25 years of global commitement with higher education
“After 25 years we are in better conditions to say higher education has to be at the height of the ‘high’ word”. In these terms spoke Federico Mayor Zaragoza, former UNESCO director, about the progress made by universities from all over the world thank to the UNESCO Chair Programme, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The Research Institute for Innovation & Technology Education (UNIR iTED) went because this reason in October, 31st, to the UNITWIN: 25th anniversary and looking forward meeting in the context of the 39th UNESCO General Conference.
Daniel Burgos, director of UNIR iTED and director of the UNESCO Chair on eLearning at UNIR, participated in this meeting that involved 200 UNESCO Chairs from 43 countries. The event has given the opportunity to review the achievements of the Programme over 25 years of action and pay tribute to the commitment and hard work of academics, students, civil society organizations and many other involved at participating universities. It was also time to look forward to the 25 years ahead and the contribution of higher education to achieving the goals of the Education 2030 Agenda, by putting brilliant minds to think about sustainable solutions.
Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR) has been the first private university adopting an open education policy aiming to increase the learning opportunities for everyone and improve teaching practices. UNESCO Chair on eLearning at UNIR makes Spain one of the 116 countries participating in the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chair Programme. This Programme has helped to stablish a vibrant network of over 700 higher education institutions in 116 Member States, shares UNESCO’s values, connects the Organization with communities, and mobilizes expertise to support the advancement of UNESCO’s goals in education, sciences, culture and communication. As Mayor Zaragoza says “as academic, scientist, intelectual and literary communities we have the responsability to be in the forefront of the necesary movilization to take to practise the motto: we, the people”
Built on a common vision of a world free of poverty and discrimination, this global network strengthens UNESCO’s links with scientist, researchers and communities of practice. Networking –a strategic added value of the programme– has helped universities and higher education and research institutions all over the globe to play their role fully in society.