The General Objective of MIELES is to modernise and enhance access to the Indian Higher Education system by supporting the development of diverse institutional e-Learning strategies. The specific objectives are to:
It is believed that this approach will be a concrete and innovative way of addressing the most pressing needs in the development of the Indian Higher Education sector at present, namely expanding access to higher education, and more specifically, exploiting the potential of the Indian Governments’ (and private sectors’) investments in digital infrastructure, internet access, and online courses.
The project departs from the premise that all Indian HEI need support to upscale their e-learning offer. A short needs assessment survey conducted with the Indian partners prior to submitting this proposal suggested as such. This has to do not just with ICT infrastrcuture, but also with the training of staff to use e-tools. This is a particular need in more remote regions, such as Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil-Nandu, where the HEIs have hardly any present activity regarding e-learning, yet are trying to expand access dramatically to the local population. The focus on training university management, and supporting universities to develop strategies, is a concrete way to ensure that Indian HEI understand the potential of e-learning and identify clear ways to invest in it and utilise it, across the institution, in all subject areas. E-learning strategies may be different for each institution, depending on their context, which is another reason why this project is important.
In addition, through the pilots and staff training phases, the project also encourage institutions to address quality assurance in e-learning, a transversal element of university strategies and a general concern of governments and employers. Finally, the project encourages the sustainable implementation of e-learning strategies beyond the project lifetime, in that it supports the Indian partners to disseminate results both internally in their institutions, at the local level, via multiplier events, and in the EU, where other inter-instituional cooperations and spin offs may develop.