About SCOP 2013

Theme This year, the ICDE Standing Conference of Presidents meeting will focus on themes and networking that support senior management in leading on their change agenda.


  • Societal needs
  • Costs and cuts
  • Students' expectations
  • Technology and
  • Open Educational Resources

are all driving forces for the change agenda for post-secondary education:

  • The demand for higher education means globally building 4 conventional universities with 30,000 students each every week for the next 12 years.
  • The expectations for higher education to create personal and societal economic growth are high and increasing. At the same time 650 million youths are neither working nor studying.
  • The rising cost of higher education and increasing levels of debt students and families are incurring represents a trillion dollars in the US alone.
  • Open and online education has the potential to lower the costs, some claim by 70 - 80%. Access to technology and the Internet revolutionize the opportunities for learning. By 2020, 70 - 80% of the global population is expected to have internet access, up from 35% today.
  • Technology facilitates Infrastructure 2.0: eInfrastructure, Science 2.0: eScience, Campus 2.0: eCampus, Education 2.0: Open and online education.
  • At the same time, automation pushes people out of jobs, and more education is needed to re-educate people for highly skilled jobs.
  • Open Educational Resources, OER, promise the opportunity for the first time in human history to enable everyone to attain all the education they desire, but Open Educational Practices struggle to take off. The current models for higher education don't favour an open educational culture. They don't give incentives for OER or Open Access. In short, are not optimized for Open Knowledge.
  • Students increasingly demand flexibility in education, so they can enjoy high quality education anytime, anywhere at low cost, but still the current paradigm of higher education delivers on-campus lectures.

The way ahead
For many higher education institutions, an important issue today is how to move from campus-oriented education into a campus and online education concept, a blended learning concept. For others, the issue is more to revamp strategies and leadership for a more open and online focused learner agenda.

The development path for higher education institutions is not straightforward, the course ahead is for many unclear and the awareness and knowledge of success factors for the change agenda are not well developed.

Leadership for Change in a Time of Openness is the main theme addressing this situation at the 2013 ICDE Standing Conference of Presidents meeting.

The meeting will discuss sustainable visions, innovative strategies and creative business models to meet the challenges ahead.

Key themes to be addressed:

Opening up education. The European Commission will present its new initiative for Europe, and the importance of leadership for change. How can regions and governments in other parts of the world be inspired by the European example?

20 years past the first SCOP: What has changed and how have evolved institutional leadership in the ODL world? What are the challenges ahead for the next 20 years?

Institutional change in a time of disruptive innovation. A case-study of the Universidade Aberta, Portugal.

Hands-on innovative leadership in open, distance and online education.

Opening up universities: institutional change to meet societal needs and challenges. What is the change agenda in Africa?

The introduction of open and online education is facilitating a change agenda for more sustainable quality education (and research) to lower costs. What issues are on the change agenda in the different regions of the world? And how does top-management face the change agenda in their region? Are there joint lessons to be drawn?

On a policy level, what are the key issues for government and in the shared arena for governments and senior management in higher education?

What is the role of global and regional associations in the new open, distance and e-learning scenario?

Raising public awareness on open, distance and e-learning social relevance: what are the issues? And what global/regional actions should be taken?

Participating presidents, vice-chancellors and rectors will also have the opportunity to meet with peers from around the world in a confidential, in-camera setting, to exchange views, in the dedicated presidents' meeting.

Organized by:
Universidade Aberta International Council For Open And Distance Education Eden
credits © Universidade Aberta 2013