Press release

Vice President Faure attends 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers

June 24, 2015

Vice President Faure highlights the benefits of the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth in bringing innovative change to education development.

The Vice President, Mr.  Danny Faure attended the 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers, held in The Bahamas.

He delivered  a keynote address on the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth ( VUSSC), tracing the journey, evolution and future of this network of small countries which are working  together to develop free on -line content  for post-secondary, skills- related courses in subjects like tourism, entrepreneurship, disaster management, life skills, fisheries and the use of ICT. He pointed out that the development of the VUSSC courses was collaborative venture, coordinated  and managed by the Commonwealth Of Learning (COL).

The Vice President highlighted the role played by Seychelles, as a small island nation, in the conceptualisation and development of VUSSC and stated that our country was proud to have been one of the founding member states, and as a result our learners have benefitted in terms of capacity building, increased access to education and rich experiences in  networking and collaborating with other small states of the Commonwealth.

He  pointed out that what was the  vision of a determined group of  Education Ministers, has today, after 15 years become  a reality.

To date 32 small states are participating in the project which has  contributed in the education of some 53,000 learners across the Commonwealth.

The Ministers of Education were reminded that a lot has been  achieved through a mechanism called the Transnational Qualifications Framework to transfer credits for courses studied across states and to obtain recognised qualifications for VUSSC courses. This, he said , allows for mobility of learners as well as qualified personnel.

Looking ahead, the Ministers strongly recommended that VUSSC provides more courses to meet the growing aspirations of the future generation.

Seychelles was commended for being a leader on  the Blue Economy concept and the critical importance for small states to safeguard and sustainably develop their marine resources was underlined.

The Ministers called on COL through VUSSC to develop the content for courses on  Blue Economy and Climate Change, the latter  which they recognised  as one of the  biggest challenges facing small  and vulnerable island nations.