The most important thing about a university, or any organisation for that matter, is its foundation — the set of shared values that bring its participants together. While all universities have it as a goal for their students to learn, New World University holds broad values concerning who it serves, how it serves them, and why.
The mission of New World University is to provide quality, affordable higher education to individuals in economically developing countries by building a vibrant international academic community through which researchers, educators, and students can interact.
The vision of New World University is of an international community making higher education accessible to all those who can benefit from it.
Our Community’s Values
- Developing countries need not look to wealthy countries for intellectual leadership. New World University is based in the Commonwealth of Dominica in the West Indies. This location in a small middle-income country rather than a larger, wealthier nation is purposeful. For too long those in both the global South and the global North have looked solely to the North as the source of intellectual leadership. This is untenable in a changing world in which such developing countries as Nigeria, India, Malaysia, and China are emerging as important engines of world economic growth. If globalisation means that these countries are to play a larger economic role in the world, it must also mean that they will play a larger role in other spheres, such as world culture and cross-border higher education. New World University is therefore deliberately established as a means of South-South cooperation.
- What works for some may not work for all. The New World University model of guided independent study differs from the distance learning approach offered by many universities, particularly those in North America who have lost the will to innovate when it comes to distance learning in higher education. The means by which New World University offers distance learning has been designed from the start to take the specific contexts of individuals in and from economically developing countries into account.
- Networks of entrepreneurs are more effective for development than centralised bureaucracies. We expand choice for students by empowering education entrepreneurs to build learning centres — their own businesses that supply tutorial services to our students. This also allows those educators who know their specific context best to customise instruction for students while making a fair living in the process.
- Sharing is better for education than hoarding. The purpose of education is to transmit knowledge. The permission culture imposed on the world by wealthy countries by the Berne Convention is a means, however unintended, to keep knowledge walled away from those who most need it. New World University will instead participate in free culture, by making use of open educational resources and contributing back to that community, and by releasing all research it sponsors as open access. Indeed, our community started as the Free Curricula Centre, developing and promoting OER textbooks.