Distance Education in European Higher Education - The Students


The aim of the IDEAL project is to gain a better understanding of the distance education offered by higher education institutions and to examine how higher education institutions can contribute to adult learning by means of distance education.

The project aims to:

  • offer insights into the needs of adult learners to both policy makers and distance education providers
  • strengthen the social dimension of higher education by meeting the needs of adult learners more effectively
  • 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 offered by European higher education institutions be better matched to the needs of adult learners? 

In order to address this central question, a number of sub-questions have been formulated:

  1. What distance education is offered?
  2. What are students looking for?
  3. Who 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? 
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