Global University System
Tapio Varis


Global University System Basics
Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E.





LAYERS - Art For Digital Literacy


ARTICLE 11.5.2011:
It’s the mental equipment that counts

A recipe for world peace – baked at 40 degrees

“Talk about the knowledge society and the information society is pretty empty; if it doesn’t include a conception of humanity and the international community there are no goals to communicate on the level of civilizations,” says Tapio Varis, professor of vocational education and UNESCO Professor of Global e-Learning in his new book Media Literacy and New Humanism,
co-authored with his Spanish colleague José Manuel Pérez Tornero.



Media Literacy and New Humanism

A new monograph “Media Literacy and New Humanism” has been printed in the IITE series 
“Theoretical Aspects of ICT in Education”.

The authors - José Manuel Pérez Tornero and Tapio Varis - consider the opportunities that media literacy opens in the world of global education and communication in the context of new humanism.

Being applied to education, the concept of new humanism, a new UNESCO credo, suggests the creation of a more inclusive society in which all humans have a chance to access knowledge and quality education and every word being heard in the universal dialogue. In the authors’ opinion, the new humanism in the global society must prioritize a new sense of respect for multiplicity and cultural diversity and must support media development with the goal of consolidating the new culture of peace.

The book is aimed at educators, researchers, policy-makers, the media and civil society.  

Full-text version [eng]

Welcome to the Global University System's Home Page!

The Global University System (GUS) [Utsumi, et al, 2003] is a free (volunteer-based, multi-sponsored) grass-roots initiative to widen access to higher education and vocational education and training, and to help participating institutions to meet local needs in ways that are locally-appropriate and globally-informed. The GUS encourages the integration of untapped or poorly-deployed human and technical resources, particularly to facilitate the diffusion worldwide of low-cost means of access to the communication and education resources that the privileged West takes for granted. Since it began in 1999, the GUS has become global. It works in the major regions of the globe with partnerships of higher education and healthcare institutions.

If you are interested in joining us and establishing a local branch of GUS, or in linking other projects to GUS (maybe to enlarge the beneficiaries of your work, including disadvantaged groups), please contact the Acting President, Professor Tapio Varis. You will meet many like-minded people, ranging from heads of public-sector and private-sector organizations, to thought leaders, practitioners, and representatives of end-user communities, and include people engaged in complementary initiatives, such as Open Content and Open Innovation initiatives across the world. And the GUS community may be able to help you to find sponsors for your GUS aspirations.

The GUS was conceived by our Japanese President, Dr Takeshi Utsumi, and launched in Finland in 1999. From the start, it brought people together to create advanced telecommunications infrastructure for accessing educational resources across national and cultural boundaries for societal goals. A key goal is Global Peace. The need for this to be a key goal was underlined by Dr. Utsumi's sharing of his insights from his experience of Japan in Hiroshima times. GUS projects that make use of the telecommunications infrastructure include Peace-Gaming and educational simulations; projects to increase no-cost or low-cost access to education in shortage subjects such as science, technology, engineering and maths; projects to identify and manage disagreements and try to increase tolerance of the opinions of others; projects aimed at linking higher education to knowledge-based employment; and support for the Millennium Goals.  Those projects link people of different ages, backgrounds, experience, perspectives and resources, and help to transform the life chances of people in disadvantaged communities.

The GUS is supported by a wide range of sponsors (including governments and corporate social responsibility funds). Today, the GUS links its members through local and global communications, to support networks of people, ideas, projects, open content and open innovation. There are GUS members in many institutions and organizations. Technically, and subject to agreements on course accreditation and recognition, it is now possible for learners in GUS regions to take their courses from member institutions around the world to receive a GUS degree.  These learners and their professors from partner institutions will also form a global forum for exchange of ideas and information and for conducting collaborative research and development with emerging global GRID computer network technology.

The network of GUS projects grows each year. The economic downturn is causing many universities not yet members of GUS to re-think their goals and methods and to consider reaching out to groups with little or no access to higher education. As a result we are seeing a rise in inquiries about GUS. In 2011 we anticipate links with more universities, to enable them to provide disadvantaged communities with access to 21st Century education via broadband Internet technologies.  The aim is to achieve “education and healthcare for all,” anywhere, anytime and at any pace. The turbulence we see in the world is leading to a resurgence of interest in the early GUS ideas. An example is the Globally Collaborative Environmental Peace Gaming (GCEPG) project [Utsumi, 2003]. This has a globally distributed computer simulation system, focusing on the issue of environment and sustainable development in developing countries, is to train would-be decision-makers in crisis management, conflict resolution, and negotiation techniques basing on “facts and figures.”  The GUS will supply game players from around the world.  Globally Collaborative Innovation Network (GCIN) will be its powerful consequential extension and foster creativity of youngsters around the world.