Call for proposals: Study on Models for online, open, flexible and technology enhanced higher education


The International Council for Open and Distance Education - ICDE invites proposals for a study providing an overview of delivery models for open, online, flexible and technology enhanced higher education. The selected contractor will be mandated to develop a full Terms of Reference/Project description for the study in agreement with ICDE within the estimated budget and timeline (see project mandate).

The study - summary
The idea is to do a number of case studies of higher education providers around the globe, including emerging, new delivery models, and investigate if it is possible to “collapse” the cases into a few significant models.

.A study on delivery models for online, open, flexible and technology enhanced higher education should create new insight, open up for knowledge exchange, comparisons and benchmarking across regions. It should be an inspiration for further improvement to current actors and players in online, open, flexible and technology enhanced higher education. For newcomers such as traditional campus based institutions, the study on Models could be an inspiration and a starting point for the delivery of more flexible and scalable technology enhanced provision of education. For governments the study could give valuable advice for future policies. A study should thus produce “spin offs” as good practice cases and also identify barriers for developing good practice.

Project partners
The study is supported by the following 7 ICDE partners and member institutions, who also represent in the project reference group:

  • UNESCO (Education Sector, Section of Higher Education)

  • UMUC – University of Maryland College, USA

  • MIPNES – Digital Pedagogy Mission for Higher Education, Ministry of Education, France

  • COL – Commonwealth of Learning

  • Universitas Terbukas, Indonesia

  • China Open University

  • Anadolu University, Turkey

Overall objective
To establish an overview of the global situation with regards to existing and emerging delivery models on online, open, flexible and technology enhanced higher education, and to produce an easy to read report describing the most relevant models, including guidelines and suggestions for using the models.

Project deliverables will be a report on delivery models for open, online, flexible and technology enhanced higher education. Interesting aspects are ownership, sponsorship and governance at all levels (national, regional and institutional, public and private), with special interest in new, emerging partnerships and consortia of stakeholders.

The project should deliver:

  • An easy to read report on about 30 pages on models + annexes

  • Guidelines and suggestions for using the models.

  • Proposals/recommendations for follow up of the study.

  • All cases described in a database

  • 10 slides presenting the findings

  • Templates to be used during the study, e.g. for describing cases and for comparing cases within a model

All regions should be represented and a minimum of (indicative) 70 - 100 cases in total should be included in the study in order to secure overall relevance.

Challenges for the proposals
Proposers to the call will be challenged on the model approach. Whether models can be described in a relevant and value added way is one of the key questions in the project, and how to approach and solve this issue is one of the main challenges to respond to in the proposal (also outlined in the project mandate).

Another aspect where proposals are challenged is to describe attributes that might identify/characterize models.

Proposers to the call are challenged to give their suggestions on the selection of cases, data collection and approach to achieve the wanted number of cases described within the necessary time framework.

Indicative budget for the contract is 30 – 50 000 EUR.

Time frame - indicative

  • Deadline for proposals: 30 September 2016. 

  • Contractor selected by: 17 October 2016

  • Contract and project description agreed by 1 November 2016

  • Draft report delivered by end August 2017

  • Final report delivered by 1 October 2017

  • Presentation and distribution at the ICDE World Conference in Toronto 16-18 October 2017

Intellectual Property
The intellectual property rights for the Models study belong to ICDE solely. Reports/deliverables decided to be published from the project, will published under an open licence, (e.g. published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence (CC BYSA 4.0).

Application process
Interested candidate organizations/institutions or individuals should send their applications to: by 30 September 2016. An extended deadline to 6 October at 11 AM CEST time may be applied for and will be considered in special circumstances. The application should include:

  • A document of no more than six pages outlining how the above report requirements may be fulfilled. 

  • A document of no more than two pages describing recent experience of providing similar studies within the field of education. 

  • Three references from activities of a similar nature including contact details for referees. 

  • A declaration confirming available capacity to perform the service within the given timeframe. 

  • A profile and brief CV of each individual to be involved in providing the study, and a description of the extent of their proposed role (one page per person). 

The project mandate should be carefully consulted when responding to the call.

When considering applications, evaluation will in particular consider relevance of the proposal and competence demonstrated in replying to the call, the above mentioned challenges for the proposals, how the applicant intends to organize the study and indicated costs related to the study.

Please note that no costs will be met by ICDE for the preparation of a proposal and that all documentation should be supplied in PDF format and submitted by email.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Torunn Gjelsvik, Senior Advisor, ICDE,