Sources of Funding

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Tutorial.png Unit 10 

Introduction | Sources of Funding | Government Funding

Sources of Funding

Rumble (2006, pages 87-91) outlines a variety of mechanisms for funding open and distance learning (ODL) programmes, including:

  • government grants and subsidies,
  • student fees or other user charges,
  • community contributions (often in kind),
  • sales of materials and other services,
  • donations from private-sector bodies,
  • grants from non-governmental organisations,
  • grants from international funding agencies.

In addition, soft loans (with rates of interest below commercial rates) may be available from international development banks, though these are normally restricted to capital investment in buildings or equipment. Alternatively, if a particular programme or project is economically viable, it may be possible for an ODL institution to obtain a loan from a commercial bank.

Many ODL institutions obtain their funding from a variety of sources and the balance between them varies widely from institution to institution. Table 10a below illustrates the different sources of funding that have been accessed to support ten teacher-training projects:

TABLE 10a Sources of Funding for Teacher-Training Projects
Sources of funding
Government Student Fees Community Private sector and NGOs Funding agency
Brazil: Television based in-service programme Yes Yes Yes
Burkina Faso: Specialist project for head teachers Yes
Chile: In-service programme on computer education Yes
China: Television Teachers Training College Yes Yes Yes
India: Open University programme on guidance Yes Yes
Mongolia: Reorienting primary teachers to new approaches Yes Yes
Nigeria: National Teachers' Institute initial training programme Yes Yes
South Africa: OLSET radio project for schools and teachers Yes
South Africa: University degree programme Yes Yes
United Kingdom: Open University postgraduate certificate in education Yes

Source: Perraton & Lentell 2004, page 104.