Today's distance education encompasses all courses, except pure medicine, that too till now. With education being revolutionised almost by the day, there is no guarantee that medicine too would not be offered as a course in distance education. Distance education has opened new vistas and new dreams. People, who had found it difficult to continue or complete their education owing to various reasons, have been offered another opportunity to do so through distant education.
""The prominence of education and learning within the post-industrial, information society analysis was in no small part responsible for the high-profile reassessment of education and training by education and politicians in developed countries over the latter half of the 1990s," (Selwyn, 2006, p.5).
Open learning offers greater flexibility to study, with the student's own pace, in whichever place, at whatever time, supported by Internet or intranet and all the choices are of the student alone. But without the academic support of Universities, distance learning cannot function. It needs greater efforts from universities and faculties to improve quality of learning experience while providing greater flexibility of study, and encourage easy access to programmes. Main purpose of this new trend has been to add value to flexibility. It had always been noticed that a great amount of rigidity prevailed in the educational scene of the country, in the name of tradition, discipline and educational highhandedness. Distance education's main purpose was to lessen this rigidity in the field of education so that it could be evolutionary and reachable. University's learning and teaching strategies should lay out a path through which accessibility of programmes could be extended. For people who are unable, or unwilling to attend classes, this includes up a new region of possibilities by offering full award bearing and accredited programmes and short courses. Learners could be local and distant; but usually, full programmes will be particularly relevant for international students,
Distance education does not come cheap. It needs development of substantial and high cost materials and support mechanisms that are expensive. It cannot be done unless it is an adequately funded venture. Design and delivery of programmes has to take account of recent research and this, sometimes, means additional expenditure. Universities have to be confident that there is an adequate market to repay the hopeful spending. Programme should be appropriate, and improve the quality of learning experience. They also have to ensure that quality should be equivalent to any campus programme. Particular concern has to be taken to ensure that e-programmes are delivered in the most pedagogically effective way possible. Educational research has been going on full swing and emerging results have brought up many theories of learning and these have to be taken into account while preparing the material. Students need