In many countries, open and distance education is perceived as a way to meet the growing need for higher education. This paper explores the development of online and distance education in three countries that are still a white spot on the landscape of international distance education research although they have implemented elaborated distance education systems: Turkey, Russia and Saudi-Arabia. In order to understand the current state of distance education systems in the three countries, their respective systems are described from a historical perspective, compared in regard to their organization, important institutions for open and distance education and current developments. This comparative analysis directs the focus on little investigated education systems and contributes to an enhanced understanding of their past, present, and future.
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