Vocational education and training initiatives through open and distance learning in the United Kingdom, 1970–2003
This chapter explains with the national extension college, set up in 1963 as a non-profit making 'voluntarist' initiative to fill two gaps in the state education system – the lack of a multi-media college using new methods of communication, and the shortage of opportunities to study part-time. Open and distance learning (ODL) has attracted governments, institutions and learners for quite different reasons: for governments and institutions to assist in the delivery of education and training economically to large numbers, and for learners as it offers them flexibility of time and place. Rather than simply embedding ODL within the existing systems and structures of higher and further education, a number of new organisations have been created to serve vocational and training needs through ODL. The undoubted success of the Open University both in the United Kingdom and internationally has encouraged the belief that its method-logy can be successfully applied to other levels of learning and target groups.