DETC 86th Annual Conference
April 15-17, 2012
The Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa * Maui, Hawaii
Down Under Distance Education:
Australia’s Past, Present and Future
Tuesday, April 17th *
10:00 - 10:45 a.m. * Maile/Haku Rooms
Dr. John Catford, Deakin University
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Australia has a long and distinguished history of distance education stretching back to Federation in 1901. With a landmass as big as the USA but with less than a tenth of its population, schooling by mail and correspondence courses for teachers became a vital mechanism for nation building. Engagement with higher education soared in the 1970s so that by 1982 the distance education sector was the fastest growing component in higher education with a third of a million enrolments (2% of the total population). During the last thirty years there has been a progressive shift towards the use of technologies and the Internet increasing the reach, breadth and depth of distance education. At the forefront of the innovations has been Deakin University which was established in 1974 as a national distance education provider. The only Australian university accredited by DETC, Deakin is undergoing a major transformation in its teaching and learning programs focusing on ‘jobs and skills for the future’ and ‘education where you are’.
Dr. John Catford MA MBBChir MSc DM is the Senior Vice-President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at Deakin University. He has university-wide responsibilities for supporting 25,000 on campus and 15,000 off campus students by “Advancing flexible, engaged, e-rich learning and the student experience that builds the capacity of Deakin graduates for life and the workplace of the future”. John trained in Medicine at Cambridge University and received his Doctorate from the University of Southampton. From 2002-2011 he was the Foundation Dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences at Deakin University.
John Catford’s current portfolio Academic Development Deakin comprises “super-connected, resource-effective teams of leaders, innovators and service-providers distributed across all campuses”. Specific responsibilities include academic programs and integrity, learning futures, academic staff development and appointments, information and communication technology, Desire 2 Learn, library and academic support services, student services and residences, business development and operations, Deakin at Your Doorstep, quality improvement systems, higher education research, strategic intelligence and planning, equity and diversity, and indigenous education.