Gard Titlestad discusses the opportunities that opening higher education to mass markets will have on South Asia.
Gard Titlestad is the director of Nordic Insight. Today, Titlestad works as consultant for his company Nordic Insight, for NordForsk and the Nordic Research Collaboration. He also works as an expert (governing board member) for the UNESCO Institute for IT in Education and a few international projects. He retired in the summer of 2018 from the International Council for Open and Distance Education, ICDE, where he led the ICDE operations and the Permanent Secretariat. At ICDE he worked in close partnership with UNESCO for the new sustainable development goals, in particular number four. Collaboration between institutions, associations, companies and individuals was a key priority for him, on a regional, global and north-south-south basis. He led the ICDE participation in the Teachers Task Force for Education 2030, the Global Alliance for Literacy and the UNESCO led initiative for Quality Assurance in Higher Education. Gard joined ICDE in 2011 after serving at the Nordic Council of Ministers, NCM, in Copenhagen, Denmark, as head for the Department of Knowledge and Welfare. He managed the secretariat for several configurations of ministers including the ministers for education, research and IT, the ministers for health and social affairs, the ministers for labour affairs, for a shorter period the ministers for enterprise and the ministers for finance. Before joining the NCM, Gard served as Research and IT Counsellor for Norway, and as member of the executive team for the Norwegian delegation to the European Union. Prior to this, he was a senior official in the European Commission in Brussels, Directorate General Information Society. In Norway he worked for the Norwegian Government in research and development agencies. Gard is a member of the Advisory Board of the African Virtual University (AVU) online Journal of Research in Open, Distance and e-Learning (JRODeL), the editorial board of the American Journal of Distance Education and he was the publisher of the open access journal Open Praxis.