliverables align with local institutional priorities and the project team helps to develop local solutions for local problems.
This European funded project falls under Project Category 2, “Improving Management and Operation of Higher Education Institutions”, and, more specifically, under “Equity, Access to, and Democratisation of Higher Education”, including disadvantaged groups and regions.
The specific objectives of the project include:
- Building the capacity of teaching, technical and instructional design staff in the partner HEIs in inclusive instructional design and learning analytics;
- Improving learner engagement and retention through inclusive instructional design and learning analytics;
- Improving pedagogical and technical accessibility of online and blended learning materials; and,
- Providing more effective and personalised support for online distance learners in partner HEIs.
The first project meeting takes place in Malaysia in early February 2020 but members of the project team will also meet up at November’s ICDE World Conference on Online Learning in Dublin.