Transcript Slide 1

The Virtual Community College
Lord David Puttnam
An Cosán’s Virtual
Community College
Our Vision:
A nation free from all
forms of educational
inequality, where men and
women achieve their
personal educational
potential, a community
where poverty and
unemployment has no
Some Disturbing Facts
• The global issue facing the world is youth
unemployment. According to the International Labour
Organisation young people are three times more likely
to be unemployed than adults and almost 73 million
youth worldwide are looking for work.
• In Ireland, unemployment among those between the
ages of 17 and 25 rose more rapidly than across
Europe, from approximately 9% in 2007, to 28% in
September 2013 (This accounts for approximately
60,000 young people, our target group.)
• Each year 4,500 young people fall out of school before
they reach ‘Junior Cert’. That’s 45,000 over a 10 year
period. They are our target group.
Is Educational Inequality
Finally Being Recognised?
Social class of school a key factor
in third level attendance
Creating ‘high expectations’ in working
class schools key to boosting equality –
ESRI Report’ (Irish Times: 12 August, 2014)
Some 99% of Dublin 6 students go on
to third-level
‘Education Authority finds level of college
entrants down to 15% in other parts of Dublin’
(Irish Times: 17 July, 2014)
HEA Report highlights disparity in
progress to third-level education
between affluent and poorer areas
RTÉ: 20 August, 2014
These facts are well known
and documented for the past
20 years… but nothing changes
The Issue To Redress:
Educational disadvantage in communities
that struggle with poverty
The Root Cause; Structural
Educational Inequality
The Results: A Negative
Impact on People’s Lives
Achievement is not expected by
teachers, students or their
“They always said I was no good,
that I was like the rest of my
33% children in poor areas leave
primary school with literacy
“There’s no way I could ever go
back to education, I screwed it
all up”
Ineffective early education: 51%
of children in Tallaght West are
reared by young single parents
“There’s no good jobs for the
likes of me”
How bad can it get!
Only 1% of people in Moyross
have a degree
underachievement is consistent
with poverty
“So what, that’s us, who cares?”
“There’s nothing can be done, it
will never change”
“Who would want to live in
The ‘One Generation’ Solution..
Education is now global, digital and accessible to communities and individuals
wherever they are. E-learning, virtual learning could be a significant tool to combat
poverty, a tool nobody is using for this purpose.
An Cosán’s Virtual Community College
Offer An Cosán’s higher education courses to young
and older adults all over Ireland through virtual
blended teaching and learning supported by the
personalised scaffolding for each student that CE
centres can provide.
A young woman, a lone parent, educated to third
level will earn 40% more than a woman without
a degree and with her children exit poverty
Partners at the Heart of
Community Education
building Capacity
increasing student access
An Cosán
The Virtual
demolishing the digital Divide
sharing resources
The Model
“using 21st century teaching
and learning technologies,
community education can
fast tracks individuals and
communities out of poverty
all over Ireland ”
Strategic Objectives
To implement the scalable virtual learning framework we have developed
To removes cost, time and place barriers experienced by people struggling with
Make all our/your programmes, starting with our higher education courses available
to anyone, anywhere in disadvantaged communities through a virtual blended
learning process.
Enable an m-Learning ecosystem in the VCC: Making our resources accessible on
mobile and tablet devices; making education couch-able!
Create and upskill a network of community educators nationwide
To engage a range of skilled volunteers to support and implement our strategy
To have corporate partners to support this social enterprise. In particular to support
our ambition to scale rapidly and successfully build a sustainable economic
business model
Potential Future Impact over 5 years
Higher education becomes an
achievable goal and families
expectations of educational
achievement growing
400+ graduates
accessing employment
450 students completed
1000 + students
accessing higher
education annually
The cycle of intergenerational
educational disadvantage and
poverty begins to disappear
Over 2,708 students
access and enjoy
Thousands more students
can access education every
The digital divide is
disappearing for
The Virtual
An Cosán is currently seeking to develop collaborative
partnerships with community and education
organisations to implement the next stage of the
The objective of the partnership is to share knowledge
and experience, to establish community hubs, deliver
programmes through a virtual learning environment and
to create, with community educators, a community of
teaching and learning for a digital age
Why not join us on the journey?
If you are interested take a brochure
And contact Helen
Thank you for your interest and time.