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people all over the world and being able to share experiences is phenomenal. In that way it was very helpful. (Antigua & Barbuda)

  • The concept of developing a virtual university for the benefit of small island states is very crucial to Tuvalu. Particularly because it is quite costly for us to go to other universities out of Tuvalu. Our Minister of Finance is very cautious dealing with students sent overseas in terms of budgetary allocations. (Tuvalu)

  • The materials will be really good resources available out there. The institutions who do not have the appropriate people with the skills or expertise to develop the materials they can just use the materials. That is one good thing about VUSSC. (Vanuatu)

  • What has been happening is since about a few years ago there has been a new interest in expanding tertiary education in Mauritius. So VUSSC is fitting nicely. We are trying to see that as a complement to existing face-to-face education in Mauritius. So, one, we see it as a distance education structure which is worth exploring in Mauritius which as a small island state the provision of distance education is limited and expensive. So it is a first step into distance education which will certainly help us to grow in terms of capacity building. (Mauritius)

  • We see VUSSC first of all as a learning experience. Second, we see it as a contributing experience. For example, my colleague here is from an institution, which is a provider of post-secondary education. For them it is an institutional lesson for them to see how to work out a distance education strategy. (Mauritius)

  • VUSSC has been good for us enhancing that global perspective idea, which doesn’t come easy with isolated states, you know, you’re really looking at yourself most of the time and how you’re going to survive within. And yet, there’s that big world out there but now, it’s opened and we’re actually saying “Oh yeah, right there in Africa, over there in the Caribbean…” and you know people there. And the interesting thing is when we know people, it makes all the difference. Once you have that good relationship and knowing each other, then you can move to the professional. And the professional becomes so much easier. You’re able to help each other more and contribute and share, and that contribution and sharing has been good for VUSSC too. (Samoa)

  • Another big deal of VUSSC is the leadership. Leadership, again, it has been a really great by-product of the VUSSC … And when the Bootcamp participants went, they came back and had much more confidence, were able to assert themselves more as leaders, and asking people to do this, do that, and hey, this is all for the good – this is not about me being a big boss, it’s about leadership, leadership encompassing everyone, enabling the collaboration rather than just top-down kind of strategy saying “Do it”. You know, it’s not about just having choices, it’s about taking choices and making something of it that betters you as well as your institution, community, and so on. So I think for me personally, that’s been a great add-on to our own staff. And not only the team leaders, but also, the other people that were part of the

VUSSC M&E Update, September 2008, prepared by C. Dunlop, SFU

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