<<July 8, 2000>>

Dr. Ihor Bogdan Katerniak <ik@uar.net>

Dr. Paul Lefrere <p.lefrere@open.ac.uk>

Robert P. Cronin <rcronin@irex.org>

Emilie Dickson <edickson@irex.org>

Cris Peterson <cpeterson@irex.org>

Jennifer Ragland <jragland@irex.org>

Dr. Robin Mason <r.d.mason@open.ac.uk>

Ms. Oksana Majdan <oksana@kyiv.irex.org>

Mr. Myron H. Nordquist <myron_nordquist@burns.senate.gov>

Kimberly K. Obbink, Ph.D. <kobbink@montana.edu>

Dr. David A. Johnson, AICP <daj@utk.edu>

P. Tapio Varis, Ph.D, Professor <tapio.varis@uta.fi>

Dr. Marco Antonio R. Dias <mardias@club-internet.fr>

Dear Ihor and Paul:

(1) Many thanks for your msg (ATTACHMENT I) with an excellent report of your
visit to the UK Open University.

(2) I am very glad to learn of your very fruitful visit.

I think that our visit to IREX in Washington, D.C. last fall by
Myron, Kim, David and I paid off well.

On the other hand, your grant application for your mini-workshop
at the UK Open University for our Global University System
(GUS)/European Regional Project which was submitted to their Small
Grants for Partnership Development Program was unfortunately turned down.

(3) However, this unfortunate situation turned out to produce a very good
promising result, thanks to your and Paul's effort during your visit --
to make a larger workshop by the UK Open University in Sheffield,
England next March with full support of the British Council and also
possible support from the European Science Foundation -- see ATTACHMENT II and III.

Dear Paul:

Many thanks for your very interesting paper. I read it with great interest.

Dear Cris:

(4) Many thanks for the copy of your msg to Ihor (ATTACHMENT IV).

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)" attached to ATTACHMENT II was
revised for GUS. Pls retrieve following;

(a) "MoU for GUS partnerships - May 21, 2000" at <http://www.friends-partners.org/~utsumi/gu-l/mid-2000/5-21-a.html>

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Open Standards and
Partnerships of Global University System
(A Partnership for Providing University Education and Professional
Development Globally and Equitably), May 2000 at <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Global_University/Global%20University%20System/Memo_of_Understanding/Cover_Sheet.html>

As mentioned in Item (4)-(a), as soon as Tapio completes his
incorporation of GUS in Finland, this MOU will take effect.

Pls visit the web sites listed in ATTACHMENT IV of the above (4)-(a) for
our activities -- particularly of Tampere event at
<http://www.uta.fi/EGEDL/> and click FINAL REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE."
You will find in its PART II our activities in the major regions around
the world, Asia/Pacific, North, Central and South Americas, Europe, Africa, etc.

You may retrieve our previous list distributions by clicking top
lines in our home page at <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/>.

I took the liberty of admitting you into our listserve distribution so
that you will be kept updated with our daily progress.

Best, Tak

From: "Technology Promotion Center" <tpc@lim.lviv.ua>
To: "Takeshi Utsumi" <utsumi@columbia.edu>,
"Paul Lefrere" <p.lefrere@open.ac.uk>,
"Robin Mason" <r.d.mason@open.ac.uk>,
"Emilie Dickson" <edickson@irex.org>,
"Oksana Maydan" <oksana@kyiv.irex.org>
Cc: "Ihor Katernyak" <ik@uar.net>
Subject: UK visit report for IREX
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 14:41:37 +0300

June 24, 2000

Takeshi Utsumi <utsumi@columbia.edu>
Paul Lefrere <p.lefrere@open.ac.uk>
Robin Mason <r.d.mason@open.ac.uk>
Emilie Dickson <edickson@irex.org>
Oksana Maydan <oksana@kyiv.irex.org>

Dear Tak, Paul, Robin, Emilie, and Oksana:

It was a great honor for me to be together with you in one team while

In attachment you can find my report of the visit to the Open University, UK.
I think a very essential step has been done in the direction towards the
development of the Global University System (TM) and establishing partnership
relations in distance learning, knowledge exchange, and global education.

I am especially grateful to Paul and Robin for perfect organization of the
visit to Open University and his large efforts for implementing the goals of
the Project. Thanks for your excellent presentations in OU.

I would like to thank Tak for support and valuable advice concerning the
successful implementation of the Project.

And I am very grateful to the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX)
for making this visit real with funds provided by the Carnegie Corporation of
New York.

Dear Tak, please, could you add to the Web page


with MOU after words

This draft was developed by Dr. Ihor Katerniak of the Lviv Institute of
Management in Ukraine and Dr. Paul Lefrere of the Open University in UK for
the operation of the European Regional Group of the Global University System,"

some statements that;

my visit to the UK, was supported by a grant from the International Research
& Exchanges Board (IREX), with funds provided by the Carnegie Corporation of
New York and organized by Open University as a host organization."

I am looking forward to our future collaboration for making all our plans come

Yours sincerely,

Ihor Katernyak, Ph.D.
Technology Promotion Center,
Lviv Institute of Management,
Lviv, Ukraine
(Note by T. Utsumi:
The photos of this report were omitted.)

Logo of IREX
International Research & Exchange Board

Consortium for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Targeted Exchanges Program
Program funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York

Project report

Distance Learning Development in Business and Project Management

Ihor Bogdan Katernyak
, Assistant Professor, Director, Technology Promotion
Center, Lviv Institute of Management

Exchange Institution: The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Host Person: Dr. Paul Lefrere, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Educational
Technology, OU

Dates: 5/15/00 - 5/30/00

Lviv - 2000

Project Objectives:

Visit to UK and participation in a workshop at the Open University (Milton
Keynes). Visits to administrators of distance learning departments at the Open
University and review of procedures and protocol for on-line course transfer,
meetings with experts/designers of WEB-learning courses, methodology and
pedagogy of teaching on-line. Ukrainian Distance Learning (UDL) Project
Presentation in Partnership organizations and preparation for the Conference
on Emerging Global Electronic Distance Learning'01 to be held in spring 2001in
the framework of Global University System.

The end products of the workshop at Open University in the U.K are:

1. a joint MOU for fund raising for feasibility studies for a Global
University System based on open standards and partnerships;
2. partnership agreement between Open University Business School and Lviv
Institute of Management and start of negotiations with other Business
Schools of Great Britain;
3. have defined the date and mission for a workshop/conference on Emerging
Global Electronic Distance Learning, scheduled for spring 2001.

The project's long-term products are:

* establishment of institutional partnership relations for a sustained,
countrywide system for distance learning and for the two-way
international exchange of knowledge and professional experience;
* dissemination of new curricula over affordable Internet as developing
international partnerships in the field of Business and Project
* workshop/conference on Emerging Global Electronic Distance Learning,
scheduled for spring 2001.

Project timeline:

Prior to 15 May:

Selection of materials and preparation of presentation for Ukrainian Distance
Learning Systems. All materials were distributed via e-mail before the trip to
the host organizations and partners. Please, find the PowerPoint presentation
of the Ukrainian distance Learning System enclosed (Attachment 1).

16 May:

Departure to the UK and meeting with Paul Lefrere, Institute of Educational
Technology, the Open University. Arrival in Milton Keynes and registration in
a hotel. During our meeting the objectives and schedule of my stay in Great
Britain were review and approved.

17 May:

Departure to London and very fruitful meetings with Dr. Roberto Monro,
Consultant, Higher Education, the British Council. The representative from the
British Council thought that we should be more ambitious. The result is the
draft MOU on a partnership for Providing University Education and Professional
Development Globally and Equitably that is attached (Attachment 2).

This could get the support of many funding agencies because it fits in with
what they want to support (more use of the Internet; setting up a global
university using the internet, the "e-university"). Also they propose that the
workshop we had in mind at the Open University should be made larger and moved
to March 2001 (better for their budgets). They suggest that the location of
the workshop should be Sheffield England since that is the site for a major
annual conference on "E-University policy, reality and impact", with
government ministers and many other opinion formers.

Keynote speakers will be senior staff from many of the major agencies,
consultants and universities relevant to large-scale e-university developments
in the UK. The conference will be followed by a day of three parallel
* Learning Environment for e-universities
* Evaluation of e-learning
* Research on e-universities

Ukraine and business education: discussion over business lunch. Were invited:
Dr. Paul Lefrere, Institute of Educational Technology, the Open University,
Dr. Robin Mason, Head of Center for Information Technology in Education, the
Open University.

18 May:

Seminar at the Open University.

1. Getting to know the institutes and laboratories of the Open University,
Milton Keynes.

2. Presentation by Dr. Robin Mason, Head of Center for Information
Technology in Education, the Open University, Walton Hall. Presentation
on Open University Business School Supported Distance Learning.
It was a very interesting, professional and useful presentation about
the advantages of distance learning, information and communication
technologies, course resources, how the course teams work on development
of courses for distance learning, synchronous and asynchronous media for
distance education, and history of the Open University Business School.

3. Presentation by Dr.Nicholas C.Farnes, Director, International Center for
Distance Learning, the Open University, Walton Hall. It was an exciting
and informative presentation of projects of the Open University in
Central and Eastern Europe (on the example of Hungary and Russia). Model
of adaptation of course materials for Hungarian study environment, which
consists of parallel adaptation process together with tutor training and
development process. He presented us with "LINK" International center of
Distance Learning in Russia. It gives access to one of the best European
systems for obtaining education in the sphere of Management programs
of Open University Business School, Great Britain.

Preparation of materials.

Developing a MOU for Feasibility Studies for Open Standards and Partnerships
on collaboration within the framework of the Global University System and
personal advising by Dr. Takeshi Utsumi (Ph.D., P.E., Chairman of GLOSAS/USA
(GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.), Laureate
of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education, Founder of CAADE
(Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education), President
Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of Global University System
(GUS)). See his letter in Attachment 4.

19 May:

Presentation of the Ukrainian Distance Learning System Project (I.Katernyak,
Director Technology Promotion Center, LIM, Lviv, Ukraine) (See in Attachment 1)
Discussing the collaboration with LIM.
Preparation of materials and draft of collaborative agreement between the Open
University Business School (Milton Keynes, UK) and Lviv Institute of
Management (Lviv, Ukraine) (see in Attachment 3 ).

Summarizing the results of the visit to the Open University and approving the
action plan till March 2001.

20 May:

Familiarization with the on-line products in OXFORD University press, Oxford.

22 May:

- Teleconference with Alan France, dean of Lancashire Business School, Preson.

Partnership in Business Education field, quality control and joint program
certification in Business Management. A visit to Ukraine has been planned for
October, 2000.

- Visit to European Business School (EBS), London and meetings with Professor
Eric V. de la Croix, Academic Director, Marcel van Miert, Director, Regent's College.
Presentation of materials and Ukrainian Distance Learning System Project and
discussion about collaboration on the way towards global education through
Summer School and Study Abroad Centers.

- The British Council - Lviv (Arthur Plesak, Projects Co-ordinator).
On the basis of a short presentation, both sides came to a conclusion that it
interesting to develop distance learning in the field of the English Language
and English for specific purposes.

- Embassy of the United States of America (Robert Post, Cultural Affairs
Officer, James Land, Assistant Cultural Officer).
Presentation of the UDL Project and discussion of the courses for distance
learning in the field of Business Management.


My visit to the UK, which was supported by a grant from the International
Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), with funds provided by the Carnegie
Corporation of New York and organized by Open University as a host
organization, opens new perspectives for expanding the partnership relations
in the field of Business and Project Management on a global scale on the basis
of new Internet technologies and joint curriculum development.

DRAFT Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Open Standards and Partnerships of
Global University System (A Partnership for Providing University Education and
Professional Development Globally and Equitably). Similar MoU will be
developed by other regional groups of the Asia-Pacific, North, Central and
South America, Africa and Arab, and all of them will be consolidated together.

Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 18:22:54 +0100
Subject: GUS MOU
To: utsumi@columbia.edu, tapio.varis@uta.fi
From: P.Lefrere@open.ac.uk (Paul Lefrere)

Dear Tak and Tapio

Ihor and I have had some very good meetings with the British Council and
academics here. The representative from the British Council thought that
we should be more ambitious. The result is the draft MOU that is attached.
This could get the support of many funding agencies because it fits in
with what they want to support (more use of the internet; setting up a
global university using the internet, the "e-university"). Also they
propose that the workshop we had in mind at the Open University should be
made larger and moved to March 2001 (better for their budgets). They
suggest that the location of the workshop should be Sheffield England
since that is the site for a major annual conference on the Virtual
University, with government ministers and many other opinion formers.

What do you think?

Paul and Ihor

Date: Sat, 08 Jul 2000 16:37:15 +0100
Subject: Finnish National Virtual University
To: tapio.varis@uta.fi
Cc: utsumi@columbia.edu
From: P.Lefrere@open.ac.uk (Paul Lefrere)

gu-l@friends-partners.org writes:
>(8) Tapio told me before that the headquarters of the Finnish National
> Virtual University will be located in Tampere, and as the
> headquarters of our GUS is also located at his office, our GUS is to
> assist their international operations.

Dear Tapio cc Tak

You may be interested in the attached paper, on virtual universities.

Best wishes


PS I think you know that I am talking to the British Council about
support for the Sheffield meeting / conference in March 2001. I am also
exploring possible additional sponsorship by the EUROPEAN SCIENCE
FOUNDATION - see below.

Third Call for Conference Proposals
Deadline: September 15.

Since 1990 the European Science Foundation (ESF) has been running the
Programme of European Research Conferences (EURESCO), consisting of
top-level scientific discussion meetings in all areas of research
Following peer review, the EURESCO committee will draw up a shortlist of
high quality conference proposals. Selected proposals, with the
administrative support of ESF, are submitted to the European Commission
for a Euroconference grant. For each EC-supported conference ESF will then
provide additional funding of up to E8,000. For shortlisted conferences
that do not receive EC support ESF will provide grants of up to E25,000.
Only proposals for conferences taking place in the year 2002 or after will
be considered. About 30 proposals are likely to be accepted. Proposals
should be drafted according to the guidelines on the EURESCO web pages.
Before developing a full size proposal it may be appropriate to contact
the EURESCO office by email with a short synopsis to verify whether the
planned event(s) would be suitable for the scheme.
Deadline: September 15.

Virtual University? Educational Environments of the Future

Citation details:

Lefrere P (1999) "Real options for virtual universities", Chapter 1 in
Virtual University? Educational Environments of the Future (Proceedings of
Wenner-Gren International Symposium, Stockholm, 14-16 October 1999), (Henk van
der Molen, ed.), Wenner-Gren International Series (London: Portland Press)


Real Options for Virtual Universities

Paul Lefrere
Open University


The term Virtual University or e-University is used in various ways, a few of
which are described below. Some usages reflect significant changes in views
about who should be providing university-level education, who should be paying
for it, what it should comprise and treat, who should receive it, what entry
qualifications they should have and where, when and how their university-level
education should be available. Other usages reflect further changes in the
external environment, notably the lowered cost and increased viability of
at-a-distance alternatives to campus-based education (particularly
alternatives based upon information and communications technologies). Those
changes have led to the emergence of competitors with little history of
involvement in university-level education. For them, education is a market,
and is subject to the same rules of business as any other market. As in
commerce in general, a well-funded "green-field" organisation can enter an
established market (university-level education) and quickly take market share
from the existing players, since it does not have to bear the cost of
maintaining legacy systems or old products (courses). The cost of establishing
a virtual university is now so low that many such organisations are being set up.

Virtual, in the context of universities, typically refers to off-site
teaching, often termed Virtual Education. In my opinion, Virtual Education can
and should provide a rich set of learning experiences and opportunities that
compare favourably with traditional education. Unfortunately, online courses
are increasingly equated with an impoverished view of Virtual Education: one
that treats students as passive consumers of a restricted range of knowledge
in "bite-sized chunks".

This chapter is mainly concerned with virtual education in a rich rather than
impoverished sense, whether provided by traditional degree-awarding public
institutions such as campus-based universities, or by other organisations,
including Virtual Education Institutions (defined below) and so-called
Corporate Universities. Its intended readership includes policy-makers; people
already involved in virtual and corporate universities, and people working in
traditional educational institutions. The latter, in particular, may be
unaware of the threats that their institutions are now facing, or the
opportunities afforded by changes in conceptualisations of the nature and
purpose of education; new technologies; and new working methods and
organisational structures. The conclusions apply to other activities
historically associated with universities, such as research and knowledge
transfer activities (as in Virtual Science Parks).

Virtual Education: the influence of Cardinal Newman

Landow (1996) discusses virtual education in the context of the idea of the
electronic university - the university as an institution in the age of digital
information. He begins his discussion with a passage from the autobiography of
the person who apparently coined the term Virtual University, in 1852: John
Henry Cardinal Newman. In the opinion of Newman, his alma mater - the
University of Oxford - had a mistaken and inadequate notion of university
education, equating for example the ready availability of cheap printed books
with truly understanding those books. For him, "the mere multiplication and
dissemination of volumes" was one element of an inadequate "virtual
education"; it was no substitute for thought and discussion. For him, a real
university was in essence a place for minds to meet, and for students to
experience personal teaching and support comparable to that which he received
from his much-beloved tutor. Newman had to leave Oxford and his tutor as a
consequence of his conversion to Roman Catholicism (there being restrictions
at that time on who could attend such a university; Jews, Catholics and women
were amongst the disadvantaged). His autobiography describes that departure.
Landow comments that:

To anyone concerned with Newman's idea of a university and its relation
to late-twentieth-century developments in information technology,
educational practice, and institutional change, this scene of departure
conveys [that a university] is first and before all else, "a place
of teaching universal knowledge. This implies that its object is, first
of all, intellectual, not moral; and, on the other, that it is the
diffusion and extension of knowledge rather than the advancement" (xxxvii).

It is interesting, in connection with the notion of spatial location, to
consider the analysis of Brian Kelley (1997), who characterised much current
thinking about the development of universities in terms of the history of a
fictional "Paradigm University", established 200 years ago. Since that time,
the leaders of Paradigm University have been fixated on its physical assets.
The development of its site over the years, and the architecture of the
buildings on that site, reflect the concerns of each generation. There is a
noticeable lag between the needs of the external environment and the provision
being put in place on the campus. In Paradigm University, no significant
provision has been made, even in the most recent building plans, for
off-campus activities using information and communication technologies (ICT),
such as control of laboratory equipment at a distance, or distance learning.
One wonders about its prospects.

Newman was committed to the idea of a scholarly community, and ICT is
recreating just such a community even as it destroys the importance of
physical place. Today, it is possible for anyone with an Internet connection
to experience the pleasure, once known only to those with a conference budget,
of meeting like-minded individuals outside one's institution, where perhaps no
one else shares or perhaps even understands your interests. An academic
conference on the Internet with those who have similar interests can provide
the nurturing experiences, and the sense of collegiality, so hankered after by Newman.

Although some of what Newman advocated is becoming achievable by all, we must
be aware of any tendency to over-sentimentalise our early experiences and
strive for impossible or worthless goals in virtual universities. As Landow
(1996, p.11) says:

Facing the possibility of electronic universities, we tend, I would
argue, to sentimentalize present universities much in the way those who
oppose electronic text sentimentalize the pleasures of reading a
beautifully designed leather volume when in fact we and our students
generally read packets of photocopied materials. Similarly, although
we like to think that our educational institutions are characterized
by Oxbridge tutorials, small seminars, and large amounts of contact
between student and faculty, the great majority of American and
European students (many of whom, incidentally, are nonresident or attend
institutions without campuses or adequate student facilities) receive
their education from large lectures.

[Yet, encouragingly] those comparatively few schools that maintain an
ideal of small seminars, close contact between student and teacher, do
not have to abandon their ways in an onrushing electronic world, since
electronic text, hypertext, computer conferencing, and other forms of
the digital word support and supplement these activities, rather than
doing away with them.

As it turns out, perhaps ironically, certain of our most fundamental
cultural assumptions about authorship, intellectual property,
creativity, and education depend in important ways upon particular
information technology. For example, although Newman thus clearly
envisages both the university he has left and the one he wishes to
create as places of wise speech, he assumes that this preaching,
lecturing, instruction, and conversation will largely concern books.

Landow concludes, after some discussion, with an explanation of his stance:

I remark on the way we fall short of our ideals of collegiality and
close and continuous interaction with students to remind us that the
digital university is coming into being to remedy the shortcomings of
the present non-digital one. [our] needs as teachers and scholars
demand new solutions, though like all solutions to major problems they
promise to confront us with a range of new questions and issues.

Towards a working definition of Virtual Education

A recent Commonwealth of Learning appraisal of virtual education determined
that "The label virtual is widely and indiscriminately used around the world.
Indeed it is frequently used interchangeably with other labels such as open
and distance learning, distributed learning, networked learning, Web-based
learning, and computer learning" (Farrell 1999, p 2-3). The breadth of
practice revealed in that study gave rise to the following definition of a
Virtual Education Institution (Farrell 1999, p11), as either a direct or an
indirect player in teaching and learning:

a) An institution which is involved as a direct provider of learning
opportunities to students and is using [ICT] to deliver its programmes
and courses and provide tuition support. Such institutions are also
likely to be using [ICT] for such other core activities as:

* Administration (e.g., marketing, registration, student records, fee payments, etc.)
* Materials development, production, and distribution
* Delivery and tuition
* Career counselling/advising, prior learning assessment, and examinations

That single-institution definition is wide enough to encompass most of the
aspirations of Newman and those people influenced by Newman. The Commonwealth
of Learning also offers an organisational definition:

b) An organisation that has been created through alliances/partnerships
to facilitate teaching and learning to occur without itself being
involved as a direct provider of instruction.

Changes in the external environment

The literature on product innovation and technology management (e.g., Tushman
and Moore, 1988; Trott, 1998) provides ample evidence of the importance of
being able to detect important changes in the external environment of
organisations; recognising the significance of those changes; and taking
appropriate actions.

The difficulty is that the initial signs of important changes may be so
gradual that they are hard to spot against the noise of other signals in our
information flow. Handy (1989) gives an apocryphal example of a frog that will
let itself be boiled to death if it is put into water that is slowly heated.
More recently, the management of a well-known global software company is said
to have attached little significance initially to the emergence of a new
market in the form of the Internet, although the importance of the Internet
was clear to people lower down in the organisation. Personal communications
indicate that junior staff sent many memoranda "upstairs" but it took over a
year before their advice was heeded. The organisation in question was agile,
powerful and sufficiently influential to be able, within a year, to secure the
position of leader in that new market, but many other less-capable
organisations would have gone into terminal decline.

An example of lack of agility, lack of vision and lack of attendance to
external signals is provided by the reaction of the owners of ocean liners to
the emergence of air travel. In the early years of air travel there were no
air-based passenger services across the Atlantic Ocean. The only way to travel
reliably, quickly and in comfort was by liner. As the technology of aeroplanes
developed, they became capable of inter-continental travel and passengers
could begin to be carried but at huge expense. The number of "early
adopters" was low, and ocean liners continued to be the dominant form of travel.

The introduction of the Boeing 707 jetliner saw the emergence of cheaper,
mass-market air services, with much lower levels of comfort than on a liner.
Each subsequent refinement to air travel reduced the comparative advantage of
sea travel. The scope for refining sea travel and increasing its speed was
limited, and slowly but surely the air-based alternative with its greater
technical potential became more sophisticated and more attractive, and there
was a change in competitive leadership. This is an example of the S-curve
phenomenon, which characterises the disruptive changes that arise because of
technological transitions (e.g., ICT and the Internet, in the case of
universities). Foster (1986) is a classic paper on this topic.

It took some years for it to become apparent to everyone that the market for
ship-based travel was in decline, and by then it was too late to do anything
about it. Interestingly, it seems that no ocean liner company became an
airline, and no ship builder became an airframe builder. Presumably this was
because those in the ship industry did not take the new industry seriously,
and so did not value the notion of diversification into the new form of
transportation. They did not recognise they had two different and separable
missions: providing fast transportation; and providing a high quality
shipboard experience. Speed won - ocean liners lost out to aeroplanes. Travel
became affordable for many people. Today, far fewer liners are in operation,
and they target a different market: the cruise market, rather than the travel
market. In that market, people often fly on package tours to take a cruise.
They are interested primarily in the shipboard experience, not speed or indeed
getting anywhere at all (they return to their original destination).

Below I set out some possible lessons from that case study, and analogies with
university education. Before doing so, it is instructive to look at the
external environment of universities, in which some changes of importance may
be slow and initially hard to detect, while others are more apparent.

At one time, most of the competition faced by campus-based universities was
from other campus-based universities, with similar visions, standards,
time-scales and constraints. The level of competition was relatively low and
so was the rate of change. The emergence of distance-teaching institutions
such as the UK Open University was initially seen as a temporary aberration
that could safely be ignored, and indeed for about twenty years that is
exactly what traditional universities did, in relation to distance teaching.
The slow rate of change, and reluctance of campus-based universities to engage
in teaching at a distance, created favourable conditions for distance-teaching
institutions. For example, they could assume that if the initial enrolment
were high on a distance-teaching course treating a slow-to-change subject
(e.g., Shakespeare), the enrolment would stay high in subsequent years because
no new competitors would emerge. A high initial investment could then be
justified, making it relatively easy to offer high quality courses at a lower
cost per student than in a campus-based institution.

More recently, we have seen significant changes in Higher Education (HE) in
general, including requirements to widen participation (to admit students from
previously under-represented groups, perhaps with lower qualifications); to
admit more mature students; and to encourage lifelong learning (Hicks, 1997).
As Hicks has observed, we can also see a broad shift in pedagogical emphasis
within HE from teaching to learning. This implies a gradual move away from
lectures and towards the creation of "resource-based learning environments" in
which students can take greater control over the time, place and pace of their
own learning. All those changes now have to be achieved in the context of the
emergence of new competitors and, in many cases, year-on-year reductions in
resources from public funds.

In any single year, the effects of such changes may be painful but tolerable.
Taken over several years, their cumulative effect may be difficult to bear.

Arguably, universities and colleges are still trying to be "ocean liners"
combining quality of life, learning, and research with (relatively) rapid
progress towards traditional degrees. A variety of competitive "airline-like"
learning organisations are springing up to cater to new student demands.
Technology and economics are the main driving factors. The market for learning
is growing and changing. Continuing leadership cannot be taken for granted.
And finally, the institutional status quo is being challenged we need to
decide what we want to be in the future.

In terms of the liner case study, the obvious choices are an airline, or a
cruise operator, or to try not to change.

* The equivalent of a mass-market airline could be a fast, flexible,
customer-oriented virtual university, with a focus on web-based
learning, competencies and professional credentials.

* The equivalent of a cruise operator could offer a unique experience,
such as a course that cannot be taken elsewhere, or a resource-rich
model as advocated by Cardinal Newman. The latter might comprise highly
personalised education, with an emphasis on learning, quality, community
and intellectual stimulation. In the UK and the US this might correspond
to an enhanced and more expensive form of Oxbridge or Ivy League
education, perhaps with a mixture of face-to-face and ICT-based
educational experiences, some of which might be on campus.

* The equivalent of staying as we are might be to travel on the Titanic
apparently unsinkable, until it faced the serious challenge of
travelling at night through foggy ice-filled seas. Of course, that ship
would not have sunk, had it had a reliable way to detect and avoid
icebergs, or had it travelled in warmer seas.

Universities will have to choose one of those options, or be faster and better
at what they do, or develop new income streams to allow them to survive the
challenges. Without new income they will have to do more with less. Their
income streams (e.g., from teaching, research and consultancy) are no longer
assured and many are finding it harder to retain their student market share.
Universities that offer only campus-based courses or open learning courses,
created by them alone, are at particular threat from organisations that can
meet the needs of a wider range of students, more effectively and at lower
costs, and have greater resources and a higher income.

* The needs of a wider range of students can be met in many ways. For
example, unnecessary obstacles to their learning can be reduced by
increasing the quality of their teaching; by providing support and
mentoring; and by ensuring that ready opportunities exist for applying
what is studied and thereby making it more meaningful.

* Lower costs can arise by re-packaging existing materials or by sharing
development costs.

* Higher incomes can be obtained by offering courses only in high-demand
areas, such as management, or by having a far larger market, spread over
several institutions or even countries.

A recent article (Economist, 1997) suggests that universities that can adapt
to meet such challenges have reason to be optimistic about their future, but:
Even the universities that have come closest to creating the
core-and-cloud university of the future find it difficult to define the
core and to manage relations with the cloud. universities have
expanded hugely while continuing to insist on their broader civilising
mission and their right - no, their duty - to be accountable to nobody.
Nice work, so long as taxpayers are willing to pay for it.

The importance of either securing continued support from taxpayers, or
alternative funding (e.g., via public-private partnerships) is clear. Many
examples now exist of universities that have entered into multi-national
alliances and partnerships, to offer courses to students in several countries.
Increasingly, the partners include commercial organisations not historically
associated with education and training, and bring new aspirations and new
resources. They also bring new conceptualisations of what is important, new
expectations of what can be achieved, and new ways of doing things. In some
cases, this can lead to tensions with academic partners. There can also be
differences of view about the role that technology can play in reaching
solutions to the perceived problems. Although few would contend that
technology is sufficient to provide all the answers, commercial partners may
find it easier to effect changes in attitude which facilitate the adoption and
effective deployment of new and perhaps more appropriate technologies and
associated working methods.

We can expect a well-run virtual education institution (VEI) to be more
competitive than a traditional university in three ways:

* By developing effective and sustainable working methods, which have the
backing of all involved. Organisations whose approaches are based upon
the Viable Systems Model (VSM) of Stafford Beer (1994) seem to be
particularly well-placed to do this (Leonard, 1999).

* By operating on a sufficiently large scale, through alliances,
partnerships and marketing, to achieve economies of scale using
quality-assured courses.

* By having access to a sufficiently wide range of materials, expertise
and facilities to be able to achieve economies of scope.

Options open to universities

The change-related options available in practice to a particular university
will depend in part on four factors:

* Whether there is consensus across the organisation about what changes
seem to be necessary

* The time it has available before it has to change (slow changes may be
more manageable)

* The financial, social and other resources available to facilitate the
change, including the intellectual capital represented by people who
have experience of change

* The behavioural systems of the organisation.

A classic paper by Nadler and Tushman (1980) offers a relevant framework for
modelling the last of these, an understanding of which is crucial before
embarking on major change. Using that framework, it is possible to determine
the goodness of fit of each of six systems in the organisation. These comprise
the fit between, respectively, individual needs and organisational needs;
individual needs and task demands; individual needs and the needs of the
informal organisation; task and organisation; task and informal organisation;
and the needs of the informal versus formal organisation. The greater the
congruence between each area, the more effective will be the organisation and
the easier it will be to effect change.

In trying to create new options for universities, we need to determine whether
any options are currently precluded, perhaps because of a lack of congruence
between its systems. We should also determine whether there are any
circumstances in which our current assets (whether physical plant and
buildings; good will; contacts; contracts; agreements; practices; or general
intellectual capital) could become liabilities, for example because they
represent commitments that reduce our agility.

Where possible, a university should manage its affairs to reduce unnecessary
complexity (or "variety", in systems terms), and so reduce the need to manage
changes along several dimensions at once. One way in which a university can
reduce complexity is by restricting what its staff can do externally. With
such an approach, staff might for example be unable to offer their services or
their lectures or other course components to competing organisations, or to
compromise the "brand" of their university by allowing their affiliation to be
mentioned by other organisations. Without such a policy, a prestigious
university could find its name mentioned in the marketing literature of
another organisation, thereby give the impression that the courses of that
other organisation were in some sense affiliated with or validated by the
prestigious university.

Having put in place policies to reduce complexity, a university can act
decisively in other areas, bearing in mind the dictum (widely attributed to
the management theorist Peter Drucker) that "The best way to predict the
future is to create it". A possibly more attractive rendering of that notion
is the observation by Gandhi that "We must be the change we wish to see in the
world". If a university wishes to determine its own future by being a leader
in creating all our futures, it will need to be proactive in its use of
appropriate methods and technologies, rather than re-active. A
"follow-the-herd" strategy, or even a "fast-follower" strategy, will not be as
successful in differentiating what it offers or in restricting the scope for
competitors to innovate in other ways.

* A possibility for a university with a strong research tradition and
capable staff is to select those technologies and methods that best
enable it to stand out from the crowd. It could, for example, develop
world-class expertise in a research or teaching niche that is hard for
others to enter, and promote its strengths with vigour. The world's
leading universities are likely to be safe from competition in their
fields of excellence, as long as they can generate sufficient income to
maintain their pre-eminence and make others aware of that pre-eminence.

* A complementary approach is to work with other organisations in a
non-competitive way, to ensure that more effective use is made of their
joint intellectual capital. That co-operation could be informal, between
researchers or teachers, or could involve helpful codification of the
experiences of others. Codifying and sharing knowledge and expertise
about teaching can reduce or even remove the need for expenditure. By
way of illustration, Draper (1998) provides a number of examples of how
others managed to increase teaching effectiveness in particular domains.

* Co-operation can be taken to another level by entering into formal
partnerships with other HE institutions and / or commercial
organisations, perhaps even going so far as to become a virtual
education institution or a distributed learning organisation. In terms
of the ocean liner example, this might correspond to establishing a
hybrid "travel service" that provides inclusive "package tours" for
learners, with each component (the educational analogues of travel,
food, accommodation, local guides, etc) being provided by a different
supplier. Only some of those components might be technology-based. This
could imply less time in class; more quality contact between faculty and
students; the separation of content creation and the delivery of
learning services; and the emergence of new services.

Conversation-rich Virtual Education

In principle, a single campus-based university can become a viable virtual
university if it uses ICT technologies intelligently to offer an experience
that compares well with on-campus attendance, to students who would not
otherwise enrol with it.

Newman tells us that the elements of such an experience include knowing each
student in the way parents knows their children - not in loco parentis, but to
challenge and understand them. The crucial elements of such an experience include:

* Knowing who everyone is: being able to maintain a database of student
profiles that adequately represents the current status, progress, needs
and abilities of each student; doing likewise for tutor profiles. Then
using both databases to inform interactions between students and tutors,
before or during those interactions rather than retrospectively.

* Knowing where to look: being able to provide rapid access to resources
(e.g., people and materials) that provide each student with an
appropriate level of challenge.

* Knowing what to say: being able to facilitate conversations between
tutors and students. This includes being able to draw their attention to
significant elements in those communications; and providing an
acceptable level of immediacy and intimacy and general feeling of participation.

Regarding the technical aspects of facilitating conversations, ICT provides
increasingly convincing technical solutions to Virtual Education's lack of
immediacy and intimacy and general feeling of participation. An example is
"voice-over-IP" (voice over the Internet), as offered by such companies as
HearMe (http://www.HearMe.com/products/distance/). Their products are typical
of others, in offering quick ways to create an interactive classroom where
students can talk directly to presenters or form small study groups. Students
can join discussions directly through their Internet connected PC or from any
standard telephone. Those discussions can be recorded, archived and retrieved,
so that classes, seminars and events can be reviewed later.

Organisations such as the Open University are studying how to personalise such
discussions, in the sense of Newman. It is already feasible to use ICT to
automatically monitor spoken or written discussions on the Internet, and draw
the attention of participants to similar discussions in other classes or
institutions. The ICT system can even interject via a computer-generated
discussant in the form of an avatar. ICT used in such ways can bring
like-minded people together, in real-time. By directing attention to what they
have written (in text-based discussion groups) or uttered (in spoken
discussion groups), it can also help to reduce the problem of information overload.

If we improve the conversational element, we may facilitate collaboration
between students. As the songwriter Malvina Reynolds put it in The Soul Book
(1967, Schroder Music Co),

Conversation is thinking in its natural state.
Thinking is the conversation within us.

Words distinguish us from the blessed beasts.
Words began in human beings in the process of transforming
gregariousness into co-operation.

More formally, there is a research literature on what characterises effective
conversations in education. Useful starting points are provided by Bohm et al
(1991), Laurillard (1993), Isaacs (1994), Harri-Augstein and Webb (1995) and
Winieki D. J. (1999).

The future

As yet, few organisations have succeeded in providing more that one component
of rich Virtual Education on any scale, yet many of the pre-conditions for
success are present. Relevant literature and expertise exists concerning the
human aspects (e.g., "learning conversations" and "sense-making"). The
technical building blocks are emerging for building student profiles, for
providing rapid access to resources and for the technical aspects of
facilitating communications (see e.g., Bacsich et al, 1999). Also, hundreds of
companies are developing affordable, mass-market hardware, software and
learning materials. Such developments make it relatively easy for any
university to set up its own virtual university and try to reach new markets,
across the globe, offering "borderless" education, research and consultancy.

We can anticipate that virtual universities will become widespread and widely
accepted. As and when this happens, they will be able to offer a wider range
of courses, and/or courses with a significant degree of personalisation.
Further, they will be able to do this quickly and economically, even if
individual courses have low enrolment and are of a specialist nature or need
frequent updating. The success any given virtual university has in attracting
students will depend on the strength of its offer and on how effectively that
offer is marketed. We can expect universities that take Newman seriously, and
treat students as individuals, will gain a reputation for quality. Likewise,
we can expect well-known and respected universities with strong local
partnerships to do better than lesser-known institutions with weaker brand images.


Bacsich P., Heath A., Lefrere P., Miller P. & Riley K. (1999) "The Standards
Fora for Online Education", D-Lib Magazine, December, Vol 5(12),

Beer S (1994) Beyond Dispute: the Invention of Team Syntegrity, (Chichester:
John Wiley & Sons).

Bohm D, Factor D and Garrett P (1991) Dialogue - A proposal

Laurillard D. (1993) Rethinking University Teaching (London: Routledge).

Isaacs W N (1994) The Dialogue Project Annual Report 1993-94 (Boston: The
Society for Organizational Learning), http://learning.mit.edu/res/wp/8004.html

Harri-Augstein S and Webb I M (1995) Learning to Change (London: McGraw-Hill)

Draper S (1998) "Niche-based Success in CAL", Computers and Education vol.30,
pp.5-8, http://www.psy.gla.ac.uk/~steve/niche.html

Farrell G F, ed., (1999) The development of Virtual Education: A Global
Perspective, (Vancouver: The Commonwealth of Learning), Introduction, p.2-3
and p.11, http://www.col.org/virtualed/chapter1_intro.pdf

Foster R N (1986) "Timing Technological Transitions", originally published in
Technology in the Modern Corporation: A Strategic Perspective (Oxford:
Pergamon Press) and reprinted in Tushman and Moore (1988), pp. 215-228

Handy C (1989) The Age of Unreason (London: Business Books / Century Hutchinson)

Hicks P (1997) "Re-Engineering Higher Education", InterActive No 21 January
1997, p.2. (Manchester: UMIST Computer Assisted Learning Support),

Landow G P (1996) Newman and the Idea of an Electronic University, (New Haven:
Yale University Press).

Leonard A (1999) A Viable System Model: Consideration of Knowledge Management,
Journal of Knowledge Management Practice, August 1999,

Kelley B (1997). The story of Paradigm University. (Baltimore: Brian Kelly and
Ayers Saint Gross, Inc.)

Nadler D A and Tushman M L (1980) "A Model for Diagnosing Organizational
Behavior", originally published in Organizational Dynamics (Autumn 1980) and
reprinted in Tushman and Moore (1988), pp. 148-164

Teece F J (1994) "Capturing Value from Technological Innovation: Integration,
Strategic Partnering, and Licensing Decisions", pp. 129-140 in Implementing
New Technologies Innovation and the Management of Technology, Rhodes, E and
Wield, D, eds. (Oxford: NCC Blackwell)

The Economist (1997) The core and the cloud a cardinal in cyberspace.
(London: The Economist Newspaper Limited),

Trott P (1998) Innovation Management & New Product Development (London:
Financial Times Pitman Publishing)

Tushman M L, Moore W L (1988) Readings in the Management of Innovation (New
York: Harper & Row / Ballinger Publishing Company)

Winieki D J (1999) "Keeping The Thread: Adapting Conversational Practice to
Help Distance Students and Instructors Manage Discussions in an Asynchronous
Learning Network", DEOSNEWS Vol. 9 No. 2, ISSN 1062-9416.

From: Cris Peterson <cpeterson@irex.org>
To: "'ik@uar.net'" <ik@uar.net>
Cc: "'utsumi@columbia.edu'" <utsumi@columbia.edu>,
Emilie Dickson
Subject: TEP Final Report
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2000 14:08:24 -0400

Dear Ihor,

Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Cris Peterson and I have just
recently joined the staff in the AER division at IREX Washington. I will be
working with Emilie to coordinate the Target Exchange Program.

I've just read your Final Report for the Target Exchange Program. It looks
really good. I was hoping, though, that you would send me, either by fax or
mail, a signed copy of the collaborative agreement between the Open
University Business School and the Lviv Institute of Management. Also, could
you please let us know if any other universities or institutions have
decided to collaborate with you and have signed the Memorandum of
Understanding. I realize that the MOU is only a draft right now, so
understand if no institute has signed it yet. Finally, please do send us a
copy of the MOU in its final form, and keep us updated on the progress of
the March 2001 conference.

Thanks so much,

Return to Global University System Mid-2000 Correspondence

List of Distribution

Dr. Ihor Bogdan Katerniak
Lviv Institute of Management-LIM
Technology Promotion Center
57 V.Chornovil Ave.
Lviv 79601
Tel: +380-322-52 2681
Fax: +380 322-52 2682
Fax: +380-322-52 4463

Dr. Paul Lefrere
Senior Lecturer
Institute of Educational Technology
Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA
Tel: +44-1-908 65 33 88
Fax: +44-1-908 67 28 02

Robert P. Cronin
Partnerships & Training Division
International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX)
1616 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202) 628-8188
Fax: (202) 628-9818

Emilie Dickson
Program Officer
Targeted Exchanges Program
The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX)
1616 H St., NW, 6th Flr.
Washington, DC 20006
202-628-8188 x 152
Fax: (202) 628-8189

Cris Peterson
Program Associate
1616 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
T: (202) 628.8188 x120
F: (202) 628.8189

Jennifer Ragland
Program Officer
Information Resources and Dissemination Program
The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX)
1616 H St., NW
Washington, DC 20006
Fax: (202) 628-8189
jragland@irex.org<<May 19, 2000>>Requested to remove.

Dr. Robin Mason
Head of Center for Information Technology in Education
the Open University
Walton Hall, Milton Keynes
Phone number+44 1 908 274066 / 653137

Ms. Oksana Majdan
Administrator of the Targeted Exchanges Program for Ukraine
vul. M. Hrushevskoho 4, k. 301
Kyiv 252001, Ukraine
Tel: (380) (44) 229-34-79 or
(380) (44) 228-86-37

Mr. Myron H. Nordquist
Legislative Counsel
U.S. Senator Conrad Burns' Office
187 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2603
Fax: 202-224-8594
Cell: 301-646-8153
myron_nordquist@burns.senate.gov<<June 26, 2000>>Requested to remove.

Kimberly K. Obbink, Ph.D.
Burns Telecommunications Center and Extended Studies
128 EPS Building,
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3860
Tel: +1-406-994 6550
Fax: +1-406-994 7856

Dr. David A. Johnson, AICP
Board member of GLOSAS/USA
Former President of Fulbright Association
Professor Emeritus, School of Planning
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee
108-I Hoskins Library
Knoxville, TN 37996-4015
Tel: +1-865-974 5227
Fax: +1-865-974 5229

P. Tapio Varis, Ph.D, Professor
Acting President, Global University System
Chairman, GLOSAS/Finland
Professor and Chair
Media Culture and Communication Education
Hypermedia laboratory
University of Tampere
P.O.Box 607
FIN-33101 Tampere
Tel: +358-3-215 6110
Tel: +358-3-614-5247--office in Hameenlinna
Tel: +358-3-215 6243--mass media lab in Tampere
GSM: +358-50-567-9833
Fax: +358-3-215 7503

Dr. Marco Antonio R. Dias
Vice President, Global University System
Consultant of United Nations University
Former Director, Division of Higher Education of UNESCO
36, Rue Ernest Renan
92.190 Meudon
Tel: +33-1-45 34 3509
+33-1-45-68-3009 (UNU office in Paris)
Fax: +33-1-45 34 3509
* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, GLOSAS/USA *
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.) *
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education *
* Founder of CAADE *
* (Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education) *
* President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of *
* Global University System (GUS) *
* 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A. *
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email) *
* Email: utsumi@columbia.edu; Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676 *
* http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/ *

Return to Global University System Mid-2000 Correspondence