I have no problem with IT Sligo planning to develop and offer a complete free 2-year post secondary programme in Electronic Engineering.
In relation to this institutional commitment, I have a question for you. As part of the IT Sligo curriculum in Electronic Engineering is there an introductory/foundation course that could contribute to OERu's agreed focus on the offering of a Bachelor of General Studies with an initial emphasis on giving priority to the development of a "First Year General Education Component” ?
At the recent OERu Oceania Regional meeting, it was generally agreed that this initial focus on a "First Year General Education Component” is probably the best way to provide affordable access to opportunities to gain academic credit towards a range of recognised degree qualifications. This approach is consistent with the needs of OERu's primary target audience - motivated potential students world-wide who are currently excluded from access to higher education, probably including many mature age ("Second Chance") students who missed the opportunity to study when leaving school. The "First Year General Education Component” could well lay the foundation for effective transition to higher education and subsequent academic success across a range of disciplines.
Collaboration to meet this goal will not only benefit students, but will provide academic and technical staff with professional development opportunities through international collaboration with like-minded peers. Other potential benefits stemming from collaboration include: access to and acquisition of open source expertise; cost-effective sharing of courseware design, development and delivery activities; low cost and low risk innovation; cooperative development of innovative open pedagogies; and not least the development and implementation of new business models.
From my perspective, the potential benefits for OERu partner institutions, their staff and prospective students are likely to outweigh the perceived difficulties.