This paper presents a model for exploring the relationship between the structure and cultures of educational organisations and the curriculum. The model comprises two concepts of paradigm to (1) provide a model for analysis by polarising two types of organisation, 'open' and 'closed', and two types of education delivery, 'face-to-face' and 'distance education'; and (2) explore the organizational and (related) curriculum changes necessary to shift within the paradigm. The culture of traditional organisations of higher education is explored together with the knowledge codes that charaterise them. The thrust of the argument presented is that if traditional organisations of higher education 'go dual mode' and consider distance education only, without addressing the organisation and organising principles of openness in the organisaton and the curriculum, the political and economic benefits to be derived from innovative flexible higher education will not be maximised. It is argued that a shift in both directions is necessary. Elements of curriculum reform are presented which, if implemented, would facilitate a shift from a 'closed' organisation closer to the 'open' type.