Advancing Equity and Access to Higher Education Through Open and Distance Learning

Background and aims

The aim of the project is to promote equity and access to higher education in Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines through the use of inclusive instructional design (ID) and learning analytics (LA) in online and blended learning, especially in the context of Open and Distance Learning (ODL).

The objectives are to build capacity in inclusive ID and LA, improve students’ learning engagement, active learning and study skills with the help of ID and LA based interventions, improve pedagogical and technical accessibility of digital learning materials, and use LA for more effective, personalised support for distance learners.

In all three Partner countries, improving access to quality higher education is a priority. ODL is seen as a viable way of doing this, as it gives access to students with diverse backgrounds, for instance students in remote areas, mature age students and working students. However, access is only the starting point: the students also need to be able to successfully complete their studies. To ensure better equity and student retention, issues such as pedagogical and technical inclusion, accessible digital materials, and personalised support must be considered.


In the project, inclusive instructional design methods and learning analytics solutions are utilised to address these issues. Pilot interventions addressing specific local needs related to the project scope are developed at each Partner HEI. This is supported by authentic capacity building activities and ongoing online support throughout the design, development, implementation and evaluation of the pilots.

Expected outcomes

The outcomes of the project will be tried and tested recommendations and guidelines for using inclusive ID and LA for promoting equity and access to higher education. The results will be disseminated both regionally and more widely in the ASEAN region through multiple channels, including an international conference and a Handbook which will be published online with a Creative Commons license.

Partners and co-operators


  • Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) (Finland) (coordinator)
  • Dublin City University (Ireland)


  • Open University Malaysia
  • Wawasan Open University


  • Universitas Terbuka – Indonesia Open University
  • Universitas Negeri Padang – Padang State University

The Philippines

  • University of the Philippines – Open University
  • Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology


Start: 15-11-2019 – End: 14-11-2023
Project Reference: 609657-EPP-1-2019-1-FI-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP
Programme: Erasmus+
Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Action Type: Capacity Building in higher education