Tracing the Development of Distance Learning in New Zealand and the Professional Association Supporting it




DEANZ, FLANZ, distance learning, Aotearoa New Zealand, history


This invited article comprises three parts that document the history of distance and flexible learning in New Zealand and the professional association DEANZ/FLANZ (Distance Education Association of New Zealand, later known as the Flexible Learning Association of New Zealand), which serves this community. The first part was originally published in the DEANZ Magazine in July 2015 as “DEANZ: A Brief History”. The second part was originally published in the FLANZ Magazine in July 2016 as “DEANZ Foundation”. The third, newly written, part brings the history of DEANZ/FLANZ up to date, and is published for the first time here. FLANZ (formerly DEANZ) is a professional association. The Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning is the Association’s flagship journal.

Author Biography

Andrew Higgins, Andrew Higgins Ltd

Andrew worked and studied as a remote student in Western Australia, at the then Western Australian School of Mines, Kalgoorlie, (now Curtin University). He studied through the University of Queensland’s Extramural Studies Department while working as a teacher in remote North Queensland. He later tutored remote and rural tertiary students, and oversaw and taught in the Rural Secondary School Support Scheme via the Queensland Correspondence School before taking up an administrative role. As Manager of Distance Learning, Andrew oversaw the development and implementation of learning programmes for serving officers of the Queensland Police, especially in remote areas. He became President of the Australian Rural Education Research Association and then President of the then Distance Education Association of New Zealand (DEANZ, now FLANZ). He has been Director of E learning at a large New Zealand University, has written widely on rural and distance education and on e-learning, sat on government advisory committees, appeared before parliamentary inquiries, and sat on a Cabinet special purposes committee concerning education.