Training Workshop for Policy-Makers in
Distance Education and Open Learning
Shanghai, China, November 3, 2003
The President of Shanghai TV University,
Esteemed guests from the Shanghai Municipal Government and the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO,
Distinguished participants and friends,
It is my great pleasure to be invited by the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO and Shanghai TV University to make a statement at the opening of the Workshop for policy makers in distance and open learning. Let me first of all represent the UNESCO Director General, Mr. Koiichiro Matsuura, to express UNESCO’s sincere gratitude to the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, the Shanghai Municipal Government and Shanghai TV University for your excellent preparations for this event and for the warm welcome to all of our participants from 14 countries of our region.
The workshop is part of an inter-sectoral collaborative project between the education sector and the communication and information sector of UNESCO aiming at providing member states with knowledge as well as the channels to gain such knowledge in the field of distance education and open learning for their use in policy making in a rapidly changing information and knowledge society.
The workshop, therefore, is organized with the following three major objectives:
1. Provision of an opportunity for policy makers to update their knowledge base in the field of distance and open learning through presentations by resource persons regarding new trends and opportunities in this field;
2. Training on how to utilize the websites developed by the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education and other UNESCO offices and organizations for policy making purposes in member states; and
3. Promotion of sustainable cooperation between member states and between member states and UNESCO in this field.
One of the features of this workshop is its association with another major event, the World Summit of Mega-Universities, to be held also in Shanghai this week, for the first time in education history. UNESCO attaches great importance to this event as witnessed by the participation of two assistant directors-general, both of whom are former executive directors of open universities. In order to provide you with an opportunity to gain exposure to leaders and specialists in this field and update your knowledge base, we chose Shanghai as our venue for this workshop, with one day to participate in the presentations being made by presidents and vice-chancellors of mega-universities on their practices, innovations and visions.
Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
ODL programmes, including learning and teaching programmes online, are seen today as innovative and even revolutionary forces in educational innovation and reform. There are many new innovations and experiences as well as many lessons learned in tapping the potential of these new technologies. I hope and I am confident that this workshop will be prove helpful in policy making for the effective use of ODL and technology in education to serve both your national and your institutional interests.
Thank you for your attention, and I wish you great success with this workshop.