Professor Andy Lane has been awarded the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) 2021 Prize for Lifelong Contribution to the field of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning. The prize is awarded to deserving institutions and individuals for the highest possible excellence in the field.
The ICDE is the leading, global membership organisation that works towards bringing accessible, quality education to all through online, open and distance learning contributing towards the global mission of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
For nearly 40 years Andy has led, contributed to and/or written about a distinctive set of mutually supportive international, national and institutional projects and activities that cover or combine teaching, research and external engagement in open and distance education (but also drawing on his disciplinary expertise in environmental management and systems thinking). These projects and activities have enabled many millions of people around the world to learn at their own pace in their own time and inspired hundreds of open and distance education practitioners and researchers to think more deeply about their practices.
His leadership has been seen most recently the UK Aid funded Transformation by Innovation in Distance Education TIDE project. TIDE aimed to reform a national distance education system that involves nearly 40 universities and teaches 60% of higher education students in Myanmar. The project supported professional and institutional development of over 300 staff in those 40 universities, involving two other UK universities and an international NGO.
Using the environment as a subject focus and OERs (Open Educational Resources) and OEPs (Open Educational Practices) to facilitate intra and inter-university collaboration, TIDE set out a roadmap for the establishment of a Myanmar Open University. The Covid pandemic curtailed some activities while the recent Military coup terminated the project 4 months early, but TIDE has left behind a vast collection of OER as a legacy for the future when conditions change for the better.
Speaking about his award, Professor Lane thanked Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, for supporting his nomination and dedicated his prize to all those he has worked with through TIDE*.
“I am honoured to have been awarded this prize by the ICDE. There are many things I’ve done in my lifetime of achievement but there are two standout projects I’d just like to mention. First of course is OpenLearn. it’s now been 15 years since it was launched. Since that time, it has grown in strength and reach, adding value to everyone around the world.
“The second project is my most recent one, and that is TIDE – Transformation and Innovation in Distance Education in Myanmar. Unfortunately, the military coup terminated the project 4 months early, but TIDE has left behind a vast collection of OER as a legacy for the future when conditions change for the better.
“I would like to dedicate this award to all those participants, universities, and partners who we were working within TIDE. And I hope they will be able to have a better future through distance education in the not too distance future.”
* this legacy collection has been awarded a prize as well Transformation by Innovation in Distance Education (TIDE) project – OE Awards for Excellence (oeglobal.org).