LONDON 2008 INTERLOCUTORS MEETING INTERVIEWS
Evaluators Jenny Williams and Catherine Dunlop conducted interviews onsite at the London Interlocutors Meeting in July 2008. The interviews were audio-taped (with permission) and transcribed. The purpose of the interviews was to gather monitoring and evaluation data around VUSSC in each country2. A selection of illustrative quotes from the interviews is provided below.
I see this initiative as one of the best things that has happened in the area of tertiary education in the Commonwealth in a very, very long time. It is opening up opportunities for a lot of people to participate who have not participated before. What VUSSC is doing is very, very important for us in terms of delivering education to the whole Bahamas. So I think it’s a wonderful idea. I think it’s a wonderful concept. (The Bahamas)
I think up to now I think VUSSC has progressed extremely well. I think Paul has done a marvelous job in terms of pushing forward VUSSC. VUSSC should remain with COL but maybe have more management authority to the countries as well…. We don’t have the resources to start all these programs but coming together, and through VUSSC, we can move forward. (Swaziland)
I think VUSSC will help our people in the country access learning materials. As a country, we’ve got several needs in terms of training. And a university like mine offers what it has offered and continues in that conventional way. We need these other courses because people need variety. People will go that way, others will go that way, and as an institution the university cannot offer all these programs. So through VUSSC we can offer variety, we can offer relevant courses to our people, and people can learn and possibly improve themselves through VUSSC. (Swaziland)
VUSSC is doing a good job - we are networking more now. Since the intro of VUSSC I find small states really actively participate and even go back to their own countries, particularly their institutions, to implement and even teach the content that they would have done in the Bootcamps. So that is helping. I can make an example. We have had started Business and Entrepreneurship – we are supposed to develop material because we want to offer it as distance learning. Because of the VUSSC content developed in Mauritius we can adapt the material without improvement. It is not only that. The very same people who participated in the Bootcamps, they are highly involved within their institutions even outside the institutions in the country as a whole. So that is why I see VUSSC as very, very helpful. (Lesotho)
It was a good experience to have linked up with so many people all over the world. It
is a way to expand knowledge, to share knowledge… The idea of being linked to
2 Note: the interview sample captured most but not all participating VUSSC countries, due to scheduling availability and health of meeting attendees.
VUSSC M&E Update, September 2008, prepared by C. Dunlop, SFU