Distance Learning Becoming More Popular in Croatia

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Want to be an Oxford or Cambridge graduate from your own home? The rise of distance learning in Croatia.

Studying at Oxford from your own room? Why not? You can get a diploma from your own home, of course with a computer and a good internet connection. In order to study at a university, you do not need to move from your city or state, pay for accommodation and travel costs, ask for a student visa… On-line studying is today a common way of study in most of Europe, reports Novilist on October 26, 2015.

Distance learning is available at some of the respected European universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, as well as at the prestigious American MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Harvard and Berkeley, which offer the possibility of on-line study for those who are fluent in English. This method of study is suitable for professional athletes, people with disabilities, mothers with small children or employees who want to further educate themselves, but have to work during the day.

Those who engage in distance learning can choose the location and the time when they will listen to lectures, and can set their own pace of learning. However, self-discipline is very important, as well as dedication to the cause and a strong will. Ela Sikirić, mother of three, has successfully passed a one-year online course at ITAkademija in Belgrade. The diploma obtained at the institution is not recognized in Croatia, but this graphic designer says that is not important. “To me, the knowledge is more important. I had the opportunity to study at night or when it suited me”, Sikirić explained. She also added that distance learning is definitely not for those who are not serious about it. She paid about 1,000 euros for a one-year study, and she is satisfied with the seriousness and the quality of education she has received.

It is easy to see that distance learning reduces the costs of studying, especially when attending universities in other countries. For example, courses in archaeology, literature, history or philosophy at Oxford cost 1,055 British pounds or 11,000 kuna per year, which means that on-line students have to set aside about 44,000 kuna for a four-year study. Upon completion, the university issues the Certificate of Higher Education of the University of Oxford, which can impress many employers.

European Association of Distance Learning Universities gathers more than 300 universities and about three million students. In the last decade, there has been a dramatic improvement. Last year, as many as 5.2 million students in Europe attended at least one of on-line forms of vocational education. Still, many wonder whether distance learning is a good way to obtain a diploma. Therefore, anyone who decides to go the distance learning route should make sure that they are thoroughly informed about the reputation of the institution, the quality of study, and potential employment opportunities.

As far as Croatia is concerned, distance learning is still in its infancy. The National Council for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development have so far given its approval for six study programs which are partially or completely done via the internet. All the programs have received the approvals just this spring, so they still have no real experience working with students.

“The measures listed in the Strategy of Education, Science and Technology say that it is necessary to introduce new innovative approaches to conducting the study programs and the application of modern teaching aids, including information and communication technology. In this respect, we should encourage the introduction of e-learning as a supplementary form of teaching”, says Croatian Ministry of Science and Education. However, there are only a few higher education institutions in Croatia which have decided to follow the unstoppable global trend and realized all the possibilities which are offered through the introduction of distance learning.


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