European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU)
Institution title : European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU)
Founded in 1987, the Association has a long history of innovation in higher education. During this time, the secretariat and members have jointly built up a long experience and in-depth expertise in this field. Further information and evidence-based actions are continuously being set up.
Recently, specific actions have been realized and consolidated related to the continuing professional development of university staff and leadership (EMPOWER); hybrid, blended and online on campus education; continuing education and continuing professional development through short learning programs and microcredentials; open education and MOOCs (OpenupEd); course and curriculum cooperation and mobility; university-business cooperation; and quality assurance for blended and online education (E-xcellence).
These activities are set up in permanent interaction with universities and form the basis for policy recommendations for national governments and the European Union, which contribute to the Bologna Process and the further development of the European Higher Education Area
They directly support university institutions in the development of digital education in all areas of the educational offer and promote quality assurance and recognition of digital education in collaboration with national quality assurance agencies.
In addition, EADTU has established Task Force & Special Interest Groups for policies and good practices related to diversity and inclusion through digital pedagogies and tools, the recognition of informal and non-formal learning, and for e-assessment.
Furthermore, EADTU develops models and guidelines for supporting collaboration and mobility in European University Alliances (EUI) and other networks.
EADTU also coordinates the European MOOC consortium which consists of all major MOOC platforms (FutureLearn (UK), FUN MOOCs (FR), Miriadax (ES), EduOpen (IT) and the OpenupEd MOOC platform.
The objectives of these activities are directly and indirectly linked to the objectives of the Digital Education Action Plan, the European Skills Agenda and the European Education Area, in particular the acquisition of competences for employability and entrepreneurship; empower and support teaching staff; innovation and excellence; creating partnerships and open dialogue with stakeholders and policy makers; and actions related to civil society in general.
The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) is the leading institutional university network for online, open and distance higher education. It is at the heart of innovation in the European Education Area, and in particular in the European Higher Education Area.
European online, open and distance higher education maintains an openness to learners through three critical features:
- Student-centred teaching based on high quality learning environments;
- Openness to learners through flexible, inclusive structures and methods that take higher education to students when and where they need it, increasingly but not exclusively through online technologies;
- Networked education and mobility, where students can learn across national, sectoral and institutional boundaries.
EADTU's mission is to empower and support its members by:
- supporting the development of online, open and flexible higher education:
- developing and sustaining sectoral leadership at national, European and international level;
- leveraging its quality assurance capabilities by creating an internationally recognized quality system in online, open and flexible higher education;
- supporting the extension of learning opportunities and student mobility through networking and collaboration between institutions.
EADTU members share a commitment to equality of opportunity, the lifelong development of talent, and to meeting the needs of the economy, culture and civil society in Europe at regional, national and pan-European levels.
The activity cycle of EADTU outlines a cycle of steps from idea to mainstreamed innovative actions and expertise building, always involving both the institutional and also the governmental level. It works with advanced experts and with R&D centres in the membership. Members play a variety of roles in each of the layers in the EADTU activity cycle, e.g. as: member of the Board, the Rectors’ Meeting or the Associations’ Meeting; expert in the preparation of position papers and European Union consultation meetings; leader or expert in an EADTU task force or project.
The EADTU’s activity cycle from project towards mainstreamed implementation is essential to actually effect change in a sustainable way. The cycle provides a bottom-up approach valorising results of projects and task forces in expertise and service centres and long term action programmes.