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WHEN the Open University in the United Kingdom was set up in 1969 to provide opportunities for mature students (aged 18 and above), including those without traditional qualifications for entry, to further their studies through distance education it was greeted with a good deal of scepticism.
But, OU has done such a good job of providing quality education that their teaching materials are now used in conventional universities across Britain.
Employers have also come to appreciate the capability of OU graduates.
As many as 25,000 have sponsored employees for OU's long distance learning programmes.
To date, OU has taught more than 2.5 million students, a third of them working adults with academic qualifications below conventional university admission requirements. Its oldest graduate was 94 and youngest 20.
Is there a need for this kind of university in Malaysia and are we, as a society, ready for it?
One of the strongest arguments for its adoption is …