Pakistani Universities offering Distance Learning Programs

What is Distance Learning?

It might be that some of the readers are not familiar with the concept of distance learning education, therefore I would like to define it first before talking about how it emerged and what benefits it has.

Distance Learning is a method of learning in which the students do not attend regular classes, rather they study at home utilizing the tools of study provided to them by their institute. For example, many distance learning institutes provide course material consisting of printed text (books or handouts), electronic media (CDs or Video/Audio lectures) and reference links for further reading. The course material is often accompanied with assignments to be completed within a particular time-frame and submitted to the institute for evaluation and feedback (either manually or online depending upon the institution one is studying from). The important thing to note is that distance learning involves direct absense of a teacher and a classroom environment which is often found in regular institutes (universities and colleges).

Importance of Distance Learning Programs

From the definition of distance learning, one would verily realize that it as an important source of continuing education for those who might otherwise be deprived. There are certainly students who cannot continue their higher studies due to simple reasons such as the absence of a university in their locality (town or city) or the socio-political situation of their residence does not allow them to daily travel to the university / institute and be a regular student. Moreover, many of the potential students passing Higher Secondary level find themselves in a position to discontinue further studies simply due to financial constraints; i.e. they cannot finance their studies themselves in regular universities which are usually much expensive. These kind of students are at advantage when they find distance learning opportunities so that they can continue their studies while residing at home / office and managing their other routine business alongwith their studies as and when they find time. Distance learning programs are less expensive too, and thus those facing financial shortages also have bright opportunities to continue their studies.

Now-a-days the term "distance learning" is often replaced with "Virtual Education" and hence the distance learning universities call themselves "Virtual Universities" the world-over. There are Virtual Universities in nearly every country today, which are playing a key role in promoting education and nurturing an educated society. The importance of virtual education cannot be denied, as they help in enhancing the literacy rate of the society and are a helping hand to regular education.

Shortcoming of Virtual Education

No doubt virtual education has many advantages which have been highlighted above, but there is a very important shortcoming of this mode of education which should be considered too if one has a chance to opt between regular and virtual education. Virtual education or in other words distance learning lacks practical exposure, and hence one cannot experience what he has learned. The need of practical exposure is a must in certain fields of education like medical and engineering, where certain lab practicals have to be undergone to learn a particular subject. Thus if you want to pursue medical or engineering education, you cannot continue your studies in the distance learning mode, you will have to go for regular education.

But this does not mean that one cannot learn anything in virtual education, the fields of study like accounting, commerce, business administration, education (B.Ed etc), mass communication, journalism, psychology, languages, computer science, software engineering (and much more) are those which can be equally learned through any of the two modes being discussed. And in my opinion, a student of any of these fields will be at greater advantage as he would have to invest less and gain equal opportunities.

Click here to learn how the concept of distance learning (education) emerged?

Pakistani Universities offering distance learning education

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