Geo-temporal analysis of key dimensions of openness in higher education

Ricardo T Bagarinao, Primo G Garcia, Luisa A Gelisan, Ethel O Sibal and Jennifer S. Belen
University of the Philippines Open University
Laguna, the Philippines

The concept of openness in higher education is not new. Its origin can be traced back to principles of open and distance learning: 'ODL is about increasing educational access and increasing educational choice' (Murphy 2011). However, through the years, it has evolved into several interpretations, branching out to other concepts, and developing into ideas that are applicable beyond the ODL boundaries. As Harry and Perraton (1999) note 'Open and distance learning has been influenced along with the rest of society, by all these changes which are tracked thematically and geographically.' To further understand the evolution of the 'openness in higher education' concept, this paper maps the various concepts in the broader literature which the topic has come to identify as dimensions of openness in higher education. The publications on the various dimensions are gathered from accessible databases. The research uses meta-research techniques by coding and plotting the dimensions covered in the papers against time and across geographical locations. The study's findings can provide other researchers with an overall picture of the geo-temporal pathways the concept has taken and possibly provide a basis for drawing up a theoretical framework on openness in higher education. For the authors, this study is a preliminary step towards more empirical work on defining and operationalizing the dimensions.