From Researching Virtual Initiatives in Education
Partners situated in Gibraltar
Gibraltar in a nutshell
The territory covers 6.8 square kilometres (2.6 sq mi) and shares a land border with Spain to the north. Gibraltar has historically been an important base for the British Armed Forces and is the site of a Royal Navy base.
Its population is around 29,000.
Its capital is Gibraltar (town=city=country).
The sovereignty of Gibraltar has been a major point of contention in relations between the UK and Spain. Gibraltar was ceded by Spain to the Crown of Great Britain in perpetuity, under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, though Spain asserts a claim to the territory and seeks its return. The overwhelming majority of Gibraltarians strongly oppose this, along with any proposal of shared sovereignty. The British government has stated that it is committed to respecting the Gibraltarians' wishes. Despite seeming to most to have self-government, Gibraltar remains on the UN list of "non-self-governing territories", presumably since Spain opposes any attempt to remove it from the list.
The name Gibraltar is the Spanish derivation of the Arabic name Jabal Tāriq (جبل طارق), meaning "mountain of Tariq". It refers to the geological formation, the Rock of Gibraltar Earlier, it was known as Mons Calpe, one of the Pillars of Hercules. Today, Gibraltar is known colloquially as Gib or The Rock.
Resources are an issue. Having negligible natural resources and few natural freshwater resources, limited to natural wells in the north, until recently Gibraltar used large concrete or natural rock water catchments to collect water. Fresh water from the boreholes is now supplemented by two desalination plants: a reverse osmosis plant, constructed in a tunnel within the rock, and a multi-stage flash distillation plant at North Mole
The British military traditionally dominated the economy of Gibraltar, with the naval dockyard providing the bulk of economic activity. This has however diminished in the last 20 years, and it is estimated to account for only 7% of the local economy, compared to over 60% in 1984. Today, Gibraltar has an extensive service-based economy, dominated by financial services and tourism. Recently, many bookmakers and online gaming operators have relocated to Gibraltar to benefit from operating in a regulated jurisdiction with a favourable corporate tax regime. However, this corporate tax regime for non-resident controlled companies is due to be phased out by 2010. Tourism is also a significant industry. Gibraltar is a popular stop for cruise ships and attracts day visitors from resorts in Spain. The Rock is a popular tourist attraction, particularly among British tourists and residents in the southern coast of Spain. It is also a popular shopping destination, and all goods and services are VAT free. Many of the large British high street chains have branches or franchises in Gibraltar.
The currency is pounds sterling, as in the UK. The Government of Gibraltar issues banknotes that are legal tender alongside Bank of England banknotes in Gibraltar. Clearing and settlement of funds is conducted in sterling, and Gibraltar banknotes in circulation bear the words "Pounds sterling".
Most retail outlets in Gibraltar unofficially accept the euro, though some payphones and the Post Office do not.
One of the main features of Gibraltar’s population is the diversity of their ethnic origins. The demographics of Gibraltar reflects Gibraltarians' racial and cultural fusion of the many European and non-European immigrants who came to The Rock over three hundred years. They are the descendants of economic migrants that came to Gibraltar after the majority of the Spanish population left in 1704. The main ethnic groups, according to the origin of names in the electoral roll, are Britons (27%), Spanish (26%, mostly Andalusians but also some 2% of Minorcans), Genoese and other Italians (19%), Portuguese (11%), Maltese (8%), and Jews (3%). There is a large diversity of other groups such as Moroccans, Indians, French, Austrians, Chinese, Japanese, Polish or Danish.
Gibraltar's main religion is Christianity, with the majority (78%) of Gibraltarians belonging to the Roman Catholic Church.
As a British overseas territory, the sole official language of Gibraltar is English, and it is used by the Government and in schools. Most locals are bilingual, also speaking Spanish, due to Gibraltar's proximity to Spain. However, because of the varied mix of ethnic groups which reside there, other languages are spoken on The Rock. Arabic is spoken by the Moroccan community, as are Hindi and Sindhi by the Indian community of Gibraltar. Hebrew is also spoken by the Jewish community and the Maltese language is still spoken by some families of Maltese descent.
Gibraltarians often converse in Llanito, an Andalusian Spanish-based vernacular unique to Gibraltar - consisting of an eclectic mix of Andalusian Spanish and British English as well as Maltese, Portuguese, Italian (Genoese variety) and Haketia (Ladino).
Gibraltar education policy
Schools in Gibraltar follow the Key Stage system which teaches the National Curriculum of England - http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk
Gibraltar education system
The Department of Education & Training, under the control of the Director of Education and Training, is responsible for the management of education and training. The Director, subject to the directions of the Minister, has a duty to promote the education of the people of Gibraltar generally, to control and direct educational policy, to administer and inspect all schools and to ensure the due administration of the provisions of the Education and Training Act and any subsidiary legislation. For more information see http://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/education-a-training
Gibraltar has 15 state schools, one MOD school, one private school and one College of Further Education. There is a list of schools at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Gibraltar
As there are no facilities in Gibraltar for full-time higher education, all Gibraltarian students must study elsewhere at degree level (or equivalent) and also for certain non-degree courses. The Government of Gibraltar operates a scholarship/grant system to provide funding for students studying in the United Kingdom. All Gibraltarian students follow the student loans procedure of the UK, where they apply for a loan from the Student Loans Company which is then reimbursed in full by the Government of Gibraltar. In 2008, there were 224 Gibraltarian students enrolled in UK universities.
Universities in Gibraltar
There are none.
Polytechnics in Gibraltar
There are no tertiary-level institutions of university level. However, there is Gibraltar College.
Gibraltar College of Further Education
Full-time provision is primarily centred on Intermediate and Advanced Courses in Information Technology, Business and Finance Studies, Art and Design, Psychology, Leisure and Tourism, Health and Social Care, Travel and Tourism, Digital Applications and Built Environment Studies.
An area of rapid growth is that of courses leading to professional qualifications. The College is providing tuition/tutorial support for professional bodies such as ACCA, AAT or the Institute of Bankers. There are also a number of qualifications ranging from GCSE to AS/A levels being offered to part-time students in the evening
The College was opened in 1948 as the Dockyard Technical School. It was a school but during the following years, Dockyard Apprentices start attending. In 1964, the Dockyard Technical School became the Gibraltar & Dockyard Technical College. It catered for a broader range of subjects at various levels and provided full-time, part-time and day-release courses. It dealt with apprentices, full-time students and technicians. Additionally, the Adult Education programme started.
In 1985 the College became the Gibraltar College of Further Education. The College today delivers programmes from below GCSE all the way up to Degree standard at professional level. It serves as the main Examination Centre and works with the UK's main Awarding Bodies as well as important professional institutes. It has around 400 full-time students, plus a strong part-time and day-release contingent as well as ever-increasing Continuing Education and Professional Development programmes.
There is a temporary web site at http://www.gibraltarcollege.org
ICT facilities are described at http://www.gibraltarcollege.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=69&Itemid=89 and seem up to current UK standards.
The college is in process (February 2010) of updating its web site, so that information at present is minimal. This could give an impression of an organisation under some financial constraints. The status of and reason for a US-style (.edu) subdomain as http://www.gibc.edu.gi is also not clear. The college seems also to be changing its name to Gibraltar College, suggesting to analysts that it intends to widen its remit.
Higher education reform
Not applicable, yet. Analysts assume that any HE-level institution will follow the UK model in particular and Bologna in general.
The Bologna Process
Not applicable as yet.
Administration and finance
Gibraltar HEIs in the information society
Towards the information society
Gibraltar has a digital telephone exchange supported by a fibre optic and copper infrastructure. The main telephone operator, Gibtelecom, also operates a GSM network and is an Internet Service provider. International Direct Dialling is provided, and Gibraltar was allocated the access code 350 by the International Telecommunication Union. This works from all countries with IDD, including Spain, which has accepted its use since 10 February 2007, when the telecom dispute was resolved. Gibraltar mobile and fixed service numbers are eight digits.
A local company Gibnet Limited, started the first Internet service in January 1996 and later changed its name to Sapphire Networks Limited.
Dial-up, ADSL, and high-speed Internet lines are all available, as are some Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels. A local operator CTS is rolling out WiMAX.
The TLD country code for Gibraltar is .gi, corresponding to Gibraltar's ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code of GI.
The Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation operates a television and radio station on UHF, VHF and medium-wave. The radio service is also Internet-streamed. Special events and the daily news bulletin are streamed in video.
The other local radio service is operated by British Forces Broadcasting Service who also provide a limited cable network for television to HM Forces.
Information society strategy
Virtual Campuses in HE
Interesting Virtual Campus Initiatives
None. There are no universities and Gibraltar College does not seem yet to operate in this area.