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A Comparative Case Study

Des Monk, Julie Hitchen

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This article is concerned with the provision of open and distance learning by the higher education sectors in two countries, the UK and Finland. The central contention is that more strategic thought must be given to this issue if the potential benefits of such learning are to be maximized. The article considers in detail institutional practice in one UK university and compares it to practice in a Finnish institution to ascertain whether procedures and practices adopted in Finland might inform policies in UK universities. By way of conclusion, it is suggested that higher education institutions in both countries need to explore the importance of improved networking, develop better quality-assurance procedures and introduce changes in pedagogic practice.