In Global Peace Through The Global University System
2003 Ed. by T. Varis, T. Utsumi, and W. R. Klemm
University of Tampere, Hämeenlinna, Finland
THE RECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE
The activities of the UNESCO Chair in Global e-Learning with applications to multiple domains at the University of Tampere began immediately after the signature of the Agreement between UNESCO and The University of Tampere at the end of 2001. The Chair was created at the Research Centre for Vocational Education at the Faculty of Education, where the Chair of Media Education had been established with co-operation of the hypermedia laboratory. The Chair was created to promote co-operation with other centres of excellence, especially with the Open University in the U.K. and the Open University in Catalunya in Spain. The purpose of the Chair was clearly articulated in the Agreement:
"The purpose of the Chair shall be to promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation in the field of global e-learning with applications to multiple domains. It will serve as a means of facilitating collaboration between high level, internationally recognized researchers and teaching staff of the University and other institutions in Finland and Europe and other regions in the world."
The University of Tampere follows the spirit of Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, who emphasized on the 13th November 2002, in the World Forum of UNESCO Chairs the need is to make educational materials freely available on the Web and to have the real possibilities to do so.
In 2002 the University of Tampere appointed Dr. Tapio Varis, Professor and Chair of Media Education, as the first Chair-holder. In 1999, Professor Varis was responsible for organizing the international conference on ³Emerging Global Electronic Distance Learning² at the University of Tampere (www.uta.fi/~titava/EGEDL ) with the GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A. (GLOSAS/USA) which was welcomed very positively by high level international representatives of the academia, government and businesses. That conference also institutionalized the years-long international efforts experimenting with Global Lecture Halls (GLH) to create a Global University System (GUS). The leading figures of GUS have been Dr. Takeshi Utsumi, founder and Vice-President for Technology and Coordination, Professor Tapio Varis, Acting President, and Mr. Marco Antonio Diaz, Vice-President for Academic Affairs.
The present book on Global Peace through the Global University System is the first major contribution of the Tampere Chair to the international UNESCO network and academic community of these goals and specific applications. The University of Tampere is very proud to note the list of distinguished world leaders expressing their greetings in the book and the theoretical articles and project descriptions by leading experts from various parts of the world.
I believe that this book is a major contribution to the global world of learning in the new spirit of UNESCO as to create the network of the GUS in various countries under this UNESCO Chair Program. I can agree with the editors when they conclude, that ³if global peace is ever to be achieved, global-scale education with the use of the modern digital telecommunications will be needed to create mutual understanding among nations, cultures, ethnic groups, and religions.²
Tampere 4 May 2003