Global University - Part II
Trans-Pacific Delivery Systems
GPU will seek to provide at nominal cost a "technology package" for participating colleges or universities to use for accessing educational resources via satellite. A joint effort of GUs in various countries/regions to lease international telecommunications lines and/or satellite transponders will make it possible for members of GPU to obtain discounted telecommunications costs. The consortia in a country can thus unite their strengths so that international educational exchange can readily become attainable.
Although the uplinking cost to the INTELSAT satellite from the US side and its time-cost are not too expensive, the downlinking cost is currently prohibitive due to the monopoly of INTELSAT signatories. We are now working toward deregulating Japanese telecommunications policies so that the INTELSAT signal can be downlinked directly with receive-only antennae at school campuses, just as a million students of the Chinese TV University do with their 5000 receive-only antennae.
We also plan to use all digital satellite transmission techniques with the newly inaugurated INTELSAT Business Service (IBS), as the backbone of global telecommunication networks for the GPU. The IBS transmission will be one-way, from the U.S. to overseas counterparts. Return communications (mainly audio, slow-scan TV, facsimile, data and computer conferencing) are to be made through ordinary overseas telephone lines, thus avoiding telecommunications policy restrictions for uplinking to the INTELSAT satellite directly from school premises in the various countries. We can expect a much larger advantage if we lease the IBS satellite transponder over the Pacific.
Perhaps fees from member institutions can be justified by negotiated reduced costs in transmission. Full-motion video lines via satellite are very expensive, especially across oceans. However, "though educational programming via satellite clearly does work, it does not need to be full-motion video" (Urbanowicz 1987). The GLOSAS demonstrations are providing experience with multipoint-to-multipoint multimedia interactive teleconferencing; express (next day) delivery of full-motion color video-tapes of instruction for up-linking to domestic/regional satellites; audio and slow-scan teleconferencing; global computer conferencing and facsimile for question-and-answer exchanges; and combinations of many other emerging educational technologies, such as the audiographics techniques, etc.
Diversity of Membership in the GPU
The Global University Consortium, enriched by many cultures and points of view, will require a broad collaborative partnership, including consortia of universities, governments, business organizations, etc. in countries/regions around the Pacific rim. We also urge the participation of the many noninstitutional community, nongovernmental organizations, voluntary networks, individuals, and students rising from the grass roots in response to the plethora of problems confronting world society.
Members with access to resources will find ways to share some assets; and schools that lack financial resources may be able to provide services or courses of instruction so that a beneficial system of "global barter" might evolve.
In fact, a related idea is already being put into practice: the formation of an educational exchange cooperative through which courses and learning experiences are being shared in "sister university" relationships. A current example of this is the 1988-89 course being taken jointly by students at Tufts and Moscow State Universities (Begley and Starr 1987: 103; Gallagher 1987: 65; DeLoughry 1988: A11) and Harvard and Boston with Beijing Normal Universities (Chen 1988; DeLoughry 1988: A11). GLOSAS has been working to help link the International University of Japan with Dartmouth College's Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, and with Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Study. Similarly, an electronic link is being proposed between the members of the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia (ACUCA); between the New York University and the IKIP of Jakarta; between secondary schools in Latin America and Caribbean and in the United States by the Americas Society; between the International University Consortium and colleges of Marshall and Micronesia islands, etc.
Some promising developments also give evidence of concrete results. The National Technological University (NTU) has already indicated its willingness to work with the GPU. NTU is a consortium of engineering departments from some thirty major US universities offering MS degrees to distance learners who take courses via various electronic media. By participating in the GPU, NTU -- whose present scope of operations is limited to the United States -- will be capable of extending its services to learning centers and individuals in regions around the Pacific where there may be a shortage of trained faculty and resources in technical fields of study. Some video tapes of NTU's courses have already been translated into Japanese and used by a local government for continuing education of company employees located at the so-called Japan's Silicon Valley in Kumamoto Prefecture of Kyushu Island (Gomi 1988).
Mansfield University (on behalf of the Pennsylvania Distance Learning University in process of formation for the State Systems of Higher Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) has already requested formal partnership in the GPU. The boards of the GU/USA and of the University of the World are also exchanging ex-officio representatives.
Historically, the corporate sector has invested in education to keep employees scattered around the world abreast of technological advances so that companies can maintain a competitive edge. Multinational corporations may also agree, as partners of GPU, to permit their less advantaged partners in these regions (colleges, community groups, etc.) to "piggy back" on the established infrastructure -- as was done for GLOSAS demonstrations by NHK, American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), General Telephone and Electronics (GTE), and other corporations.
As a new global educational institution, the GPU can offer courses by satellite and other advanced telecommunication media to help bring quality education to serve students anywhere in the world where it did not exist before. It can begin by offering courses that existing educational institutions -- specializing in distance education -- are prepared to share with other Pacific regions/countries across national boundaries. The GPU's main activity is to achieve a global electronic education across national boundaries, serving and cmplementing existing distance learning education institutions with outlets and resources on a global scale. The GPU will come into existence in three ways: as the technological infrastructure for a delivery system (educational satellite and terrestrial networks); an educational infrastructure to identify educational needs and courses to be offered; and as a financial and promotional organization for giving and receiving funds to and from those who use courses and those who provide them.
Each country's GU consortium will also facilitate and train its members for the teleconferencing event, and can coordinate, as a gateway, the selection/arrangement of importable/exportable educational telelearning courses internationally and domestically. Sharing for global scale educational excellence can also reduce the need for huge new investments in academic buildings.
By participating in the GPU, institutions in the Pacific rim that currently are limited to one country will be able to extend their services to learning centers and learners in regions where there may be a shortage both of trained faculty and of resources in technical and other fields of study.
Quality international education from universities can thus be provided to students in almost any location who, because of constraints on time, resources, or available options, are unable to go to other countries to study at regularly scheduled campus-based classes. Students would access some of the world's finest resources with a far greater variety of educational philosophies, courses and instructional styles than they could ever encounter on single campus, regardless of their circumstances, and without having to leave homeland and workplace. Yet these experiences can include high levels of interaction and feedback (via electronic conferencing) among students and instructors.
The Road Ahead
Following the 1988 EDUCOM conference in Washington, DC, GU/USA held a workshop to further plans to establish GPU. Representatives of business corporations and universities met to plan a larger and more representative conference following the EDUCOM '89. Distance educators emphasized the need for a global education system for citizenship on Earth. They asked for more such workshops, and GPU is planning such a gathering October 19 (noon) to 21 (noon), 1989 following EDUCOM '89 (October 16-19) at the University of Michigan, involving individuals from education, government, business, the media, and non-institutional community groups from around the Pacific.
The following initiatives are planned by GU/USA in the near future:
- Deregulation. To continue a decade of efforts to secure revision of laws and regulations imposed by local and national governments that presently impede transnational electronic education as mentioned above.
- Compilation of international directory. To facilitate the extension of existing educational programs from country to country around the Pacific region by joining with others to compile an international directory of all presently available distance courses in all countries that students in one country may take, via computer conference or TV, from another country; proposed as a joint effort to the University of the World, the Foundation of International Tele-Education, and others in Canada, Australia, and the U.K., etc.
- Sister universities. To encourage "exchange cooperatives" between and among "sister universities" across the Pacific.
- Market survey. To conduct multi-client projects on the market survey of educational services available from North America to Pacific/Asian countries -- including for employee training of subsidiaries/affiliates of North American organizations. GLOSAS/USA membership is now opened to entitle one to join this multi-client joint project.
- Teleconferencing. To continue staging multipoint-to-multipoint, multimedia, interactive teleconferencing events designed to demonstrate the feasibility of the GPU project such as:
- At the 1989 August conference of the Pacific Science Association in Chile, in demonstrating the multi-programming TV (MPTV) technology developed jointly by the Chinese Ministry of Radio, Film and Television and NHK. This technology uses one satellite transponder to transmit as many as 44 different courses simultaneously. Remote students can view a full-color freeze-frame image with full audio annotation, thus greatly reducing the satellite usages costs and also providing the possibility of quick delivery of course materials which may be recorded onto video-tapes.
- At the occasion of the "1989 International Conference for New Media Communication and Education" at Osaka University's 50th Anniversary celebration in August, connecting New York University, Osaka University, and the IKIP of Jakarta.
- Continuing with the electronic interconnection of the Academies of Science in African countries, using the newly developed packet-radio technique, which was developed at the University of North Texas and already tested, free of charge, in connecting personal computers located in Texas, Florida, Hawaii, Western Samoa, and Tonga via NASA's Applied Technology Satellite (ATS).
Further teleconferencing demonstrations proposed for 1990 may included: a meeting of the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival conference in Moscow. The theses are population, environment and global education, and we have already secured a favorable indication of NHK's cooperation in this event; the Fifth World Conference on Computers in Education at Sydney, Australia.
- Universal charter for global education. To explore essential principles, ideas and philosophies of global education -- to develop a "Universal Charter for Global Education" which will hopefully become the charter of GPU. We hope that many other organizations engaged in global distance education will adopt this charter as a basis for their own philosophies. GU/USA will submit the charter to UNESCO for possible adoption as soon as the working group completes its task.
- Peace gaming. To discuss "global-scale tools and peace gaming," connections between economic, sociology and political science departments in various countries to explore conflict resolution and alternatives to war, with the use of global teleconferencing for new world-order alternatives.
- Development of consortia and local chapters. To encourage the development of other consortia and related organizations and groups of every kind, urging them to pool their resources and energies, to work together on a regional and local basis, as well as nationally and globally. To form learning centers by local chapters at various cities and towns in North America and in Pacific/Asian countries/regions.
- A global mentor system. To interconnect young students of the world with volunteered professionals and educators (off-duty time or retired) via GPU's telecommunication infrastructure for their counseling, tutoring, and life guidance.
- Project DAWN. This project will make a feasibility study/market survey, experimenting for one year with the extension of American educational services to those countries/regions via inexpensive telecommunication networks. Project members are of two types; (1) providers of educational services, and (2) and users or receivers. GU/USA, jointly with interested parties, will prepare an application to the Project ACCESS of INTELSAT which offers a narrow band service (for audio, data, facsimile, slow-scan TV, graphics, etc.) for free satellite time. GPU will experiment with extension (via Project ACCESS) of various American educational services to the receivers' countries/regions at much lower rates than otherwise possible. (GTE/Telenet has already provided us with free use of their data communication network in the contiguous U.S.)
- Space-station library system. To propose the establishment of a three space-station library system serving the entire globe, each interlinked by leaser beam. Each station at a geo-synchronous orbit will be equipped with erasable compact optical disk memory and computers. Hundreds of thousands of these could be stored in space to be accessed by a jukebox-type unit. Videos of educational services (courses, seminars, conferences, etc.) as well as all kinds of information, can be uplinked to the nearby station and stored in the memory and computers. Individual students, with small dish antennae anywhere in the world, could receive educational excellence available from any other part of the world. In this regard, a GLOSAS/USA colleague is now advocating the establishment of the World Space Agency in the United Nations with his Chinese counterparts. Dr. Robert Muller, former assistant to the Secretary General of the United Nations, suggested that we advocate the establishment of the International Year of Global Education.
- Publications. To work on a newsletter about upcoming projects and developments; and also to develop articles, papers and books to promote the above activities, not just for GPU but for all the schools and institutions that are interested in global electronic education.
- Fund raising. To continuing seeking support for all GPU's programs from all those in harmony with the aims and philosophy of the GPU, especially from multinational corporations that wish to provide continuing training to their overseas employees now in Asian/Pacific regions.
The overseas exchange of courses will help promote a global perception among young people of the wisdom and experiences of the world's cultures. The GPU will engage not only in the export/import of traditional educational services, but will also pursue a transcultural, globalwide initiative to increase human understanding, promote wisdom, virtue and love -- a process needed by established traditions and institutional structures.
The creation of a global electronic university consortium is a formidable endeavor, one far too complex for any single agency, organization or group to undertake. Nor would it be desirable for a single group to take this responsibility upon itself. The GPU is an evolutionary concept with no full-scale precedent. It can now take shape gradually through parallel steps and many kinds of initiatives in many regions, encouraging a sense of universally shared responsibility, a spirit of participation, and of genuine collaboration, in an enterprise truly global in scope.
The GPU initiative is but one among many similar spontaneous efforts currently burgeoning around the globe. Seen in the broadest context, the proposal of a global university consortium may be understood as one of the ways humankind is responding to the critical challenges that confront it at this unique moment in its history. Trite but true -- the world is shrinking. We are becoming more and more interconnected and more and more dependent upon one another; in the process the potential for conflict is steadily escalating. Never has the need been greater to find a way of realizing the wisdom of the Japanese saying: "Onaji Kama no Meshi wo Ku-u" -- to "live under the same roof together," to do so in harmony. Senator Fulbright once said that learning together and working together are the first steps toward world peace.
Steven M. Rosen, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York. After receiving his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the City University in 1971 he began to explore the foundations and frontiers of science, his work becoming interdisciplinary and philosophical in nature. Dr. Rosen has lectured internationally on topics pertaining to science, parascience, and consciousness. His numerous essays have appeared in a variety of journals and books, and he is author of The Moebius Seed, a novel exploring the theme of human transformation or extinction.
Parker Rossman, Ph.D., author and lecturer, is former Dean of the Ecu- menical Continuing Education Center at Yale. His many published books include Computers: Bridges to the Future (Judson Press 1985), which includes sections on the potential impact of forthcoming fifth generation computer intellectual tools on research, the shape of thought, institutions, and global action for peace and justice. His articles in The Futurist include "The coming great electronic encyclopedia" and he is now writing a book for the lay reader on the coming global electronic university and using global-scale technology (proposed by Utsumi) for large-scale peace gaming.
Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., is President of Global Information Services, a firm which assists businesses in various countries, and especially Japan, to access computer information via global value added networks (VANs). He is Technical Director of the GLOSAS/Japan (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation) Association, responsible for using advanced computers, telecommunications, systems analysis, and simulation technology to seek solutions to worldwide problems. Among his over 100 related scientific papers are many presentations, for example, to the Summer Computer Simulation Conferences which he created and named. He is a member of Japanese and American societies for computer simulation, as well as other scientific groups, and is now completing a technical book in the area of this proposal.
Begley, S., and M. Starr. 1987. Satellites for the classroom. Newsweek, 16 (November), 103.
Charp, S. 1988. Editorial. T.H.E. Journal, 8 (August).
Chen, D. 1988. China, US share classes. Beijing Review, 16-22 (May).
DeLoughry, T. J. 1988. Interest rises in satellite links to foreign colleges; Tufts, Moscow State offer class by teleconference. Chronicle of Higher Education, 6 (April), A11.
Gallagher, J. E. 1987. Iron curtain raising on campus. Time, 12 (October), 65.
Gomi, H. 1988. New media for lifelong learning. Nihon Keizai Shimbun, 25 (June).
ICIS Forum. 1988. 18;1a-1b.
Mische, G. 1986. A center for world-order alternatives. Breakthrough, 8(1- 2): 46.
Mische, G. 1988. Partners for World-Order Alternatives. Breakthrough, 9(1- 3): 18
Rossman, P. 1982. The coming great electronic encyclopedia. Education Digest (December), 54-57.
Rossman, P., and T. Utsumi. 1986. Waging peace with globally-interconnected computers. In Challenges and Opportunities: From Now to 2001: ed. H. F. Didsbury, Jr., 98-107. Bethesda, MD: World Future Society.
Urbanowicz, C. F. 1987. From Morse through Marconi and McLuhan: the global village today. Paper presented at the "Great International Celebration of Satellites In Space" Conference and the Session on "History of Communication Satellites" on 15 October in Washington, DC, 14-16 October.
Utsumi, T., P. O. Mikes, and P. Rossman. 1986. Peace games with open modeling network. In Computer Networks and Simulation III, ed. S. Schoemaker, 267-298. Amsterdam: North-Holland.
Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D.
Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education
Founder, Consortium for the Affordable and Accessible Distance Education (CAADE)
President, Global University in the U.S.A. (GU/USA)
43-23 Colden Street, #9-L
Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A.
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Pages originally prepared by:
Jerrold Maddox, email@example.com
June 5, 1995