India hungry for knowledge: Prof Gourley

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Mumbai, Jan 13 (UNI) Favouring an open, flexible and blended education, UK Open University Vice Chancellor Prof Brenda Gourley today said a vast market for such education exists in India and it is needed to be tapped.

''People are hungry for knowledge, and there is definitely a capacity for education,'' Prof Gourley told newspersons after delivering a lecture at a seminar on 'Futuristic Dimension of Higher Organisation', organised by the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU), here today.

In her lecture on higher education in UK and the future of open, flexible and blended education, Prof Gourley said that there were paradigm shifts in higher education in UK.

''The exponential increase in education is witnessing dramatic changes in the education landscape. The blurring of distance for full-time and part-time study is dramatically changing government policies as well,'' she said.

Prof Gourley said that more and more corporates are setting up their universities, which teach their selfdesigned course content, to cater to their specific requirements.

She, however, lamented the fact that even when the time is full of possibilities, knowledge was not being shared as it should have been.

''When we have the means to provide education to many people, we must share them as well, no matter wherever they are. We need to forge a partnership across the globe to reach the unreached,'' she added.

Responding to a question on whether e-learning would be successful in India in the backdrop of the fact that the internet penetration in the country was marginal, she said e-learning was not simply about internet but much more.

Replying to another question on what was her assessment of the e-learning course at YCMOU, which has forged a partnership with the UK Open University, Prof Brenda said that it was doing well.

''We are very particular about choosing a partner as it is the question of our image also,'' she added.

Meanwhile, YCMOU is gearing up to launch the country's first digital university with technical expertise from Maharashtra Knowledge Centre in June, this year.

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