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Virtual Universities and e-Universities


Analysis (including competitor research) of virtual universities is one of the core competences of Matic Media Ltd. This includes comparisons of virtual universities in more or less formal ways, up to full comparative benchmarking. The company track record – with presentations and publications – goes back to 1996 when Matic Media Ltd was founded.


Recent topical issues have been these of critical success factors and sustainability, subjects of concern to a variety of agencies as diverse as the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the European Commission, and UNESCO. After a long period of gestation, a distillation of Paul’s views appeared in his 2005 paper for ODLAA, listed below. This work linked in 2006 with the parallel strand of work on benchmarking to lead into the work for Swiss Virtual Campus on “benchmarking national e-learning programmes”, also listed below.


Publications and reports







The topic of virtual universities started at about the same time as Matic Media Ltd. It was in June 1996 that Robin Mason (now Professor Robin Mason) and Paul Bacsich arranged, at very short notice, a session on the topic at the Ed-Media/Ed-Telecom confeference in Boston. This was followed by a workshop on Virtual Universities at Online Educa at Berlin in November 2006 and the topic featured largely in the Sheffield conference “Flexible Learning on the Information SuperHighway” (FLISH) in May 1997. Shortly after it became a business interest for Matic Media Ltd as well as a research interest. A series of reports for EU, UNESCO, HEFCE and others were done, some via Matic Media Ltd, some via university routes.


Lists of e-Universities


There is relatively up to date (as of Summer 2004) list of e-universities in the e-University Compendium Gazetteer [DOC and PDF]. This was done in bidirectional consultation with UNESCO IIEP, who have a similar list. However, note that the Gazetteer contains several other categories of material.


Other interesting reading

This is in alphabetical order of author surname: