PCF5:Governance – VUSSC

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Title of session

'The Virtual University of the Small States of the Commonwealth What it is for? How is doing? Where is it going?'

Session details

  • Date: 16th July, 2008
  • Time:11.00 am.
  • Room: Logan Hall

Session papers

  • 1.What is VUSSC and what it is for? by Mrs. Tu’ifua Takapautolo Deputy Director of Eduction for the Post Secondary Division

Ministry of Education Tonga Institute of Higher Education.Tonga

  • 2. What VUSSC has been doing? Collaborative course materials development and training on WikiEducator/Instructional Design Template (Boot Camps)by Mr. John Lasperance Director for Further Education Development Ministry of Education.Seychelles.

  • Translational Qualifications Framework: for the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth by Mr. Ricaud Auckbur

Director Post Secondary and Tertiary Section Ministry of Education & Human Resources.Mauritius.

  • Open Education Resources and copy right by Ms.Maud Hyde.Chief Education Officer,Ministry of Education.Belzie.
  • Management of VUSSC by Dr. Mamolete Delina Mohapi Deputy Director Institute of Extra-Mural Studies National University of Lesotho.Lesotho.
  • Sustainability of VUSSC by Dr. Alson Jack Dean, Division of Teacher Education.St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College

St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

  • Where it is heading for: a future perspective by Dr. Emma Kruse Vaai Deputy Vice Chancellor Institute of Technology National University of Samoa.Samoa.

Key Issues that arose in the session

  • 1. Platform/Software used for the course materials development

Suitability of the WikiEducator as an open platform for collaborative course development by the boot camp participants, between individuals and institutions of VUSSC member States was reconfirmed. Need for training on WkiEducator was emphasised for increasing course materials development and thus access to education.

  • 2. Name of the VUSSC

Question arose about the logic of calling VUSSC as a University. The VUSSC is not a traditional University, nor it a degree granting institutions but a consortium of the Small States of the Commonwealth and their institutions for capacity building in developing and delivering courses for increasing access t education. The University in case of VUSSC symbolises the unity of diversity. The VUSSC facilitates small states and their institutions which have diverse cultural and social values, different political institutions, education systems to share expertise and recourses for developing capacity to increasing access to education.

  • 3. Collaboration between VUSSC and other Regional Organisation such as Caribbean Knowledge Learning Network (CKLN).

The question arose about the relationship of VUSSC with regional organisations for education development and if VUSSC will sign MOU with CKLN. The VUSSC activities should be seen as complementary to the regional and national initiatives. The VUSSC will work collaboratively with national and regional organisations for ODL capacity building within VUSSC member states for increasing access to education, with the advocacy of open learning materials as a key aspect of the VUSSC.

  • 4. Business strategy of VUSSC for working involving private sector role players

Queried about the business strategy of the VUSSC to involve private sector in developing capacity for ODL and eLearning.

The VUSSC institutions of small states consult with the private sector role players in selecting courses for human recourses development. Such consultation will continue leading to the active collaboration between private sector actors and VUSSC institutions for ODL and eLearning capacity building for increasing access to education.

  • 5. Opportunity for other Commonwealth Nations to join VUSSC

The VUSSC will continue to focus on the collaborative efforts for capacity building within the small states. However, the organisations and institutions of the Commonwealth are welcome to share their expertise and resources with institutions of small states for mutual benefit. The VUSSC in the long run will facilitate such sharing of resources with other Commonwealth States.

  • 6. VUSSC role in increasing access to education in Africa

Question arose how VUSSC will contribute to the increasing access to education in Africa. The VUSSC is an initiative of the Education Ministers of the Commonwealth to assist small states of the Commonwealth to for capacity building in ODL and eLearning for increasing access to education. Thus the VUSSC will concentrate on capacity building for stall states . The COL will work with the Government and institutions of the African States for capacity building through adding values to their efforts for increasing access to education. However, the VUSSC and its member states will collaborate with their counterparts in Africa for mutual benefit to increasing access to education.

SESSION CHAR: Professor Abdul Mannan Executive Director UPNG Open College University of Papua New Guinea

SESSION FACILITATOR: Mr. Charles McSweeney Chair Information Technology Department University of Belize