Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia
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The Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) is the public Spanish Open University, based in Madrid, Spain. It was founded in 1972 following the idea of the UK's Open University to provide quality higher and continuing education opportunities to all through the distance education system.
UNED is similar to other Spanish public Universities. It awards the same qualifications, which are equally valid and it is run under the same general legislation. However, the special features of UNED make it different from most other Spanish Universities. This is due to the fact that it is nationwide in scope, uses different methodology, and has a wide social influence.
The University Reform Law in Spain ensures UNED the same degree of autonomy as the rest of Spanish universities. The law states that UNED is to provide distance education throughout the country.
It is UNED's teaching methodology, what actually makes it special within the spectrum of Spanish higher education. The keystones of this methodology are printed and audiovisual teaching material, tutorial teaching, and an ever-increasing use of new information and communications technologies.
UNED’s mission is to be present as a centre of excellence throughout the world. In line with a policy of quality growth based on coexistence and cooperation with local universities and institutions, it now has centres in the following countries:Argentina (Rosario and Buenos Aires), Belgium (Brussels),Brazil (Sao Paulo), Ecuatorial Guinea (Bata and Malabo), France (Paris), Germany (Bonn), México (México D.F.), Morroco (Tangiers), Portugal (Lisbon), Switzerland (Bern), Venezuela (Caracas), United Kingdom (London), United States (Miami and Washington, D.C.)
All of these UNED centres are in constant communication with the central headquarters in Madrid, so that students can make full use of UNED’s logistic and academic network. From these centres, the students have easy access to a network of tutors, in depth administrative support, counselling, enormous library collections, meeting places for professors and students, and examination and consultation points, in short, a complete university environment.
UNED is also fully committed with the creation of an Ibero-American university space, which allows for the growing international relevance of the teaching and scientific research that is carried out in Spanish and Portuguese.
This institution/programme was discussed as a case study in the Megatrends project in its second report, Megaproviders of e-learning in Europe (PDF - 212 pages - EN), 2007 (ISBN 978 82 562 88184).
The institution's web site is http://www.uned.es