Edexcel - HND Business and Computing Applications - an e-learning solution
Every year, more than 2 million people study for Edexcel qualifications, which are recognised and respected by employers and higher education institutions around the world. Edexcel was formed in 1996 to offer both academic and vocational qualifications, by the merger of the Business & Technology Education Council (BTEC), the country's leading provider of vocational qualifications, and the University of London Examinations & Assessment Council (ULEAC), one of the major exam boards for GCSEs and A levels.
Edexcel is a leading examiner of professional qualifications in developing countries, often working closely with the British Council. Though best known as an examining body, Edexcel in this instance has commissioned from MMC a qualification which they will be responsible for delivering as well as examining.
This product delivers a high quality consistent and comprehensive undergraduate program for young people in developing countries.
The British government through the British Council is co-operating with the World Bank to construct a series of 200 knowledge and learning centres world-wide. The objective is to provide young people in developing nations a world-class education at prices the country can afford.
Developing countries cannot afford the time or the money to build the necessary number of universities in order to educate more than a tiny proportion of their youth, nor do they have the requisite number of skilled lecturers. Only a few children of richer families are able to study in the West.
The only realistic alternative is to make the best use of technology.
Edexcel's new HND in Business and Computing Applications was launched by UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, in New Delhi in 2002. MMC - whose directors boast over 50 years between them as marketing trainers - developed the Business (formerly entitled e-Commerce) module of this programme.
The first stage is the Foundation Certificate where students cover 16 modules over 4 semester. They learn both online and offline.
Offline education is conducted in the British Council Knowledge and Learning Centre in New Delhi where the students are taught by a dedicated tutor. The online environment has been created by MMC using IBM's Lotus Learning Space to foster an electronic community.
Ten people went through the pilot course, and a second cohort of 20 is now being trained; the centre has a capacity of 50 simultaneous learners. Assessment of the foundation level comprised of two assignments, a learning log and an online examination. The online examination was the first of its kind in Edexcel's history and immediately impressed Edexcel managers with the high marks achieved.
Having established the course at the British Council Knowledge and Learning Centre in New Delhi, Edexcel will extend it next to Damascus, as part of Syria's plans to develop a virtual university, and to Accra in Ghana and Nairobi in Kenya. From MMC's point of view it matters not where the students are, since support and service are all provided online; MMC has a team of trainers and web designers ideally qualified to develop courses for students sitting at PCs thousands of miles away and with minimal local support.
The benefits to students and providers alike can be measured in