Authors //
Chris O'Hagan
Professor of Educational Development and Learning Consultant
University of Derby, England

Chris O'Hagan is emeritus professor of educational development and learning consultant to the University of Derby. This is a part-time post, and he describes himself as "pensioned off but not retired." He was dean of learning development and head of the Centre for Educational Development and Media until July 2002 at Derby. He has played a key role in helping Derby become a leader in the UK in the use of educational technologies, including e-learning and telepresence teaching. He has conceptualized a model for the campus university of the 21st century that he calls "The Cheshire Cat University"—to help imagine the kind of institution Derby is seeking to develop. The famous Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland could make itself appear and disappear at will, manifesting itself in any ratio of virtual (invisible) to real (visible) cat. This irritated Alice. However, in the Cheshire Cat University it is Alice, the student, who decides how much cat, or university, she wants to "see." She is able to choose the ratio of face-to-face to virtual access that suits her particular personal, domestic, or employment needs at any given time, rather than the university (or cat) dictating it. This is perhaps an impossible ideal, but partially achievable.

O'Hagan continues to work towards such a goal, fuelling his interest in global and virtual universities. Derby is itself a member of the Global University Alliance, the world's first global virtual institution worthy of the title "university" in terms of the range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses on offer.

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