Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth: Pre-PCF9 Interlocutors’ Meeting
The turn of the century witnessed the dot.com boom. Ministers of education were worried about the rise of online universities and how this could negatively impact small states, which stood at a disadvantage compared to larger countries. The ministers from the small states were determined that their countries should engage with the online world and increase access to tertiary education in their countries but doubted that they had the critical mass, of either expertise or equipment, to engage with online learning on their own. They were concerned that their countries were on the wrong side of the digital divide, had inadequate access to tertiary education which resulted in brain drain and lacked the capacity to benefit from the developments in technology. The idea for VUSSC was proposed by Ministers of Education at the 14CCEM.The proposal for VUSSC was accepted by Ministers at the 15CCEM in Edinburgh and COL was assigned the responsibility of implementing this initiative. COL was instrumental in the development of the VUSSC proposal right from the start.