Vice-President Danny Faure has highlighted the role played by Seychelles, as a small island nation, in the conceptualisation and development of the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC).
Mr Faure was speaking in a keynote address at the 19th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers held in The Bahamas.
In his address on the VUSSC, Mr Faure traced 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 a collaborative venture, coordinated and managed by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL).
Highlighting the role played by Seychelles, as a small island nation, in the conceptualisation and development of the VUSSC, Mr Faure 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 taking part 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 the Blue economy and climate change, the latter which they recognised as one of the biggest challenges facing small and vulnerable island nations.