Funding Open and Distance Learning

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Tutorial.png Unit 10 

Introduction | Sources of Funding | Government Funding


Finding sufficient funds to finance ODL programmes or courses is seldom an easy task. The international trend appears to favour increased ‘cost sharing’ through student fees, but Rumble (2006, page 89) notes that, where students are expected to meet the full costs of a course, this can restrict access for those living on low incomes and may also reduce completion rates. For these reasons, financial support for education from national, regional/provincial and/or local government bodies is likely to be a central component in the budgetary calculus of most ODL institutions.

This unit explores international practice with regard to the funding of open schools and other forms of distance education.

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Objectives of this Unit

By the end of this unit, you will be able to:

  • List six potential sources of funding for ODL programmes in your institution;
  • Discuss the advantages and limitations of different approaches to government subsidisation of ODL, including:
  • normal budget negotiations,
  • budgetary framework document,
  • funding formula;
  • critically reflect on the current arrangements for funding your institution.