World’s largest open university goes mobile

Learning on mobile for 2.5 million students

October 30, 2009

Learning on mobile for 2.5 million students

The classroom of the future is moving to mobile phones, and reaching farther into India thanks to a new partnership between Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and IGNOU (The Indira Gandhi National Open University). Ericsson will build a 3G environment for students to download IGNOU course contents. They can also get SMS alerts on their mobile devices.

Professor V N Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, says: “Our University is founded on the idea that education should be offered to less advantaged sections of society. With Ericsson’s help, we will create a learning platform that uses mobile devices to build educational excellence and exchange information. Our students will benefit from the flexibility of learning at their own pace, any time, anywhere.”

Gowton Achaibar, President of Ericsson India, says: “This partnership is yet another proof point of telecommunication being key for development of society. Education using mobile broadband technology will provide an efficient and economical way to get content to students in distance learning programs.”

The government in India has recently begun promoting higher education in the country, where only 15 percent of students currently reach high school.  Similarly, India is suffering a shortage of teachers with higher degrees and 50 percent of college professors teach without a master’s degree or a PhD.

IGNOU was set up to pioneer open and distance learning.  It offers various academic programs leading to Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees. The university has more than two million students enrolled, in India as well as in 34 other countries.

Gowton Achaibar adds, “We have a clear opportunity to use India’s rapidly rising teledensity to bring the advantages of broadband to the world of education.”