Using the Internet to enable developing country universities to meet the challenges of globalization through collaborative virtual programmes

Derek Keats, Maria Beebe, Gunnar Kullenberg


Globalization represents a significant threat as well as a substantial opportunity to the economies and educational systems of Africa and other areas of the developing world. This paper shows that, if used wisely, information technology has the power to help create powerful and synergistic educational partnerships at local, regional and global scale. Such new and large-scale partnerships, only possible because of the existence of the Internet, have the potential to allow educational institutions to respond positively to globalization and help promote development if enough partnerships can be created and sustained. This paper explores two emerging educational partnerships, NetTel@Africa and the International Ocean Institute Virtual University (IOIVU), in terms of the lessons for how technology can be used to respond to the challenges and opportunities of globalization, and to allow institutions in developing countries to achieve results that could not be achieved by either institution acting alone. Although they are responses to different circumstances, and operate at different scales, NetTel@Africa and the IOIVU have many common elements. These partnerships serve as examples of how the Internet can unite widely the scattered expertise in most areas of human endeavor that exist in Africa and other areas of the developing world to create virtual concentrations, or "centres of excellence" that do not have a single physical base.

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