Digital “Tsunami” in Higher Education: 
Democratisation Movement Towards Open And Free Education

Tung Lai CHENG

The result of the digital “Tsunami” changes in education in the 21st has been huge. Recall that in the year 2000 there was no such thing as internet broadband, Facebook or iTunes which is now a daily commodity. No doubt changes in technology will continue to accelerate. Education is about learning. Learning happens everywhere and technology creates a platform of almost limitless opportunities for better learning. With the recent digital development of Open Education Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), these emergence towards free and open resources and courses has a tremendous potential to democratise education. There is no denying that it’s one of the biggest discussions being had in education and around the world. Will the digital ‘tsunami’ phenomenon revolutionise the landscape of education? Some believe that this new medium will revolutionise both online and conventional education. This paper attempts to explore the hype issues that surround the notion of democratisation movement that gears towards open and free education. This paper looks into the impact and the types of evidence that are being generated across initiatives, organisations and individuals in order to make a summative analysis and recommendations. Finally, this paper hopes to provide some insight into the dynamics of the evolution of digital ‘tsunami’ in present higher education.

KEYWORDS: Theory of Disruption Innovations, Democratisation In Higher Education, Industrialisation Of Education, 0pen Education Resources (Oers), MOOCs