World demand for education and training is growing exponentially in the same way as demand for news grew in the 1970s and 1980s, delegates at the first Global Summit on Distance Education were told last week.
The Washington conference was held to raise awareness of the need to establish global education and training networks.
More than 300 government, business and education representatives from six continents attended to discuss the potential of distance education and the financial, political, social and technical plans and barriers for expansion.
Shelly Weinstein, president and chief education officer of the non-profit National Education Telecommunications Organisation and the EDSAT Institute, said that often those who needed distance education most could not afford the necessary technology.
One immediate problem facing distance providers in the United States is the cost of satellite time, which has increased by 300-400 per cent in the past 12 months.