Set up Virtual University of Côte D'Ivoire (CI0007)
Action Plan: Côte d’Ivoire Action Plan 2016-2018
Action Plan Cycle: 2016
Lead Institution: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
Support Institution(s): Ministry of Digital Economy and Post through National Agency for Universal Service for Telecommunication (ANSUT); West African Economic and Monetary Union: WAEMU (ICT support projects to universities for the implementation of the "Licence Master Doctorate reform: (LMD)
Policy AreasEducation, Legislation & Regulation, Public Service Delivery, Science & Technology
Current Situation or problem/question to be addressed/having to be resolved: Rapid growth in university population and scarcity of university infrastructures having an impact on the quality of education; Main purpose: Improve access to quality higher education; Brief description of the commitment: -Creation of digital resource platforms -Creation of pedagogical resources -establish monitoring system ( tutoring social and technical); OGP challenges addressed by the commitment: Public service enhancement; Relevance: -Improvement of the quality of public services -Utilization of ICT; Ambition: -Promote open distance training programs (FOAD) -Provide students, teachers and administrative and technical staff with appropriate Internet and produced digital resources access;
IRM Midterm Status Summary
6. and 7. Improve the quality of education
Commitment 6: Interconnect five public (05) universities and two (02) Business Schools.
Commitment 7: Set up virtual university of Côte d’Ivoire
Verifiable and quantifiable stages to implement this commitment
6.1. Construction of a data center.
6.2. Interconnection of 3 universities (2 in Abidjan and in Bouake)
6.3. Interconnection of the 2 other universities and 1 Business School (Korhogo, Daloa, INPHB)
6.4. Users’ training in Korhogo, Daloa, INPHB
6.5. Interconnection of the African ICT Higher School
6.6. Strengthening of the local Intranet and Internet connectivity of public universities and business schools
7.1. Create the legal framework of Côte d’Ivoire Virtual University (UVCI) which is a national public body (EPN) by Decree n° 2015-775 du December 9, 2015
7.2. Establish the physical platform UVCI: acquisition and development office
7.3. Set up the digital platform: virtual library and educational resources
7.4 Establish the physical platform UVCI: arrange 4 recording studios (MOOC) and three labs (Fablab)
7.5. Organize the accompaniment of Man University: production of educational resources (in 2016 L1, L2 and L3 in 2017 in 2018)
Editorial Note: The commitments’ text has been abridged. For the full text, see the national action plan. Two of six milestones were completed before the implementation period for commitment 6. One commitment 7 milestone out of the five had also been completed. This assessment will concentrate on the four milestones left in each commitment, which took place during the implementation period. The IRM research also added two and three milestones to commitments 6 and 7, respectively, to reflect the brief description and aims in the national action plan. Commitment 6 added milestones include 6.7 (the establishment and equipping of several Datacenters to house services) and 6.8 (the equipping of lecture halls for distance learning). Milestone 7.6 establishes methods for support, e.g., educational tutoring, social and technical support. Milestone 7.7 promotes distance training programs, and 7.8 gives students, teachers, and administrative and technical staff adequate internet access and digital resources.
Responsible institution: Ministry for Digital Economy and Post- Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific research
Supporting institutions: National Agency for Universal Telecommunication Services (ANSUT)/ Directorate of Scientific Information and technology
Start date: January 2015
End date: June 2018
Context and Objectives
These commitments aim to facilitate students’ access to information by connecting schools and universities to the internet. Commitment 6 was undertaken for three main reasons, according to the representative from the Ministry of Communication, Digital Economy, and Post:1 (i) The state cannot build universities for the population quickly enough; (ii) teachers are not spread evenly throughout the territory, which leads to several billions being spent on transport expenses. Commitment 6 improves the quality of education by rendering teachers more available; and (iii) universities do not operate in the digital age. The government wants to progress on the digitalization of education materials.
Commitment 7 aims to create a Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI), a public university with a state-nominated governance. Established by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, UVCI aims to develop digital education. It has the status of a public administrative establishment. Its missions are to develop distance learning, to partner with establishments developing Open Distance Training, and to spread digital culture.
If the country wishes to become an emerging nation it must, according to the director of the UVCI,2 make higher education easily accessible and ensure that the infrastructure is suitable.3 The director also states that the government sees digitalization as an avenue for educational advancement. Thus, it considered decentralization programs, as well as the degree-master-doctorate system, which had been under deliberation since 2005 and was implemented in 2012. The government primarily aims to facilitate mobility through higher education. The UVCI was thus seen as the missing link in this move.
These commitments have a moderate impact because they not only improve the quality of higher education but also spread the availability of education. Civil society representatives4 considered the creation of the UVCI a good initiative, because it enabled Côte d’Ivoire students to study as long as they had a good internet connection. The problem of internet access counts as a limitation of this commitment, as only 22 percent of the population has internet access.5 The commitments—as written, as well as the milestones—also do not reflect OGP values, even though a well-educated population is necessary to attain its goals. Above all, the commitments are basic, positive measures for developing the education sector in Côte d’Ivoire. The measures have great specificity and are clearly defined. Thus, they enable the monitoring of their completion regarding the stated aims.
6.3. The interconnection of two universities and a business school (Korhogo, Daloa, Institut National Polytechnique): This milestone has had limited progress. However, according to a representative from the Ministry of Communication, Digital Economy, and Post,6 it has been completed. The ministry submitted a provisional written accord of the work that was dated 5 September 2015. The National Board for Technical Study and Development drafted the accord,which requires that work for interconnection be executed by Orange Côte d’Ivoire. But it is only a provisional order, not a reflection of completed work. This document was approved on 24 September 2014 and indicates that work will start on 11 October, lasting three months. It can therefore be assumed that the work was completed, but no evidence to this effect was submitted by the team representing the Ministry of Communication, Digital Economy, and Post. The IRM researcher requested such information during a meeting with these representatives. The researcher followed up that request with three emails on 7, 21, and 22 February 2018. The national action plan, however, notes this milestone’s date of completion as September 2016. However, according to the provisional accord, it had been carried out before the implementation of the national action plan.
6.4. The training of users at Korhogo, Daloa, and Institut National Polytechnique: This milestone has been noted as incomplete because of lack of proof. However, according to the representative of the Ministry of Communication, Digital Economy, and Post, it was completed. The ministry submitted no evidence of completion. The researcher requested such information during a meeting with the ministry and again via three emails on 7, 21, and 22 February 2018. Neither civil society (in its assessment) nor the IRM researcher found evidence of completion in their investigations.
6.5. Interconnection of the African ICT Business School: This milestone is noted as not completed due to lack of proof. However, according to the representative from the Ministry of Communication, Digital Economy, and Post,7 the commitment was completed. The ministry provided no evidence of completion. During an interview, the IRM researcher requested such information. It was not submitted then, nor after three email requests on 7, 21, and 22 February 2018. Civil society did not mention in its assessment report what level of completion this milestone had achieved. The IRM researcher did not find evidence of completion during the investigation.
6.6. Consolidation of the local intranet and connectivity in public universities and business schools: This milestone was completed according to the representative from the Ministry of Communication, Digital Economy, and Post. However, according to a civil society representative, the civil society platform gathered information from students who said that the connection on campus was insufficient and of bad quality. In the civil society platform’s report, it noted that a strike in February 2017 demanded a high-speed internet connection on campus to enable students to work better in the LMD system, which required a lot of research from the students.8
Also, according to the website for the Program for the Decentralization of the Universities (PDU), malfunctions in the network infrastructure were observed, as well as late payment to the internet provider. The late payment led to interruptions in the connection links in universities, notably those of Korhogo, Daloa, Bouake, and the Institut National Polytechnique of Yamoussoukro.9 The PDU is an Ivorian government initiative established in 2014 to speed up the development of investment in universities. Chantal Angoua mentioned that 'the beneficiary is responsible to procure internet for its users. An internet outage cannot be blamed on the Ministry of Communication, Digital Economy and Post.'10
6.7. The installation of several Datacenters to house services: This milestone is at a substantial level of implementation. It has been completed, according to a director in the Ministry of Communication, Digital Economy, and Post. The ministry submitted a provisional work order issued by the National Board of Technical Study and Development and dated 5 September 2015. It orders Orange Côte d’Ivoire to carry out work on the Yamoussoukro Datacenter. A provisional work order shared by
the government and approved on 24 September 2014 shows that work was completed in that center. However, the government provided no evidence for other centers. It provided another provisional work order dated 4 December 2015. This order was regarding teleconference rooms and was executed by the ACS/SI group. The group did the work from 11 October 2014 to 5 September 2015. This work was completed prior to the implementation period.
6.8. Equipment of lecture hall for distance learning: According to the adjunct director of the Ministry of Communication, Digital Economy, and Post, this milestone was completed. However, the last action will be the extension of the Wi-Fi network, which will be paid for by the university itself. This raises a problem for the university budget, because it has not allocated the necessary resources to cover this expense. However, the government submitted no evidence that the work was done. According to civil society representatives, students complain of a bad internet connection in the lecture halls. The civil society platform questioned whether the state had effectively financed the installation of fiber optics on the different campus.
7.2. Setting up a physical Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire platform: The purchase and development of the website: This stage has been completed. The Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI) does, in effect, have buildings. This is where meetings with the IRM researcher took place. The decree for the creation of the UVCI, dated 9 December 2015—along with the deed of purchase, dated 1 March 2017—was presented to the IRM researcher. The official UVCI opening ceremony took place on 16 November 2017.11 In attendance were the spokesperson for the government and the minister of communication, digital economy, and post, who represented the prime minister and the minister of budget and state portfolio.
7.3. Setting up the digital platform: A virtual library and educational resources: The Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI) digital platform is functional. Officials gave the URL addresses for all the UVCI platforms to the IRM researcher. The university also created a virtual library,12 educational resources for distance learning,13 a platform for scholars,14 a platform for professional certification,15 and a platform for UVCI-TV16 (on which webinars can be held).
7.4. Setting up a physical platform for the Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI): To install four lecture recording studios and three laboratories: This milestone has been implemented substantially. It was readjusted by the government, because it concerned a virtual university centered on the others. Students gain access through a special channel whose resources are available to UVCI. Three recording studios were installed, according to the director of the UVCI: one at headquarters, one at Institut National Polytechnique (INPHB), and one at Cocody University.
The opening of the educational recording studio at INPHB was held on 20 July 2017.17 Three more studios will be established in Bouaké and Daloa, and at the National Statistics Institute. As for the laboratories, they are more like computer rooms. According to the government, there is a multimedia room at UVCI and another that is nearly finished in the central library of Félix Houphouet Boigny University. These had been repositioned so that the laboratories were in the libraries. The government aims to install them in seven other universities. An article on the UVCI website, dated 24 September 2017, states that the general director proposes the construction of a large conference room on the third floor at headquarters, and another room that will serve the laboratories.18
7.5. Organize support for Man University: Production of educational resources (L1 in 2016, L2 in 2017, and L3 in 2018): This milestone has seen limited progress. According to the director of Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI),19 work is just beginning. The UVCI must first put distance learning training in place. Man benefits from digital rooms, but the university would like to ensure that educational resources in the virtual library are available to all. On the 20 February 2018, the director of UVCI went to Man to meet the students. The director intended to present the UVCI
educational model.20 The deadline for the completion of this milestone is June 2018. Thus, the government is within the timeframe.
7.6. Setting up support methods (e.g., educational, social and technical tutoring): This milestone has largely been completed. According to the general director of Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI),21 keys to UVCI success include the tutorial method, the coaching, and the mentoring. The virtual classes each include 25 students. For each class, there is a tutor, whose role is also one of mentoring. The tutor gives a weekly report on the educational monitoring activities for each student. This method shows how the students are improving academically. The government showed three tutors’ reports to the IRM researcher. Each class also has a student delegate, who in turn writes reports on their tutor. The government also showed three examples of delegate reports.
7.7. To promote the distance-learning training program (FOAD): This milestone has been completed. One of the Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI) missions involves supporting the implementation of the FOAD in other public universities. Thus, it organized three teacher training workshops in the Language Department of UFR and the Literature and Civilization Department at Félix Houphouet Boigny University in Cocody.22 Thirty teachers attended. At the end of these workshops, the dean of UFR noted that in 2018 UVCI wanted to assist instructors with the implementation of master in FOAD. The university gave the report on these workshops to the IRM researcher, who met the UVCI director’s team.
7.8. To endow the students, teachers, and administrative and technical staff with adequate internet access and digital resources: This milestone’s level of implementation is substantial. The students and teachers, as well as Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI) staff, benefit from adequate access to digital resources. Civil society recommended in its assessment report that UVCI plan to take charge of the costs regarding connection.
According to the Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire (UVCI) director, UVCI has 64,000 educational resources that can be available to other universities. The government is working on a strategy to spread the availability of these resources.
Furthermore, the director pointed out that the number of scientists in Côte d’Ivoire had increased by five points. Despite citizen skepticism about online courses and degrees, the success of UVCI is changing that view. The government anticipated this challenge and was trying to change the view of citizens. The director stated that he had conducted awareness programs at the Félix Houphouet Boigny University and that there had been a lot of coverage in the press and on television. UVCI representatives noted that their students were not affected by the often frequent strikes, or by the rainy season, which was not the case for physical universities. The director also said that the university encouraged business degrees and that it established an incubator as a result of a competition called Genie. The incubator aims to encourage the establishment of small businesses in the space of a year. It would also showcase the success of students who had not yet earned their degrees, but who were already running their own businesses. Several online blogs mentioned this competition.23
Finally, this educational model enables illiterate people to study, because the classes are offered via video. According to the civil society platform, UVCI is a good initiative. It allows students all over the country access to online classes.
As was shown in the civil society assessment report, these two commitments are difficult to classify under OGP values. The commitments themselves make no reference to any OGP value. It is therefore difficult to recommend their renewal in the next national action plan, despite the successes of the Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire in particular.
1 Ahmed Sako, Deputy Cabinet Director, Ministry of Communication, Digital Economy, and Post, interview by IRM researcher, 5 February 2018.
2 Professor Tiemoman Kone, Director General of the Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, interview by IRM researcher, 8 February 2018.
4 Civil society platform representative, interview by IRM researcher, 2018, followed by phone and email exchanges.
5 'Côte d’Ivoire Internet Users,' Internet Live Stats, 1 July 2016, http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/cote-d-ivoire/. 6 Ahmed Sako, Deputy Cabinet Director, Ministry of Communication, Digital Economy, and Post, interview by IRM researcher, 5 February 2018.
8 Claire Rainfroy, 'Côte d’Ivoire: Grève dans les Universités à l’Appel de la Fesci,' Jeune Afrique, 7 February 2017, http://www.jeuneafrique.com/401313/societe/cote-divoire-universites-greve-a-lappel-de-fesci/.
10 Chantal Angoua, Technical Advisor, Ministry of Industry and Mines, point of contact for the OGP process, comments on the progress report received by the IRM researcher 18 June 2018.
11 'Université Virtuelle de Côte d'Ivoire (UVCI): Mon Université Avec Moi Partout et à Tout Moment,' Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, 25 October 2016, https://http://www.uvci.edu.ci/index.php/fr/accordion-1/286-lancement-officiel-de-l-uvci-la-cote- d-ivoire-aux-portes-de-l-emergence.
12 'Bibliothèque Virtuelle de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique de Côte d’Ivoire,' Universite Virtuelle de Côte d’Ivoire, https://biblio.uvci.edu.ci/.
17 'Inauguration du Studio d’Enregistrement de Vidéo Pédagogique à l’Antenne UVCI,' Universite Virtuelle de Côte d’Ivoire, July 2017, https://http://www.uvci.edu.ci/index.php/fr/accordion-1/253-inauguration-du-studio-d-enregistrement-de-video-pedagogique-a-l- antenne-uvci.
18 Ange Martial, 'Remise des Clés de Bureaux au Siège de l’UVCI,' Universite Virtuelle de Côte d’Ivoire, 24 November 2017, http://www.uvci.edu.ci/index.php/fr/accordion-1/288-remise-des-cles-du-premier-niveau-du-siege-de-l-uvci.
19 Professor Tiemoman Kone, Director General of the Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, interview by IRM researcher, 8 February 2018.
20 'Rencontre DG UVCI-Personnel de l’U-Man et les Etudiants Résidents de Man,' Universite Virtuelle de Côte d’Ivoire, 20 February 2018, https://uvci.edu.ci/index.php/fr/accordion-1/306-rencontre-dg-uvci-perso... residents-de-man.
21 Professor Tiemoman Kone, Director General of the Virtual University of Côte d’Ivoire, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, interview by IRM researcher, 8 February 2018.
22 'Co-construction de Formation à Distance: l’UFR-LLC de l’UFHB et l’UVCI s’Engagent,' Universite Virtuelle de Côte d’Ivoire, https://http://www.uvci.edu.ci/index.php/fr/accordion-1/217-co-construction-de-formation-a-distance-l-ufr-llc- de-l-ufhb-et-l- uvci-s-engagent.
23 Tra Bi, 'L’UVCI lance les Génies de l’Education Numérique Ivoirienne (GENI),' tdlnumérique-blog.com, 23 August 2017, http://uvci-tdl-groupe.over-blog.com/2017/10/rencontre-entre-l-aee-et- le-groupes-tdl-uvci-groupe-a-l-universite-virtuels-de- cote-d-ivoire.html.
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CI0018, 2018, Capacity Building
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CI0019, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions
CI0020, 2018, Asset Disclosure
CI0021, 2018, Capacity Building
Local Anti-Corruption Measures
CI0022, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions
CI0023, 2018, Capacity Building
CI0024, 2018, Capacity Building
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CI0005, 2016, E-Government
Interconnect Public Five (05) Universities and Two (02) Business Schools.
CI0006, 2016, Capacity Building
Set up Virtual University of Côte D'Ivoire
CI0007, 2016, Education
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CI0010, 2016, Legislation & Regulation
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CI0014, 2016, Capacity Building
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