With online learning on the rise globally, questions of educational quality and legitimacy have emerged, as well as calls to explore governance. Which ethical principles guide this growing field? Which existing governance challenges need to be revisited? Which new mechanisms need to be developed? Is online learning becoming more ungoverned as it expands, across formal and informal education? 

We set out to explore these questions with educators, learners, industry leaders, and experts in two phases: a podcast series (autumn 2018) and a one-day virtual symposium (January 2019).

The industry of online education is surging globally and expected to grow to a $325 billion industry by 2025. Online learning has become part of the lifelong learning strategy, as offerings for K-12 education, professional development, and informal courses. While overall higher education enrollments decrease, distance education enrollments continue to increase. And despite this shift in the higher education landscape, only 29% of chief academic officers surveyed in a study for the Online Learning Consortium said that their faculty accept “the value and legitimacy of online education.” 

Debates over quality and legitimacy of online learning, which exist in the context of growing cross-border education, call for the examination of governance – current initiatives and existing challenges. To learn more about the this project and online learning more generally, follow our blog.

Why does

Project Ungoverned exist?

Who is
behind Project
Ungoverned?

Project Ungoverned? was initiated by Kim Ochs, who has been working in the field of online education internationally for more than a decade, and Nicole Harkin, who trained as a lawyer and worked as an investigator in the United States.  See our Team page to learn more.

Project Ungoverned? takes place within the Bosch Alumni Network – a network which consists of people who’ve been supported in one way or another by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The network is coordinated by the International Alumni Center (iac Berlin), a think and do tank for alumni communities with social impact. The iac Berlin supports this podcast series and symposium. If you want to know more about the power of networks, visit iac-berlin.org.

To learn more about plans for our podcast series and symposium, including calls for contributions, please go to the relevant pages on our website.

To learn more about online learning and governance, and also to follow our progress, please check out our blog.