Pilot Projects of the Global University System (GUS)
Prepared by Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., Chairman of GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the USA (GLOSAS/USA) and Vice President of the Global University System (GUS)
The goal of the GUS is to improve the global learning and wellness environment for people in the global knowledge society, where global responsibility is shared by all. A central theme is the sharing and exchange of knowledge among educational, research, industry and trade sectors. The GUS will
The GUS has group activities in the major regions of the globe. They are developing their pilot projects in; (1) the Asia-Pacific region (with Manila in the Philippines as its first target, and then with Cebu, the Philippines, Japan, China, Pakistan, Western and South Pacific); (2) North America (for indigenous peoples in the states of Arizona and Montana and in Calgary in Canada); (3) Central America (e.g., Costa Rica and the Caribbean); (4) South America (mainly in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, working with the UNAMAZ consortium universities in the Amazon basin in the initial stage, Argentina, etc.); (5) Europe (firstly with Estonia, Barcelona, and later with Ukraine); and (6) Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, etc.).
Each of those regional groups with partnerships of higher learning and healthcare institutions will foster the establishment of the GUS, using a community development approach in their respective regions to connect higher, secondary and elementary schools; libraries; hospitals; and local governmental agencies using an advanced global broadband Internet private virtual network to be financed by the Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF).
Each of these regional groups is now preparing to hold a workshop to:
In summary, each of these events is intended to produce a concrete feasibility study, design of infrastructure and administrative structure, selection of courseware, etc.
Some of major regional activities are as follows.
The GUS/Philippines/Manila has been formed as a consortium of the St. Luke College of Medicine, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of Santo Thomas (UST), the University of the Philippines/Open University, and STI Network of Colleges and Education Centers. They will establish distance learning demonstration projects in cooperation with the US counterparts. The consortium will explore technical capabilities and options, as well as match educational needs and resources, for the delivery of affordable, needs based distance learning in the Philippines and between the Philippines and the US, thus realizing global collaboration and partnership to ensure students' potential for learning.
The consortium is now preparing a workshop at the St. Luke College of Medicine and at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in the fall of 2001 with funds from the US National Science Foundation, Citicorp, and other donors. The purpose of the workshop is to collectively brainstorm on the formalization and solidification of the pilot project on international distance learning between the Philippines and the U.S.
The global broadband Internet infrastructure also provides exciting opportunities for distance/distributed learning. Workshop presentations will explore applications, as well as technical strengths and weaknesses for sharing education, information, and resources throughout the world. Discussions are well underway among conference participants regarding the development and dissemination of education for engineers, healthcare providers, emergency medical professionals, and primary and secondary teachers.
The expected outcomes of the workshop are:
Cebu Distance Learning Center is now organizing a seminar in April of 2001 to form a coalition of several universities, secondary and elementary schools, hospitals, libraries, local governmental agencies to support development of their community.
|4.2||GUS/Manaus, Amazon, Brazil|
GUS/Manaus is now preparing a grant application Community Development with E-Learning and Telehealthcare which is to be submitted to the Information and Development Program (infoDev) of the World Bank and other funding sources to:
Problem or Opportunity
It is expected that wireless and satellite broadband for Internet, available to universities, elementary, primary and secondary schools and hospitals, will promote the interaction among young people from different areas of the Amazon Region with young people from the rest of world.
As the infrastructure becomes a reality, there will be a need to develop content (distance education on environmental education, rational use of the forest, techniques and methods for implementation of suitable agroforestry activities, tele-healthcare, etc.) and new uses of the technology (Internet telephony, distance medical diagnosis, access to information, etc.).
In this process, the Manaus community will become the closest, most capable and culturally identified with the Amazon regions needs and problems. This will be a pilot project replicable of the activities throughout the region (within the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Rondônia, Roraima, and Acre; and with other countries in the Amazon Basin Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Suriname, and Ecuador). In a second phase, this effort will contribute to provide the necessary conditions for private initiatives such that more resources will become available to more needed communities elsewhere in the region.
This initiative will complement others like the UNESCOs Man And Biosphere (MAB) program in which 110 nations participate in an international network of 285 biosphere reserves. With the advancement of information and communication technology, the time is right to encourage communication among those managing this global system of biosphere reserves, and Amazonia is certainly one of the most important biomes of the world.
This project takes a community development approach, first connecting non-profit organizations, and second for-profit organizations. This activity is to be a model replicable to other localities and regions, as leading the use of the advanced Internet in various sectors of societies. The higher educational institution selected in the locality will have the broadband Internet satellite earth-station hub, and will become the major Internet Service Provider (ISP) to the local community of non-profit organizations. The higher education institution will then provide teacher training to secondary and elementary schools, and also act as facilitators and technical supporters to other non-profit organizations.
Our colleagues at the University of Tampere and the U.K. Open University are now formulating community development projects in Estonia and Barcelona (which will later be linked with GUS/Ukraine) with funds from European sources (e.g., European Commission, etc.). The project is titled EXploiting Collaborative Information Technologies for Economic Development (EXCITED).
The EXCITED proposal is for a large-scale cross-program demonstration of regional collaboration and economic development, using information society technologies, IST. The assumed underlying IST environment embraces broadband and mobile technologies (in favored regions) and earlier technologies (in less-favored regions), and makes routine use of open standards and de facto standards (e.g., IMS). This, combined with the results of other action lines (e.g., on knowledge management), and other European Commission programs (e.g., CSG, Competitive and Sustainable Growth) offers the prospect of being able to innovate and develop faster, more effectively and in ways that are valued by communities.
The partners, that include national leaders, have been chosen to ensure that the project has a particularly high impact at European level, and acts as a catalyst for much broader dissemination and adoption of novel solutions and practices, in many regions.
The EXCITED partners include enterprises, agencies and cities at the forefront of the information society. In this project, they will act as motors for economic and social development by partners in less-developed regions, including regions supported by the Social Funds.
The lead regions are investing hundreds of millions of euros in work related to this proposal. For example, they are funding complementary projects on the use of IST to support access, connectivity, content, and the reengineering of processes and practices as (particularly those that use open standards). Through that work, which will be built upon in the EXCITED project, they are developing know-how in how to introduce and disseminate information society issues throughout their communities, in the everyday lives of citizens and in the activities of the enterprises, particularly the Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in their regions. That work combines social and psychological insights into effective ways to manage change, with technological know-how and expertise from regional universities and businesses.
Through this cross-program project, the following additional outcomes will be achieved. Private and public organizations in EXCITED regions will offer an impressive showcase for effective ways of networking and exploiting regional assets and developing new value-networks for economic development. They will also extend and diffuse European best practice in relation to the digital economy, by drawing upon best practice in current projects funded by the European Commission and by individual member states. Those insights will be codified for EXCITED beneficiaries, and refined and validated through impact studies with beneficiaries. Those validation studies may be extended, in separate projects, to prospective members of the European Union, and non-European regions that depend economically on Europe. The latter outcome will be achieved in part through collaboration with not-for-profit global networks, such as the Global University System.
Ukraine was chosen as the first targeted country for the operation of the European Regional Group of the GUS to establish a global distance learning system with global broadband Internet. The Open University/UK, the GUS and Ukrainian Distance Learning System (UDL) (a consortium of 27 Ukrainian organizations) <http://www.udl.org.ua/en/> is now planning to hold a workshop at the Open University. The UDL has been offering a dozen distance learning courses, mainly in business administration field. In close co-operation with the Open University, a Memorandum of Understanding was developed <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Global_University/Global%20University%20System/Memo_of_Understanding/Cover_Sheet.html>.
The main purposes of this workshop are to
At this workshop, the Ukrainian delegation will establish new institutional partnerships in order to expand the market of educational services, to create market for distance education in Ukraine, professional development of local tutors for teaching in Ukraine and course content adaptation, quality and international quality standards, managing for quality in distance learning to receive professional recognition or accreditation (assessment of college's administrative and tutorial methods, educational materials, and publicity), and cross-cultural approach and joint research work.
|4.5||GUSs in Other Regions|
Colleagues in other regions mentioned above are at various stages of preparing similar workshop in their localities.
The Tampere meeting was a study in contrasts, and clearly showed the enormous gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots". On the one hand, some of the players have tremendous resources with which to deploy broadband wireless technology; on the other hand, some must operate on a shoestring budget, and even lack adequate basic landline services as a starting point. A major challenge will be to identify technology that will be appropriate (in terms of start-up and operating costs, maintainability by local people, etc.) in the "have not" situations.
Thanks to our highly successful event with extraordinary supports and the cooperation of many funding sources such as the World Banks infoDev program, the US National Science Foundation, and colleagues around the world substantial momentum for our Global Initiative is now building up to have follow-up workshops and conferences to forge ahead the establishment of the GUS with global broadband Internet (GBI) and Global Service Trust Fund (GSTF) by multilateral collaborations.
|6||Current Reference Websites|