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Distance Education International

Principal Consultant

David Hardy BSc (Hons), Grad. Cert. Ed., Chartered FCIPD, MIoD

David Hardy has worked for over 40 years in education as lecturer, senior manager, senior civil servant, chief executive of a higher education institution and President of the rectors of Europe’s open universities. In these posts and, since 2002, as a successful international consultant he has been responsible for major reforms to education aimed at meeting the needs of employers in a modern economy.

  • Assistant Secretary Department of Education and Science - working directly to ministers responsible for policy to ensure universities, polytechnics and colleges provided the highly qualified manpower needed by business and the economy, 1985 – 1990.
  • Member Universities / Polytechnics Standing Committee on Continuing Education, 1986–90.
  • Member Inter-Ministerial Review of Highly Qualified Manpower, 1989–90.
  • Member Council for National Academic Awards (polytechnic degree awarding body), 1991–92.
  • Chief Executive, 1990–2000, Honorary President, 2000–01, Open Polytechnic / Open Learning Foundation – set up to enable a consortium of 40 universities cope with student numbers demanded by the UK government with no diminution in quality. A pioneering institution it had 100,000 students, including overseas, using its materials and systems by year 2000.
  • Board member European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, 1993–2001. President 1999–2001 – representing the rectors of European open universities and conventional universities using distance education. Close working relationships with EC Commissioners.
  • Chairman., European Open Universities Network BV, 1996–2001 – the trading company of EADTU set up in discussion with the European Union.
  • Member European Commission Open and Distance Learning Liaison Committee, 1999–2002.
  • Vice  President (Europe), International Council for Open and Distance Education, 1999–2002. – affiliated to UNESCO. Close working relationship with UNESCO Vice Presidents.
  • Visiting Lecturer Immanuel Kant State University of Russia, 2007–08.
  • Member of European Commission High-level expert workshop "Towards an efficient learning ecosystem for European SMEs: Fully exploiting the potential of online training" 2019
  • Member European Distance and e-Learning network 2000-present.

Dorset Boundaries
David Hardy and Turkish Minister of National Education Prof. Nabi Avci
© David Hardy

Selected Papers and Events for these former years:
2019-20, 2010-6, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2003-6, 2001-2, 2000.

'Sustainable Development in Education', presentation to Third Central Asian Research Forum on Sustainable Development and Innovation, April 2020

Member of European Commission High-level expert workshop "Towards an efficient learning ecosystem for European SMEs: Fully exploiting the potential of online training"


DEI is able to call on leading names from university and vocational education.

After the break-up of the USSR he was invited to engage with the governments of former Soviet and Warsaw Pact countries to advise on university reform. From 2002 became a consultant, focussing on advising governments about education and training policy and its implementation, relevant to the needs of employers.
He has encouraged evidence-based policy making in those countries and modern institutional strategic planning. Committed to ensuring that concrete mechanisms are in place to ensure that education and training programmes are:  relevant; high quality; meet employer needs; are delivered by competent teachers with recent practical experience and not just theoretical knowledge; are accessible to learners; meet continuing as well as initial professional education needs; are financed sustainably, and are part of a strong national government policy for the long-term.

He is a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, and is a member of the Institute of Directors.