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There is one thing that is worrying me about VUSSC: the rate at which we are developing new programs. We have to find ways of expediting program development. Institutions should come with programs that they have in place such that Basecamp could be then be used to contextualize programs that exist towards meeting whatever criteria we decide because it would be part of TQF. We need a wide variety of programs because then fledging institutions will have the opportunity to go in there and work on programs. This could open up opportunities for cross border education provision among the small states. There are so many benefits and the benefits outweigh the costs by far. If we each one of us could commit to donating more courses, we would have a wide variety of programs. The Management Committee should form a sub-committee that deals with program development. I am not in any way undermining the progress we have achieved so far. (Botswana)

We have talked about VUSSC management. I am not 100% convinced that this will ensure the sustainability of VUSSC. COL has to do something to make sure what we started doesn’t dissolve. The management of VUSSC is a good idea but we need something even more proactive. Different strategies at a higher level will also be needed. Paul has been doing a wonderful job in getting this happening and working. We know that soon there will be turnover and that could change everything. Paul has been really instrumental in getting VUSSC going. (Seychelles)

Before we came to this session, we met with Bootcampers and some of the issues that were being raised concerned how do they manage their workloads within their existing jobs, and also do more work for the open-content sort of environment. And that’s something that we have to address doing VUSSC because these people still have to do their work plans and their work activities, and still see how they can build communities of practice and develop online content. So those are some of the challenges that we do face in Trinidad & Tobago, especially small states in particular, as we go forward. (Trinidad & Tobago)

There is, through VUSSC though, a sort of a nagging question about ownership because VUSSC promotes the open source type of thing. You know, whatever you ve created becomes everybody else’s property to use – at least to use, maybe not to duplicate and maybe not whatever, but they can have it. And the question that keeps on returning is “what does that mean for me since I worked so hard on it?” (Belize)

I would like to suggest that COL does not ever allow it’s new role - with the management team and COL being sort of facilitator - that they would never allow their new role to keep them in any way less visible. Not just associated – I want to say visible - because I think that it is one of the few opportunities when we have seen people from developed countries working in tandem with people from developing countries and underdeveloped countries. It is one of the few times when all of these people are common. And so if COL does not keep that focus, see because, we could lose that totally. (Belize)

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


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