Example of the partnership model used by An Cosán Virtual Community College.
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Community partners support learner-centred online education

EAEA GRUNDTVIG AWARD 2018. An Cosán Virtual Community College wanted to expand its social impact and thus started to cooperate with community service providers. Liz Waters talks about the project.

What was the main purpose of this project?

“An Cosán Virtual Community College (VCC) empowers people to learn using the latest virtual, online and mobile technologies. Because we were originally a very single organisation in a disadvantaged area in the west town in Ireland, we decided to expand our social impact. We did that by establishing virtual blended online college so that we can bring higher education to disadvantaged people all around ireland.”

How did the project foster cooperations and partnerships?

“We didn’y want to go about it alone so we developed a partnership model. We organised a partnership with 150 community organisations offering adult education around Ireland. The advantages of the partnership were that the community organisations know their learners, they can approach learners locally, provide facilities, computers etc. They can support the development of a learning community in different centres across Ireland. That allows us to bring adult education to small groups of learners.

We encourage to take the risk of collaborating instead of competing with other organisations.

We also recognise this project as a model on how a good practice locally can be brough to national level. We used to work in a highly competitive field, all of us fighting for the same money. Now instead of competing we are more and more collaborating.”

What was the best practice learnt from this project that you want to share?

“We encourage to take the risk of collaborating instead of competing with other organisations. In our project we have seen that the collaboration can really add value to the work.”

An Cosán, Virtual Community College (VCC)

Category: National projects
Coordinator: An Cosán Virtual Community College (VCC)
Country: Ireland
Focus: Social inclusion
Innovative cooperation: Cooperation with community service and support providers
Resources: Website

Text: EAEAPhotos: An Cosán

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