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ICCBS > H.E.J. Research Institute of ChemistrySectionsLEJ National Science Information Center > THEN & VEPP
THEN & VEPP
L.E.J. National Science Information Center

THEN & VEPP

The Higher Education Network and Virtual Education Project Pakistan:

A model for educational change for the developing world

 

Motivation behind VEPP

The Virtual Education Project Pakistan is an effort to bring scholars around the world into a forum from which they can enhance the quality of teaching and learning environments of the developing world.

 

The higher education sectors of the developing world are deeply in need of highly trained scholars to deliver a basic undergraduate curriculum but cannot afford to replace local faculty with western- trained academics.

 

Basic Concept of VEPP

The Virtual Education Project Pakistan is conceptualized by academics in Pakistan and is built on the premise that academics around the world and from a variety of disciplines (Natural Sciences, Life Sciences, Engineering Sciences and Social Sciences) would  deliver courses/lectures to students in the developing world through video conferencing technology.

 

The technology now exists to broadcast those lectures into the classrooms of participant institutions across Pakistan owing to major investment in the higher education sector of Pakistan over the last eight years. With careful planning and coordination, curricular support could be solicited, organized and offered to university campuses, all through video conferencing technology.

Further information about The Virtual Education Project Pakistan can be found at http://www.vepp.edu.pk/

 

How Scholars are approached to join VEPP

The Virtual Education Project Pakistan a platform on which a global network of scholars with an interest in the developing world can come together. These scholars are approached both directly by the programme directors and indirectly through academic organizations such as the New York Academy of Sciences.

 

How Technology is Used to Deliver Course/ Lectures

The model on which the VEPP project runs is based on existing university infrastructure and technology. Unlike other Distance Learning models, the VEPP project supplements but does not replace traditional learning environment.

Basic investment in the Video Conferencing Technology which this project relies on has already been made by the Higher Education Commission over the last 6 years. Through HEC trained staff, universities maintain network uplinks to a central server through which courses are broadcast in real-time.

Enrolled students are expected to attend VEPP courses, engage with the lecturer, and complete all assignments set by the instructor.

 

Quick overview about VEPP from January to June 2012

S. No.

Activities

Total Count

1

Number of Courses delivered

09

2

Number of Students attended these courses

100

3

Number of Universities participated in these courses

10

4

Total number of lectures delivered

180

 

Note: Additional lectures (not part of courses) are also available at http://streaming.hec.gov.pk See Appendix B for list of on-line courses delivered under VEPP from January-June 2012.

 

Progress to Date

Degree-Level Courses

The project use video conferencing technology to enhance the curriculum of Pakistani universities commenced three years ago. Since then, over 1000 separate lectures have been delivered.

Since January 2011, the first video-conferencing based comprehensive courses meeting the course requirements of students have been launched. These courses, offered by eminent scientists from around the world, include 2- and 3- credit hour courses in Mass Spectrometry, Bioinformatics, Computer Sciences and Nanotechnology as well as undergraduate courses in Biology  and Chemistry.

Students enrolled in these courses through partner institutions are registered with the VEPP office, they complete assessments which are marked through the VEPP programme and are given course grades which are communicated to their home institutions. The home institutions include VEPP course credit and course grades on their respective students’ transcripts.

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