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Distance Education International

Principal Consultant ...

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

After graduation from the University of London in 1972, David worked in Africa with a number of multi-disciplinary research teams from the universities of London, Liverpool, Bradford and Oxford.

These teams considered links between education and other variables on local economic performance. Many publications in peer reviewed journals resulted, together with the setting up of links between a number of British universities and universities in the Congo, Cameroon and Sudan.

Between 1977 and 1984 David continued to work in further and higher education in Yorkshire, ultimately heading a consortium of colleges, universities and a polytechnic. This was set up to bring business and education closer together under an initiative with Leeds City Council.

At that time he was also: visiting lecturer (University of Leeds); moderator for the Business and Technician Education Council and a Council Member of Bradford Chamber of Commerce.

In 1985 David moved to the Department of Education and Science (DES), leaving in 1990 as Assistant Secretary responsible for formulating a new continuing education policy for universities, polytechnics and colleges. This involved managing the largest non-earmarked budget in the DES, managing a regional executive function across the UK employing the largest number of staff in a DES division. Working directly to ministers David oversaw a five-fold increase in student numbers.

Between 1985 and 1990 he was also: Member of the Council for National Academic Awards; Member University Grants Committee Continuing Education Standing Committee, Member of Inter-ministerial review of highly qualified manpower 1989-90, and represented the UK Government on various EC and OECD committees.

David Hardy - Bursa
Uzbekistan Presidential Election 2016
© David Hardy

He made many public speeches and wrote many reviewed papers on continuing education and professional development, and related policy matters.

In 1990 David became the founding Open Learning Foundation (OLF) Chief Executive. OLF was started in 1990 as a new educational model to enable the cost-effective expansion of higher education with no reduction in quality. Membership grew from 20 to 40 Universities and Polytechnics with students (using materials developed by OLF) increasing from zero to 100,000. From 1999 - 2001 David was: President of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities; Chairman of the European Open University Network b.v.; Vice-President (Europe) of the International Council for Open and Distance Education; Member, European Commission Open and Distance Learning Liaison Committee.

For the past 16 years he has advised governments around the world on education reform. He is an authority on widening participation in universities. He has delivered keynote speeches to governments and universities throughout Western, Central and Eastern Europe, North and South America, Australia, SE Asia and South Africa. He has worked most intensively with the governments of Russia, Eastern European countries, the Caucasus and the republics of Central Asia. He is a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, and is a member of the Institute of Directors. He was an international observer of the December 2016 Presidential elections in Uzbekistan.