The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Frances Mensah

Is NAMCOL Cost Efficient?

Frances Mensah

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     Last modified: October 17, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/01/2006 11:45 AM in NT Trelawny
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NAMCOL is a State supported educational institution established by an Act of Parliament, Act 1 1997. The context within which NAMCOL was created framed the subsidy agreement from Government. Today, just less than 10 years later, when I reflect on the NAMCOL experience I was confronted with the question: “Is NAMCOL more cost-efficient than its conventional counterparts?”

Snowden and Daniel, following their Athabashca experience stated: ”The cost structures of Distance Education and Traditional Education are so different that those setting up Distance Systems experience difficulty in describing the operations and economics of their institutions to officials in government and funding agencies” (Snowden and Daniel, 1980). I fully concur with this statement and I would like to state that this situation is exacerbated by the fact that those working in distance education are not always in a position to describe the economics of distance education due to their own inexperience and lack of knowledge in this field.

Inspired by this and by the challenges that NAMCOL and other distance education institutions in the Region face in improving efficiency, to explain our relative cost, as well as defending our budgets to our officials in government, I decided to embark on this study.

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