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Global Virtual Medical Education Study


February 2000 - May 2000


In 2000, ACA was contracted by Starlab Research Laboratories, a private Brussels based e-company, to conduct an e-learning market study in the context of the creation of a global virtual medical school.

The purpose of the study was to provide an investigation into market and recommendations about possible penetration. The company intends to offer world-wide access to medical education over the internet free of charge. The first two to four years of medical school will be offered online, and the very best students internationally will have the opportunity to attend one of the member universities to join a normal degree programme. The company will not provide certification. Member universities would be responsible for providing courses to the programme that represented their field of excellence. In exchange, they will receive a direct line to the best students in the world and raise their academic profile online. In collaboration with the WHO Geneva, the company also plans to offer a free "bush degree" certified by the WHO for those living in outlying and developing countries without normal recourse to medical education.

The market analysis covered the following countries: Australia, Canada, China, Europe (France, Germany, UK), India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Ukraine, Mongolia, Taiwan, USA. During the study, different aspects were mapped:

Country information including average English literacy, average educational level, internet usage, connectivity (reach), and growth rate of inline usage; Existing medical university structures including admission policies, average size of student capture region-wide, average costing, average drop-out rates, curriculum overview, identification of two to three top universities in the region; Existing competition in the field/region, and identification of existing online post-graduate educational programmes. Enrolment figures for comparable programmes; Cultural and legal challenges to accepting students for participation. Cultural and legal challenges to accepting universities for participation.