DEAN/COL forum in Dunedin

This week i am in Dunedin attending the DEANZ/COL forum , along with Vince Ham, Stephem Powell and Helen Gilmore from Ultralab

There have been a number of really challenging speakers from various parts of the world, including Sir Shridath (“Sonny”) Ramphal, the form Secretary General for the Commonwealth who spoke compellingly about our need to keep the focus on our humanity and care for our environment as a place to live for future generations.
This morning we were addressed by Mrs Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, secretary of state for education in The Gambia, who provided an excellent overview of the challenges and developments among hte African states – in particular the emergence of the African Virtual University as a means of addressing the widening gap between demand for education and supply.

Here’s a shot of Vince, Stephen and I enjoying a chat at morning tea, in the background are the flags of the 50 or so countries represented at the conference.

4 thoughts on “DEAN/COL forum in Dunedin

  1. The good thing about a multinational conference is that it allows one to gain perspective. The issues that are pressing in one country may be of little concern to another. We can often feel a sense of how important our own issues are but given the chance to hear about progress and programmes elsewhere, the sense of perspective can change. ULS wants to be pivotal in the Asia/Pacific basin – it is only by listeninmg really closely to the issues of this region, engaging in the forums and then following the debates as though through their eyes, that we can truely be useful to other cultures and systems….. any comments???

  2. The thing that comes through more than anything at this conference is the importance of developing relationships FIRST, then allowing the collaborative opportunities ot emerge from these. The “x” factor of trust arising from the sharing of experiences and common interest etc is very important – without it we’re exposed to criticism of “cultural imperialism” and “hegemonic structures” etc. The good thing about this conference is the opportunity we’ve had to initiate and extend these relationships.

  3. I agree that we need to listen to a wide range of of ideas and try to read widely to understand not only the issues that face us but also our closest Asian neighbours and the world view. A concern that I have is the actual dissemination of this information to the front line troops (the chalk face) so that they can make informed decisions on the future. To be able to contribute to change you need to be part of the big picture. I wonder sometimes if the most critical thing for us at the moment is to raise the awareness factor across our education system to invoke and encourage change?

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