The Avicenna Virtual Campus Network (AVCN) is an international non-governmental organization (NGO). AVCN helps universities (public and private), training institutions, national or regional economic communities, as well as institutional partners and governments, on the Capacity building of teachers. The network improves the quality of education and training through the use of the Information and Communication Technologies for Education (ICTE). The NGO AVCN is a continuity of the EU-FUNDED project Avicenna Virtual Campus Network for universities in the Mediterranean region, launched in November 2002 by UNESCO and the European Commission, in the framework of the EUMEDIS program.
This Virtual Campus has become an international model (or norm) in a blended learning and e-learning methodology for teachers and students training. It was given the Latin name of the medieval Persian philosopher and scientist of the 10th-century Ibn Sina (Avicenna). The Avicenna Virtual Campus uses information and communication technologies for Education (ICTE) to train teachers how to produce content quality educational and share skills, resources and research results among universities.
Initially, the network started with partners Mediterranean universities in Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Spain, France, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestinian, United Kingdom, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.
Since 2008, the Avicenna network has been developed in Iraq, in Africa (Benin, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo, Cape Verde and Gabon) and in Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan). National network extensions were made in several partner countries. This campus has also become a model for the production of quality pedagogic contents.
The European Commission has declared the Avicenna Virtual Campus as a ‘sustainable model’. This is because the Avicenna model differs from other virtual campuses, in the fact that each university is autonomous in creating its own online course material. In addition, everyone is entitled to share the knowledge bank of an open virtual library constituted by the partners of the network. Within this virtual knowledge network, professors produce courses in scientific and engineering fields online using their university’s curriculum.
Participating universities may share, adapt and translate teaching modules via the open virtual library. Although it is a ‘campus’, Avicenna does not actually award degrees itself. That remains the prerogative of the concerned universities. In addition to producing courses, Avicenna has helped to establish local infrastructure and to transfer best practices and professional know-how within the participating universities.