The Institute of Distance Education (IDE), University of Madras was started in the year 1981. It is now a dominant presence in the field of distance education in South India. The IDE, known earlier as ICE, has offered courses in the distance mode and in the Open University System. The system has been a boon to those who were unable to complete their schooling, housewives, working professionals and government servants in the conventional mode.
The standout features of IDE's course offerings are printed learning materials, personal contact programmes (PCP) and wide network of study centres in India and abroad. Over the last three years, IDE has prepared material in the self-learning format (SLM) and has received appreciation from many quarters. A pool of experienced teachers from various colleges handles PCP classes.
The Institute also offers PG courses in Arts, Science and Commerce as well as Professional Courses such as M.Lib.Sc, M.B.A., M.Sc. (I.T) and M.C.A. Both at the UG and PG levels there is a blend of conventional and innovative courses to strike a balance. The courses provide scope for learners to improve their potential to became suitable candidates for jobs. The Institute also offers courses in Indian Music at the Under Graduate and postgraduate levels thus promoting fine arts and Indian culture.
Madras University is the mother of almost all the old Universities of southern India. The University area of jurisdiction has been confined to, however, 3 districts of Tamilnadu in recent years. This is consequent to establishment of various universities in the State and demarcation of the University territories. This University has been growing from strength to strength while widening its teaching and research activities.
The University of Madras has developed an excellent Institute of Distance Education in the year 1981 to help learners to achieve their educational, career and personal goals. It has completed more than 25 years of service in the field of Distance Education.
In the past two years, University has been taking all possible steps to bring in Technology in the delivery of Education. Beginnings are in place for e-learning, Tele-Education and the like. An exclusive Tele-education - EDUSAT Centre is functioning at the institute.The University is also playing a leading role in the creation of networked Virtual University, the brainchild of His Excellency, the former President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.