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  Jasvir's story:

EducationJasvir walks up the stairs to the first floor of the impressive British Council building in Delhi. It's cool inside after the heat outside. She goes first to return her library books, a video and an educational DVD she borrowed for her son. She then heads for the Learning Zone to do some homework before her class begins. She sits at the special desk, pulls the screen up and logs in. First she checks if there are any messages either from her local tutor or from the UK tutor who is leading today's session by videoconference from Edinburgh. There's one which refers her to an article posted in the group folder, so she reads that first.

There is some time yet before the session so she decides she will access some of her other member services. She goes to the human rights portal to see if there are any recent articles about children's rights in south Asia. She sees there's a message from a friend inviting her to log into the chat room, and decide if they should sign up for an online seminar on the topic, linking in with a group using the World Bank's Global Development Learning Network.

Time for her class. She remembers the choice that was available when she signed up for the pilot: a BBA, and MBA, a Masters in Management, and a Diploma in Marketing; and HND in computer science and an MSc in computer games technology, plus a 'top up' BSc; and what was the other - a certificate in ecological tourism or something like? She joins the 30 other students and enjoys learning about current ideas in human resource management. She remembers that she touched on some similar topics when her company arranged to send groups of staff to the British Council for some short modules produced originally by LearnDirect in the UK, and adapted for the Indian context. Her brother who lives in Chandigargh is looking forward to registering on the same course as her next year when it is offered by the British Council approved centre at his university there.

On her way out she goes to the English Zone to drop off a CD-ROM for her sister, who is a teacher of English. She likes to use the LearnEnglish web resources, plus the range of CD-ROMs that they have there - but she also likes the worksheets they have produced for Indian primary school pupils. She is an avid member of TeachEnglish, the joint BBC and British Council site for teachers, which now acts as a portal for all that is best in UK and Indian approaches to ELT. Jasvir sees that there is going to be a videoconferenced event linking with an international conference in Brighton and some other British Council centres in Belgrade, St. Petersburg and Accra. She thinks her sister will want to take part in that so gets the details.

New Delhi | Belgrade

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