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Inclusion and exclusion in higher education: paradoxes in distance education

Aluko, R.

Distance education has been identified as a tool for opening up access to education. In South Africa in particular, the model has been identified as being able to redress past inequities. In this article, the researcher investigates to what extent ‘access’ is being given to distance education students enrolled in the B.Ed. (Hons) Education Management, Law and Policy programme at a university, and what the quality of the access is in comparison to its conventional counterparts. The study uses a combination of surveys, interviews and administrative records. The findings reveal that enrolled distance education students on the programme enjoy open access in terms of the university’s admission policies. However, paradoxes exist in relation to the use of media, non-instructional support services, the absence of bridging courses, the lack of financial assistance to prospective students without jobs, lack of access to library services, limited access to bursaries for enrolled students, and limited faculty–student contact. Recommendations include: introduction of counselling services, decentralised library facilities, toll-free telephone services, and the release of government funds for bursaries, as is the case for conventional students. It is encouraging that the newly reviewed programme, rolled out in October 2010, contains most of these recommended opportunities.



Document Title: Inclusion and exclusion in higher education: paradoxes in distance education
Journal: Progressio
Volume: 33
Issue: 2
No. of Pages: 121-135

Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Inclusion, Inclusive Education, Exclusion, Higher Education, Distance Learning

Date Added:25 July 2012

Aluko, R (2011) Inclusion and exclusion in higher education: paradoxes in distance education, Progressio 33 (2): 121–135