Desmond Keegan received his BA (Hons) from University College
Dublin in Classical European Civilization. He received his MA from University College Dublin in Medieval European Civilization, studying under the late Professor Dr Ludwig Bieler. He received a
Post-Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Adelaide. His PhD thesis on The Theory and Practice of Distance Education was published by Croom Helm as Foundations of distance education in 1986. The second edition was published by
Routledge in 1990 and the third edition followed in 1996. It was translated into Italian as Principi di Istruzione a Distanza (La Nuova Italia, Firenze) in 1994, into Chinese as Yuan Juli Jiao Yu Jichu (Central
China TV University, Beijing) and chosen as a set text for the Open University of the United Kingdom's MA in Open and Distance Education in 1997.
In 1979 he inaugurated the international journal Distance Education, now in its 18th year with 36 issues of about 150 pp each. In 1982 he developed the first Master's
degree programme in distance education for the University of South Australia and has subsequently developed courses in distance education for the TÚlÚuniversitÚ of
Quebec, the University of Cosenza, the University of Armidale at Northern Rivers and the University of Surrey. In 1993 he inaugurated the Routledges Studies in Distance
Education Series: with 11 volumes to date of about 300 pp each.
He was a major contributor to The distance teaching universities (1982), joint editor of Distance education: international perspectives (1983), joint editor of L'universitÓ
a distanza. Riflessioni e proposte per un nuovo modello di universitÓ (1984), editor of Theoretical principles of distance education. (1993), joint editor of Distance education: new perspectives (1993), editor of The industrialization of teaching and
learning (1994). In 1997 the European Commission in Brussels published his Distance training in the European Union.
He was administrator of the 1992 Euroform project TRIA (Fernuniversitńt), administrator of the 1993 Euroform project The European Virtual Classroom for
Vocational Training (University College Dublin), project leader for the 1995 Leonardo project Voctade (Fernuniversitńt and University of Rome III), administrator of the
1996 Leonardo project Multimedia WWW Kernel (Ericsson, NKI Norway, University of Rome III) and project leader of the 1997 Leonardo project Courses on the Internet
(The Open University of the United Kingdom, Tecminho, Guimaraes, NKI Norway).
He was visiting professor of Distance Education at the Fernuniversitńt in Germany in 1981 and 1993.
He was made Professor of Distance Education by the Hebei TV University, Shijiazhuang, China in 1996.