Master of Distance Education (MDE)

Dr. Dr. Hilary Perraton

Hilary Perraton was the founding director of the International Research Foundation for Open Learning, a specialist research agency, with charitable status, whose purpose was to support and carry out research on open and distance learning. Its particular concerns were with education in developing countries and the development of policy for open and distance learning. After retiring as its director he became a research associate of the von Hügel Institute of St Edmund's College, Cambridge, in order to continue research in education.

Hilary Perraton worked in open and distance learning for many years and has been concerned with its international application since 1971. He spent ten years at the Commonwealth Secretariat, where he played a leading role in the development of what was to become the Commonwealth of Learning, and was involved in developing advice on educational policy issues for Commonwealth governments and institutions. He has also worked for the National and International Extension Colleges in Britain and spent two years in Botswana, establishing the Botswana Extension College for the Ministry of Education. On leaving the Commonwealth Secretariat he spent a year and a half as Educational Planner for Distance Education at the University of the West Indies. He has also a wide range of consultancy experience on the planning, evaluation and costing of distance education, for agencies that include the World Bank, the Commonwealth of Learning, the European Commission, UNESCO, and the British Department for International Development.

His first degree was in history and in education and he also has a PhD in education and a honorary doctorate from the Open University. He has published widely on open and distance learning and on international education. Titles include Alternative routes to formal education (ed.) (Johns Hopkins University Press 1982), Distance education for teacher training (ed.) (Routledge 1993), Open and distance learning in the developing world (Routledge 2000, second edition 2007) and Learning Abroad: A history of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (Cambridge scholars Publishing 2009).



Dr. Dr. Hilary Perraton
von Hügel Institute, St. Edmund's College, Cambridge