Online studies growing
Internet education means global participation

Dane Gibson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 18/99) - Thanks to computer technology, achieving a university degree is accessible to anyone in the world who has access to the Internet.

Dr. Peter Carr is the associate director of Athabasca University's Centre for Innovative Management. He was in Yellowknife recently to meet the 10 NWT students who are currently enrolled in their online program.

"We've got five students in the Yukon and 10 from the NWT in our master's of business administration program right now," Carr said.

"They could have done the courses through traditional correspondence. The difference with our program is that even if you're geographically remote, you can join in group discussions, studies and programs with other students from around Canada and the world."

Since Athabasca University launched its distance-learning MBA program in October 1994, it has grown to become the largest provider of advanced business studies in Canada. Carr said the numbers show online education is the wave of the future.

"I think we can provide most things through the computer," Carr said.

"What we're really doing with the computer is shortening the geographic and time restrictions that have existed in the past."

Those advantages, he said, are especially attractive to people who want to live and work in their home communities while advancing their education at the same time.

"It puts people of the North in touch with the rest of the world," he said. "Students get a global look at businesses and because they're using the Internet, they gain computer experience necessary in today's high-tech world."