A new concept of adult distance learning higher education was shaped in the foundation of Bircham International University.
Bircham International University was created as a consequence of the failure of formal education to address the real pedagogical requirements of adult distance learning higher education.
Deric Bircham, President and co-founder of Bircham International University, believed that an effective adult distance learning higher education pedagogy should be based on the following premises:
* Promote critical thinking and innovative learning methods.
* Facilitate the acquisition of practical knowledge and problem-solving abilities.
* Take into consideration previous knowledge and incorporating it into any new program of study.
* Consider that adult professional profiles are unique and should be considered individually.
* Take out stress from the study process and any evaluation procedures.
* Base adult education on a mature sense of responsibility and pre-established goals.
* Know that adult distance education is not for everyone nor for all purposes.
These adult distance learning higher education premises are not taken into account by the formal education institutions. If a 30 years old individual may be considered a mature and responsible adult; What about 50 years old? It is the life and professional experience and not the age what should establish differences in any adult distance learning higher education profiles. Such life and professional background diversity makes it impossible to establish formal procedures and regulations that fit all situations. For these reason, Bircham International University adult distance learning higher education pedagogy and degree programs do fit in the non formal education domain and can not be easily recognized by a Ministry of Education.
The Bircham International University founders were:
Deric N. Bircham - The pedagogy for adult distance learning higher education.
Enrique Martin y Alonso-Martinez - The vision of adult distance learning higher education.
Laurence Cheng Wen Hung - Business resources for adult distance learning higher education.
William Martin - Management & development of adult distance learning higher education.
Since 1990, Deric Bircham was unsuccessfully fighting the incorporation of the future Bircham International University pedagogical premises for adult distance learning higher education into the traditional university in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. His adult distance learning higher education pedagogical system was tested in some Colleges in Oxford, New Zealand and Taiwan in the form of study programs leading to professional diplomas of Specialist and Expert.
In 1996, Deric Bircham made first contact with the Martin Alonso-Martinez family in Spain with the idea of testing and implementing his adult distance learning higher education pedagogical ideas in Spanish-speaking countries, and in a different educational setting.
The Martin Alonso-Martinez family came from an old aristocratic background with many business connections. Mr. Enrique Martin Alonso-Martinez saw the potential of Deric Bircham's idea about adult distance learning higher education and encouraged his son William Martin to become actively involved in the project. Enrique Martin Alonso-Martinez died in 1998, but his son William Martin decided to continue with the adult distance learning higher education project that will be later known as Bircham International University.
In 1999, Deric Bircham, Prof. William Martin, and Laurence Cheng Wen Hung met in Taiwan. Laurence Cheng Wen Hung is the adopted son of Deric Bircham; a very successful business man who managed the finances for the actual foundation of Bircham International University adult distance learning higher education. After their meeting, they decided that the institution shall be established both in Europe and the USA. Prof. William Martin was appointed as the Executive Director responsible for running all the administrative procedures pertaining to founding the institution.
In 2003, Deric Bircham, Prof. William Martin, and Laurence Cheng Wen Hung met again in New Zealand. Prof. William Martin proposed the operational model, software, and networking procedures to ensure the control of academic and institutional quality in the network of BIU offices established around the world. Bircham International University Offices were open in several key strategic cultural and geographic cities to offer Bircham International University adult distance learning higher education degree programs in different languages and cultural settings.
In 2006, Laurence Cheng Wen Hung resigned from his active involvement in Bircham International University affairs as he was tempted with a CEO position in the Chinese powerful Mei Yuan Business & Industrial Group. In 2007, Prof. William Martin was appointed as CEO of Bircham International University. Deric Bircham maintained his position as Chief of Academic Affairs and President of Bircham International University. Laurence Cheng Wen Hung remained as Vice-president of BIU.
Today, Bircham International University is proud to have thousands of students around the globe and to be one of the best adult distance learning higher education options in the world.
Bircham International University Foundation
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