I. Business, Medical, and Telecommunication Coalition/Ukraine

The Ukrainian Coalition for Information Infrastructure in Education and Health Care "Business, Medical, and Telecommunication Coalition/Ukraine (BMTC/UA)" was created in 1998 by the initiative of Dr. Takeshi Utsumi (Chairman of the GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A., President of Global University in the U.S.A.), and Dr. Ihor Katernyak, (Director of the Technology Promotion Center-LIM, Ukraine). Today the Coalition unites representatives from business and medical schools, hospitals, specialized secondary schools, and technical experts in telecommunications from various regions of Ukraine. The mission of "BMTC/UA" is to promote the ideas related to the use of broadband technologies for distance learning, knowledge transfer and collaboration through international partnerships in business and medicine.

The main tasks of the Coalition are as follows:

The local network and management infrastructure, and technological base, will be provided by the Technology Promotion Center (TPC), which was created in April 1996 through the partnership of Philadelphia University City Science Center (UCSC) and Lviv Institute of Management for the promotion of new technologies in the following systems:

TPC assists universities, schools and businesses to use multimedia, telecommunications, and networking technologies to enhance their programs and services.

The first actual step of Ukraine entering the International Coalition for Global Information Infrastructure (GII) in Education and Health Care was the participation and presentation of BMTC/UA (Dr. I. Katerniak with technical assistance from Dr. A. Saban) "Global Lecture Hall (GLH)" videoconference on NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND DISTANCE EDUCATION from Manaus, Amazona, Brazil (October 21, 1998) and Emerging Electronic Distance Education (EEDE) in Ukrainian Interactive Workshops and Demonstrations in Lviv, Ukraine (October 22, 1998). There was a face-to-face meeting for discussion with people from various regions of Ukraine who can benefit most from our next step of development (the web-site is located at http://www.uar.net/conference/). It was an extraordinary historical event; panelists are located from Tokyo, Japan to Lviv, Ukraine, spanning almost 18 time zones. BMTC/UA's participation in the Internet Active Conference has attracted great interest on the part of business circles in the U.S.A., UK, Spain, Italy and Germany in adjusting partnership relations in distance learning development. It was sponsored by the Science and Technology Management Association (Dr. George Gamota, President).

Hence, today we have talented Ukrainian experts experienced in Computer Mediated Multimedia Systems (CMMS) [e.g., ShareVision, NetMeeting, etc.] through telecom media [e.g., TCP/IP-oriented Internet, etc.] and established international relations which ensure practical implementation of broadband technologies for expanding distance education in Ukraine.

II. Electronic Distance Education Development in Ukraine and NIS.

Processes of economic globalization, which are developing especially rapidly on the verge of the next millennium, are closely connected with science consuming high-tech production, knowledge transfer, advanced management and the development of modern telecommunication and information technologies. The scientific and technological potential in Ukraine and another NIS, the great number of talented people, the capacity of this country's developing market and the unique opportunities for introduction of investment projects requires intensive use of telecommunication technologies for the development of international partnerships both in science and in business, as well as in cultural understanding, and exchange (including tourism).

With the present conditions of economic transformation in Ukraine and the budget deficit, special attention should be paid to restructuring, introducing new methods of management and involving out-of-budget funds and donor organizations to the development of education and health care, which is a priority for society. The new quality level, availability, based on international exchanges and standards, can be provided by using the latest electronic means of information and transfer and telecommunications.

Today the fields of education and medicine lag seriously behind other areas in the use of new technology and telecommunications, even though the emerging global information society will depend on knowledgeable consumers. Digitalization and the growing use of computers are creating new forms of illiteracy and poverty resulting in new forms of discrimination emerging between countries and groups equipped to enter the modern information and knowledge society, and those who are not.

Emerging Electronic Distance Education (EDE) offers many advantages to the participants and the world as a whole. Promoting EDE allows for the sharing of ideas, values and knowledge throughout the world. It opens up areas of communication and cooperation previously unrealized, contributing to world peace. The individuals whom we help to educate today will be our leaders tomorrow.

Right now there is a possibility of implementing the Ukrainian Project by using the UARNet existing channels of satellite connection with the overall capacity of 1M/512Kbps (Nordudent/Stockholm). However, this connection is too overloaded today and is not fast enough to be used in telemedicine.

The Goals of Electronic Distance Education Development in Ukraine and NIS are:

  1. Create Global University/Ukraine. Broaden the scope of educational services by implementing the latest technologies and so giving an opportunity to use all possible sources and resources of worldwide information network effectively.

  2. Install information networks with two-way broadband digital satellite channels for telemedicine and distance learning; connect Ukraine to the developed countries of the world.

  3. Establish partnership relations with educational and medical institutions in other countries for the two-way international exchange of knowledge, professional experience, medical and technical know-how, and establish a new affordable means (communication platforms) of providing development training and assistance.

  4. Develop the network of centers for technical and information support in all regions of Ukraine and some regions of NIS.

The goals are to be able to provide equal educational opportunities to students, managers of public and private enterprises, unemployed people, and other interested parties, within as well as outside Ukraine. It is intended to broaden the scope and increase the quality of educational programs using the scientific and technical resources of the participating universities, institutes, academies, and providers of professional development courses. Also, it will give a chance to the people of Ukrainian or Russia origin living abroad to study different subjects in their native language.

There have been many distance education conferences around the world which have been visited only by participants who can afford to attend - thus excluding many who can make valuable contributions. Conversely, the aim of our Ukrainian Project is to serve people in Ukraine who often cannot attend such meetings and conferences.

The main directions of activities are:

  1. Education.

  2. Knowledge transfer.

  3. Business development.

  4. Health care and telemedicine.

  5. Culture and tourism.

  6. International workshop and conference on Emerging Global Electronic Distance Learning - 2001.

The development of educational, business and cultural activities together with TeleMedicine will make it possible to share the expenses which will be quite large. For instance, real-time transfer of X-ray photographs with high resolution (600-1200dpi) requires broad-band Internet via digital satellite channels, which is too expensive.

1. Education

A purpose of this project is to explore the educational potential of the Internet in Ukraine. Traditional and formal methods of higher-education have many merits, but there are many limitations as well. Our hypothesis is that the Internet makes possible a different kind of learning - more interactive, less exclusive, less expensive, more flexible, and perhaps more creative and fun.

In the conditions of economic reforms in Ukraine, the specialties related to professional development and establishing close international partnerships are in greatest demand, such as management of organizations, medicine and engineering. But in most cases, business education is not available for talented people in Ukraine and NIS, because it is too expensive and there are no loan schemes for fees. In addition, there is a great demand for obtaining additional knowledge by the students of secondary schools and universities; this is motivated by extreme unemployment conditions in Ukraine.

Virtual Business School (VBS)

Lviv Institute of Management (LIM) was created in 1991 as a private, self sustaining, not-for-profit institute to assist growing private business in the region by educational, training and consulting services. LIM was among the first institutions in the former Soviet Union in which the MBA program was launched.

To achieve a multiplication effect in the delivery of the best quality academic and training programs and to facilitate really interactive cooperation between companies and business schools, LIM has committed itself to the development of distance learning systems.

The goal is to provide new models for distance learning not only to residents of Ukraine but to people all over the Central/Eastern Europe (CEE) so that they may be able to take advantage of leading business schools development and have direct access to managers of leading companies.


The economic situation in the region and the level of business education development are the rationale for the creation of a global educational system (virtual business school - VBS). The reasons are:

  1. Real gurus in business training and education are always in shortage, and specifically in our region. VBS will build a unique team of trainers and professors.

  2. The slow change of economic systems in the CEE is partially explained by lack of professionals with market-oriented thinking. A new and different approach to business education will help to train the necessary initial cadre of business people, which will ensure the subsequent promotion of the marketing reform in Ukraine and NIS., and the establishment of new businesses. Only up to 10% work places are created by small and medium businesses and ~10% in GNP (compared with 50-70% in developed countries).

  3. Business education is strongly based on American textbooks, which tend to be too theoretical. Distance learning methodology will bring speakers from real businesses without removing them from their companies. It will enhance the writing of case studies and textbooks based on local experience.

  4. People who really need business education are so busy that almost no other type of teaching aside from distance learning is convenient for them.

  5. VBS will consolidate all professionals who are really dedicated to the highest standards of business education and market oriented development. This gives us a chance to consider VBS not only as an educational center, but also as a public union for the reformation of the existing economic systems.

  6. VBS will naturally integrate business people from CEE into international partnerships through participation in the same type of programs.

The project is based on the existing network of business schools in the CEE. Resources of five leading business schools, united in a group during the seminars in 1998-1999 and known as "Lviv Initiative", will be used as a base for VBS (LIM, IMI-Kyiv, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv Financial Institute and Dnipropetrovsk Business School). Geographically they cover Ukraine from East to West. Central Europe will be represented by the business school of Jagellonian University (Krakow, Poland), Lublin Business School (Poland), CEU (Budapest, Hungary) and Economic University (Prague, Czech).

Through cooperation by the group of the five institutes, joint curriculum and teaching materials will be developed. Each school will contribute from the strongest parts of its program.

The important role of supervising will be up to the Global and American universities, currently cooperating with LIM and IMI - Wayne State University and Carnegie-Mellon University. Both American schools have well-developed systems for distance learning and will play the role of technical and methodological tutors. The telecommunication industry of the CEE countries will be evaluated jointly in relation to instructional delivery.

In January 1999, an algorithm for the distance learning in "Innovations and Project Management" was developed (authors: Dr. I. Katernyak and Dr. G. Gamota) for R&D managers and technology based companies.

Ethics of business communication (Cultural and Business Ethics), Self Management and Business English, or any other foreign language can be chosen by a trainee. Foreign language learning is very time-consuming. Unfortunately, after having studied a foreign language for a long period of time and having attended various language courses and programs, professionals still feel a lack of skills, practice and experience to apply the foreign language effectively in business environment. To increase their proficiency, the Distance Education Program (DEP) in Foreign Language for Business Purposes (FLBP) should include the integral parts of foreign language knowledge, (i.e. effectiveness, fluency and accuracy). All classical language teaching curricula have been focused mainly on accuracy. As a result, there are too many people today knowing a lot about the grammar of a foreign language but very little about how to use it effectively for their professional purposes. First and foremost, the DEP in FLBP is designed for and oriented on in-service “students" wishing to improve the effectiveness of their skills in business applications of the foreign language. Additionally, in the social sphere one can see increased demand for a major in Human Resource Management.

2. Knowledge Transfer

Ukraine possesses great scientific and technological potential, well-educated and talented personnel. The basic priorities in its innovation and development are aircraft and rocket construction, biotechnologies and medicine, information technologies and new materials. Big international projects, such as "Sea launch", have demonstrated successfully the value of those technologies. Nevertheless, there are lot of R&D results that still are not commercialized, because of a lack of information and a lack of experience in business. The market for modern technology is developing now, but there are only a few Ukrainian professional consulting groups experienced in technology commercialization fields and they are concentrated in big centers, such as Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv. There is need for a sustainable Ukrainian countrywide system for technology commercialization, distance learning, and consulting on the base information INTERNET technologies, which are as necessary for scientists as for entrepreneurs from technology oriented businesses.

The possibility to use teleconferences to promote common research and development, information exchange and understanding is under consideration now. We expect to establish partnerships with international donor organizations and funds, such as the National Science Foundation, which supports projects for designing high information-capacity wireless communication systems for full mobility that will require synergistic, multidisciplinary research efforts encompassing a breadth of communication functions. The project will create a support system for scientists who have no access to the modern literature and no possibility of participating in meetings dedicated to the field of their scientific interests.

3. Business Development

Closer integration of scientific and business communities, and the development of technology-based small businesses, result in the need for additional business knowledge for companies in Ukraine's transitional economy. The project will help to clarify how international knowledge and experience can be successfully applied in Ukrainian legal and economic conditions, and how innovation structures and funds can be supported.

Availability of teleconference and web-based learning technologies and well developed information network can assist in establishing partnerships and business contacts, in starting and providing business in Ukraine, and may become the foundation for the introduction of such projects as a Cyber Business Incubator (distance-learning and consulting, information support and electronic commerce in partnership with a Business Incubator Development Program (BID/USAID). It will permit the creation of conferences involving venture capital and the organization of multimedia meetings of shareholders, which is of special interest in Ukraine today, and processes of privatization and post-privatizational management.

4. Health Care and TeleMedicine

This direction of the Coalition activities is guided by the Lviv Institute of Management, as the regional office of the American International Health Alliance, Lviv Regional Clinical Hospital, Lviv Railway Clinical Hospital, Specialized Secondary School for children with heart diseases, Lviv Medical University, Galytska (regional) Psychiatric Association, and Association of private medicine, which has its departments in all regions of Ukraine. Two modern centers of women's healthcare (which provide breast cancer screening (mammogram)), and neonatology services have begun their activity. It has been envisaged to broaden the activity in neonatology in other cities of Ukraine (Kharkiv, Kyiv, Odessa, and Donetsk).

Accumulated experience and established contacts in the sphere of Health Care could and should be used and disseminated in Ukraine through the system of Electronic Distance Education (Interactive Medical Workshops and Conferences) and telemedicine.

The Health Care Activity has been mainly focused on medical diagnosis, consulting, data transfer (e.g., ECGs, X-rays, heart sounds) and some medical education programs. Today telemedicine can apply telecommunications and medical technologies to support information exchange between a physician and a patient, or between two physicians in geographically separated locations and to facilitate the exchange of information for medical, healthcare, research and educational purposes.

The Internet enables us to practice TeleMedicine and it can be of equal potential value for more developed and newly developing economies. The growth of Internet access and use now means that patients, medical professionals and organizations can jointly benefit from the available information and support. The Internet can be used for:

Immediate access to medical databases.

Health care institutions in Ukraine can use computer systems to store their medical records and databases electronically. Doctors can retrieve information about their patients when it is necessary, print out prescriptions to their patients and keep their electronic records.

Tele-consultation and training.

TeleMedicine network will offer an opportunity for consulting between doctors and other medical professionals in health care (via telephone, email, videoconferencing, etc.). Distance education can also involve a small rural hospital, whose doctors/nurses are able to "attend" consultations conducted by a professor at a larger teaching hospital (special and important for TransCarpathian region of Ukraine).

TeleMedicine services are able to offer an opportunity for training and education. It is also apparent for us that an efficient and effective health care infrastructure requires not only access to expertise, but it should also provide health care professionals and the public with medical training programs focused on prevention of illnesses, hygiene, and other basic requirements for a physically healthy society.

Although much of the more sophisticated technologies such as virtual reality are still expensive, the cost of some technologies is dropping, so that telemedicine should become more affordable to more people, regions and countries than ever before.

In the present critical conditions of economic transformation and budget deficit, we have identified the necessity to develop managerial skills in the system of health care and its reformation. Lviv Institute of Management arranges seminars and workshops for managers and doctors of medical institutions in Health Care Management, Privatization in accordance with the acting legislation and exchange of experience on the regular basis.

TeleMedicine has many social and economic benefits, it can generate new sources of revenues for service providers and equipment suppliers and can optimize the use of available human and capital resources in Ukraine. Such applications as telemedicine should be of interest to telecom operators since they generate additional traffic over existing networks and offer the opportunity to extend limited networks.

The impact of telemedicine on health care structures in Ukraine can be significant. It also raises regulatory issues concerning legality, liability, confidentiality, competition, etc.

5. Culture and Tourism

Ukraine is approaching the top 20 most visited countries in the world. In spite of the complicated economic situation Ukraine finds itself in, the tourism sector reported a profit in 1998, returning Hr 3.2bn to the state budget (according to State Tourism Committee, Feb. 17, 1999). Lviv is a city of outstanding monuments of architecture and works of art.

Last year (1998) the ensemble of the historical center of Lviv was inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Cities. A great number of foreigners are eager to visit Lviv (both for business and pleasure) and it is essential for them to know the city facilities better. Virtual City-Lviv Project may be of great help for them in finding all necessary information and in giving the general vision of the city. So, using the up-to-date possibilities of information technologies we can start implementing the “Virtual City-Lviv" Project with 3 dimensional (3D) rotating images of glittering cathedrals, picture galleries, museums, the opera theatre, hotels, restaurants, business centers, etc. That information can be provided using HTML and VRML techniques and therefore can be delivered via Internet and so be made available worldwide.

6. International workshop and conference on Emerging Global Electronic Distance Learning - 2001, Ukraine.

For promoting distance education, tele-healthcare, and tele-medicine to Ukraine and NIS, we propose to organize a demonstration workshop and conference on Emerging Global Electronic Distance Learning, in May, 2001 in Ukraine. In the workshop we will present existing low-cost teleconferencing technologies, fully functional all-HTML web course delivery platforms and advanced web teaching materials, with telemedicine demonstrations. The goals of the conference will be to introduce the Global University System, discuss the role of telecommunications in the global information society, to promote Ukraine and NIS, and to promote the role of Broadband INTERNET technologies in the future of global tele-education.

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