On Regional Networked Virtual UniversitiesThe Bavarian Virtual University and moreWalter F. Kugemann FIM-NewLearning, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg & MENON enabling eLearning EEIG
Bavaria is a particular region-as all European regions are particular: • 13 Mio inhabitants • Second economy in size in Germany • Own constitution, own national anthem • Centralistic inside (French heritage) with some inside-regionalists • Strong regional identity (identities ?) • Self confident government and administration (Mister Stoibers two third & four decades)
Bavaria is a particular region- what does that mean ? • Big enough/too small/too big ? • Rich enough – or not ? • Is ‘to be different’ a value in its own ? • Multi centricity, networks & tolerance as resources; centralistic dominance as a burden ? • Identity and branding ? • Need strong virtual universities a strong political will ?
10 critical success factors in building a virtual university • First clearly define the mission of the Virtual University. If it is part of an existing University, insure that the Virtual University fits and supports the institution’s over all mission (for example, does it support faculty renewal, an institution’s commitment to access? Revenue goals?) • Provide adequate capital to finance start-up and growth. • Define the institution’s competitive advantage (price, quality, identifying a niche program, client service, convenience?) • Identify the primary client groups and the complete programs that meet their needs. • Invest in top quality offerings by employing first-rate faculty, first-rate learning technologies and approaches and by continually monitoring quality.
10 critical success factors in building a virtual university • Use a learner (client) centred pedagogical model. • Develop sound marketing strategies for growth (international markets?; offerings of new programs?; developing a new client base?) • Create a common learning delivery approach through faculty training and institution-wide platforms. • Provide comprehensive administrative resources for students and instructors. • Implement centralized service standards to ensure responsiveness. Industry Canada: Online Post-Secondary Education: A Competitive Analysis
Weaknesses • PR and marketing still to be improved • organisation of exams • not yet sufficient volume of mutual recognition agreements • weak operational implementation • concertation & coordination with member-universities insufficient (but still better than competitors) • member universities administration not sufficient integrated • user awareness not sufficient • mimicrying traditional German university structures does not fit into needs of a VU • time to market too long for new offers and services
Opportunities • Over proportional growth if demand blocking factors are lowered: e.g. actual introduction of fees (due to implemented and known / branded institutionalisation) • Growing motivation to invest into own qualification (degrees) in times of risky labour markets • Growth based on increasing familiarity with ICT use • Total reengineered labour market support measures in Germany • Trend in industry to outsource training & competence development
Threats • demand develops still slow • decreasing public funding narrows span of services • exclusion from market by strong competitors (Scandinavia, UK, US, Canada, Australia, Asia? and German private) • too low motivation of suppliers to develop good eLearning provision • services and offers still too supply oriented
... and its weaknesses • Weak market pressure • Clash of cultures, lobbies, EU type of power management • Provincialism, counterproductive for branding • Non consistent policies, inner conflict management limits outside cooperation & competition potential • Network hostile organisation structure • Under critical mass of convinced actors, convincing by money is dangerous & not sustainable
... and its opportunities • Flexibility & speed • One step forward fighting German segregation in HE • Now explicit policy need for change • Training ground for HE grey elephants towards ‘cooperation in competition’ • Familiarity of actors, but ... • Maybe the only chance fighting a century of inertia in German HE
Lessons learnt 1998–2004, for Europe? • Let the fragile flower ‘demand orientation’ grow providing water, sun, protection and time: cut eagerly the weed ‘supply orientation’ • Highlight society aims and how a VU contributes • Go for ‘and’ models, not for ‘or’ (with ‘Herzblut’ for ‘regional’ components) • Spell ‘regional’ suitably and non doctrinaire(from sub-regions to language areas) • Use wisdom, impatient patience & sensible tolerance instead of top down & too many too big sharks • Network fullyhearted professionals, not power oriented institutions (because real professionals are reliable, aware of their limitations and their need to collaborate)
Thank you very muchfor your attentionSchee woas dasd aafbasd hobds email@example.com www.fim.uni-erlangen.de www.menon.org www.vhb.org