World Regional Pilot Project Summaries

From: David A Johnson <>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 15:41:55 -0400 (EDT)

Tampere EGEDL Conference Targets Five
Potential Pilot Projects Around the World

The Tampere Finland Conference concluded an intensive week of presentations and discussions by identifying five key projects to initiate the Global University System project. The projects were proposed by representatives of the global regions around which discussions centered. Thus they are responses to grassroots needs and opportunities in the several regions. Resource people and institutions were identified and sources of possible funding were listed. The five proposed pilot projects are as follows:

1. South America Initiative:
Amazonas Region Project

2. European Group:
Ukraine Pilot Project

3. Asia-Pacific/Montana State University Group:
Philippines/ASEAN/Pacific Islands Project

4. Central America Initiative:
University Consortium for Central America

5. Africa Initiative

I. South America Initiative: Amazonas Region Project

A. Resource people who agreed to lead this project:

Dr. Marco Antonio Dias
Former Director of the Division of Higher Education, UNESCO

Dr. Alexandre Rivas
Universidade do Amazonas
Fundacao Getuli Vargas/ISAE, Manaus

B. Brief description:

The Amazonas Region Project would build on a powerful existing consortium of the Association of Amazonian Universities (UNAMAZ), which covers the basic elements for a concerted action, benefiting institutions in the eight nations of the Amazon Basin (Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Amazonia, Venezuela, Colombia, Suriname, Guyana, Brazil). Potential for the University of Amazonas (Brazil) branch connections will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on wireless and schools-on-line applications.

C. Participation will be sought from:

Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health in Brazilia, UNAMAZ, SIAMAZ, the SIVAM project, University of Rondonia, Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV/ISAE) and Fundacao Rede Amazonica de Televisao (FRA), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the US Southern Command, Colombian Ministry of Defense, the US Information Agency, USIA/WorldNet, etc.

D. Special subproject:

Language incompatibilities interfere with discussions and group work by international participants. This subproject will solve the language incompatibility problem by creating the first asynchronous Internet conferencing system that is hypertext-based and also by integrating it with an automated language translation software for English-Spanish / Spanish-English (and if possible, with Portuguese, too). In operation, a given user would click on a button to tell the system what his or her default language is. Everything that person reads or writes is then performed in that default language. Any annotations or new documents created by that person are automatically translated into the other language. In short, all documents and annotations are stored in both languages.

II. European Group: Ukraine Pilot Project

A. Resource people who agreed to lead this project:

Dr. Paul Lefrere
Open University, UK

Dr. Ihor B. Katerniak
Director of the Technology Promotion Center, Lviv, Ukraine

Dr. Antti Kasvio
University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland

B. Brief description:

The European Group approached its assignment with an analysis of the general situation facing Distance Education in the larger European context. The group suggested the following as guidelines:

--new initiatives should recognize existing structures and past achievements
--need to identify new goals
--need to encourage access to new content for changing demands, demographics
--need to build on existing programs and projects, including current EU initiatives

Barriers to progress identified included:
--existing policies and practices
--existing content
--systems already in place
--current expectations and mindsets

Funding for new initiatives could be sought from:
--EU regional aid monies
--World Bank

What issues or problems can we (GSU) help them to solve or address? The group suggested that the alleviation of human suffering was one general concern and the problems wrought by economic-based migration was another.

It was proposed that the European initiative consider:
--creation of centers of Distance Education excellence, linked together
--standardisation of variations in the technologies that exist across Europe
--exploration of ways to achieve joint public/private funding
--a bandwidth study

The group recommended that a pilot project designed to address these needs and issues be undertaken in a suitable locale, with aid from European partners. The promising, and developing Distance Education situation in the Ukraine was enthusiastically agreed on as a suitable pilot setting.

C. Participation will be sought from:

Distance Education Network (DEN) of the European Association for International Education (EAIE), General Knowledge Machine Research Group in Kiev, Ukraine, ILO, etc.

III. Asia-Pacific/Montana State University Group:

Philippines/ASEAN/Pacific Islands Project

A. Resource people who agreed to lead this project:

Ben Haraguchi
Foundation for the Support of the United Nations (FSUN)

Kim Obbink
Burns Telecommunications Center
Montana State University

Norman Okamura
PEACESAT, University of Hawaii

B. Brief description:

The Asia-Pacific group would focus on needs and opportunities in the Philippines, ASEAN countries, and the Pacific Islands. Major objective is to develop a proposal for a regional distance learning and telehealth network and demonstration project(s) in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Pacific Islands.

A workshop in Tokyo is planned for April/May 2000 to develop a workplan and feasibility study, with Ben Haraguchi (General Chairman) of FSUN, Tapio Varis (Co-General Chairman for coordination with international organizations) of the University of Tampere, Tak Utsumi (Program Chairman) of GLOSAS/USA, Takashi Sakamoto (Co-Program Chairman on distance learning) of NIME in Chiba, Japan, Shigekoto Kaihara (Co-Program Chairman on telemedicine) of National Okura Hospital in Tokyo, Japan.

[Note from Dr. Utsumi: See Ben Haraguchi's Mission Statement on the Pacific/Asia Operation in REGIONAL PROJECTS/PACIFIC/ASIA GROUP of the handout of our Tampere event at <>.]

C. Participation/support will be sought from:

FSUN, Asia Development Bank, JICA, and PEACESAT. UNESCO, ILO, USAID and WHO participation will also be sought.

IV. Central America Initiative:
University Consortium for Central America

A. Resource people who agreed to lead this project:

Dr. Jose Brenes Andre
Escuela de Fisica
University of Costa Rica

B. Brief description:

This project would utilize and work with the existing University Consortium for Central America (19 public and private universities in six countries). Objectives of the project would be to share non-traditional, interdiscipinary, and science and technology courses across campuses networked in Central America. Intention is to provide opporunities for those who can't study abroad, to complement other programs and to offer courses where Central America has advantages (e.g., medical treatment of snakebites). Suggested organization: create an advisory committee, select a Board of Directors and appoint a General Coordinator. Preliminary budget needs for each participating downlinked site: satellite dishes, decoder, monitor, etc.: $8,000; University hospital, individual universities, 6 countries @$300,000 each. Total needed $1.8 million. First stage: $700,000.

[For fuller details see "Global University for Central America" at this Website]

V. African Initiative

A. Resource people who agreed to lead this project:

Lane Smith
USAID, Washington, D.C.

Kenneth Roko
Next Generation Networks Technology, Inc.

John C. Afele
University of Guelph

B. Brief description:

This project will be the joint Japan/US collaboration to enhance the Leland Project of USAID (now extending Internet at 128 Kbps to more than two dozen African countries) for broadband Internet. Funding may be available from USAID and JICA. CIDA and EU might also be approached.

C. Participation/support will be sought from:

UNDP, UN Economic Commission for Africa, Science and Technology Coordinator of the Constituency for Africa, S. Petterson of the University of the University Hospital of Tromso (Norway) for Botswana, etc.

[For fuller details see "African Initiatives: School Connectivity" at this Website]

Summarized by David A. Johnson, Ph.D., AICP
Professor Emeritus, School of Planning
College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
108-I Hoskins Library, Knoxville, TN 37996-4015
e-mail or
tel 423 974-5227; fax 423 974-5229; tel home: 828 277-5792
home address: 8 Hilltop Road, Asheville, NC 28803
home mail address: PO Box 1647 Knoxville, TN 37901-1647

Website by Steve McCarty, updated on 17 January 2003
Kagawa Junior College, Japan
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