Alan Tait


Special Adviser

Alan Tait has a special responsibility for advising ICDE on matters pertaining to quality in education, as well as supporting the Secretary General on international initiatives and activities.



Professor Alan Tait is Director, International Development and Teacher Education at the Open University (OU), UK. Prior to this he was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) responsible for the strategic and operational oversight of the University's undergraduate and postgraduate courses, packs, programmes and qualifications, together with acting as Planning and Resource Officer for the seven faculties. 

Alan Tait previously held the position as Dean of the Faculty of Education and Language Studies at the OU. His academic career has been in practitioner and scholarly support of distance and e-learning. He was Chair of the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) NAP Steering Committee 2002-2005, and he served as President of ICDE associate member, EDEN, from 2007-2010. Prior to this, he was Editor of the journal Open Learning from 1989-1998, joint Series Editor of the Routledge Series Studies in Distance Education and Co-Director of the Cambridge International Conference on Open and Distance Learning.

Alan is Professor of Distance Education and Development at the OU and has published extensively in the field of open and distance learning, in particular in learner support. He is former Chief Editor of the European Journal of Open and Distance Learning (EURODL) and current Editor in Chief of the Commonwealth of Learning's Journal of Learning for Development. He has also worked widely in developing countries for international organizations such as UNESCO, the European Commission and the Commonwealth of Learning. He is currently also Senior Online Consultant for The Open University of China.

Recent most cited publications include ‘What are Open Universities for?’, in Open Learning, 2008, Vol 23:2,  pp 85-94, ‘Leadership Development for Distance and E Learning’, 2007, in the International Handbook of Distance Education, Eds. Evans T, Haughey M and Murphy D, pp 499-512, and ‘Planning Student Support for Open and Distance Learning’, in Open Learning, 2000, Vol 15, No 3, pp 287-299.