Distance Education in European Higher Education - The Offer


The IDEAL project has been designed to get a better understanding of distance education offered by higher education institutions and to examine how higher education institutions can contribute to adult learning by way of distance education.

The project aims to:

  • Offer insights on the needs of adult learners to both policy makers and distance education providers;
  • Strengthen the social dimension of higher education by better meeting the needs of adult learners;
  • Increase the participation of adult learners in higher education through distance education.

The central research question of the project is: How can the distance education offer of European higher education institutions be better matched to the needs of adult learners?

To address the central research question, a number of sub-questions have been formulated:

  1. What distance education is offered?
  2. What are students looking for? 
  3. What are the intended target groups?
  4. What is the current student body?
  5. Who is showing interest in distance education?
  6. What are the motivations of students to consider distance education?
  7. What are the main barriers to access?
  8. What kind of support do adult learners (expect to) get during their studies? 

Main Themes

of the World Assembly

All along the Assembly, these themes will be developed through panels, seminars, workshops, keynote speeches, presentation of papers and applied theatre.

Plenary sessions will have translation facilities in English, French and Spanish. Workshops will where possible be bi- or tri-lingual, and the language of sessions will be clearly identified in the final programme.

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