Sunday, July 30, 2006

UNESCO Resources for Those Who Wish to Study Abroad

The book, "Study Abroad", is UNESCO's international guide to higher-education study opportunities and scholarships offered by higher education institutions and international organizations in over 145 countries. It includes some 3,000 entries on courses and scholarships in different higher-education academic and professional disciplines. There is information on: addresses (including Internet sites), admission requirements, application deadlines, financial aid, fees, living expenses and other topics. Entries are presented in English, French or Spanish according to the language of the country concerned.

UNESCO's online "Study Abroad Database" contains some 3,000 opportunities for post-secondary studies in all academic and professional fields in 147 countries and territories for the years 2005 and 2006.

UNESCO International Conventions on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education

There are six regional conventions on the recognition of qualifications (Africa, Arab States, Asia and Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and two European conventions) and one interregional convention (Mediterranean Convention).

UNESCO conventions are aimed at promoting the recognition of academic qualifications for academic purposes (e.g. to continue studies in a different institution). Nevertheless, the conventions sometimes hold a ‘de facto’ and ‘de jure’ role in recognizing diplomas for professional purposes (e.g. to get a job). It is important to check with the different conventions.

Alert: Misuse of UNESCO Name by Bogus Institutions

Click here to read the full alert from UNESCO.

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of requests from individuals, recognition bodies and accrediting agencies concerning dubious providers of higher education that use UNESCO’s name or logo to give the impression that they are recognized providers of higher education.

UNESCO is an intergovernmental body. It does not have the mandate to accredit nor to recognise higher education institutions, programmes, diplomas or accrediting agencies.

Any provider of higher education or accrediting agency which claims or gives the impression of being accredited and/or recognised by UNESCO should be looked upon with caution. Such institutions or accrediting agencies may use different fraudulent modes.

UNESCO Project Mapping Archaeology in Kazakhstan

An archaeological expedition from The Institute of Archaeology of Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science is continuing its research at the necropolis located at Berel in the eastern part of Kazakhstan. A part of the work involves a UNESCO project which is studying the burial mounds in association with the scientists of Belgium's Ghent University. That subproject is mapping the site with the help of modern technologies of satellite space communications.

In another part of the research, in collaboration with the team from the Central Asian French Archaeological Mission, the body of a Saka prince was discovered buried with 13 horses. . In this princely kourgan at the site, the sacrificed horses were fitted with false wooden horns fixed to their foreheads imitating those of ibex.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Some UNESCO Higher Education Initiatives

The UNESCO Higher Education Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base
The Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Knowledge Base project was set up to support decision makers and practitioners with ready access to information and tools that will assist them in more effective policy planning, development and management of ODL in higher education programmes. It provides Web-based knowledge base regional resources for:
* Africa
* Asia and the Pacific and
* CIS/Baltic countries.
It also provides an Inter-Regional Decision Support Tool to assist decision makers to make first-level assessments about the viability and quality of distance education programs. The International Internet Forum on the Higher Education Open and Distance Learning Knowledge Base (HEODLKB) Project is also linked to this website.

Mega Universities
A dozen or so Mega Universities (each of which has an enrolment in excess of 100,000 learners per year) utilize a combination of media to accommodate learners. U.S. Mega Universities include:
* City College of San Francisco
* University of Maryland University College and
* University of Phoenix

This UNESCO website provides links to Mega Universities in developing nations, including:
* Allama Iqbal Open University (Pakistan)
* Bangladesh Open University
* China Central Radio & TV University
* Indira Gandhi National Open University (India)
* Indonesian Open Learning University
* Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
* Payame Noor University (Iran)
* Korea National Open University
* Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (Thailand)
* University of South Africa
* Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
* Shanghai TV University
The site also provides a link to the World Summit of Mega Universities held 23-25 September 2005.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Reforms at UNESCO

According to Wikipedia:
The organization's reforms included the following measures: the number of divisions in UNESCO was cut in half, allowing a corresponding halving of the number of Directors -- from 200 to under 100, out of a total staff of approximately 2,000 worldwide. At the same time, the number of field units was cut from a high of 79 in 1999 to 52 today. Parallel management structures, including 35 Cabinet-level special advisor positions, were abolished. 209 negotiated staff departures and buy-outs took place from 1999–2003, causing the inherited $10 million staff cost deficit to disappear. The staff pyramid, which was the most top-heavy in the UN system, was cut back as the number of high-level posts was halved and the “inflation” of posts was reversed through the down-grading many positions. Open competitive recruitment, results-based appraisal of staff, training of all managers and field rotation were instituted, as well as SISTER and SAP systems for transparency in results-based programming and budgeting. In addition, the Internal Oversight Service (IOS) was established in 2001 to improve organizational performance by including the lessons learned from program evaluations into the overall reform process.

Go to Director General Koïchiro Matsuura's 2005 discussion of the reform and restructuring efforts.

Encyclopedia Entries for UNESCO

Online encyclopedias represent a great resource on the World Wide Web. Here are a couple of online encyclopedia entries on UNESCO that are chock full of information and useful links:
* Wikipendia
* Questia

The John Bolton Confirmation

The Washington Post today has an editorial opposing the confirmation of John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. It states (in part):
Mr. Bolton began his tenure with an argument over the preparations for a gathering of heads of state. He demanded that the summit document omit, among other things, references to the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals, on the ground that these had been interpreted by U.N. officials to include a commitment to more foreign aid. Mr. Bolton's action alienated other U.N. ambassadors with no obvious gain; such commitments, even if accepted, are non-binding.

Mr. Bolton's handling of the new U.N. Human Rights Council was equally clumsy. He failed to show up at nearly all of the 30 or so negotiating sessions leading up to the council's creation, then waded in at the eleventh hour with a bizarre proposal that the State Department quickly repudiated. Mr. Bolton's spokesman says that the ambassador engaged in good faith throughout the process. But U.S. allies felt that Mr. Bolton did not do so.

Mr. Bolton has embarrassed himself most recently by his mishandling of U.N. management reform, a cause supported by U.N. officials and the richer member states. Mr. Bolton came up with the idea of threatening to cut U.N. funding unless the management reforms were adopted, and his spokesman insists that this brinkmanship was helpful. But South Africa's U.N. envoy called it "poison"; Germany's ambassador called it "wrong"; his British counterpart said it was a mistake to hold the budget hostage. After six months the budget threat was dropped.

WP also published a story in today's news section ("The Bolton Nomination, Act II" by Colum Lynch) detailing some of the controvery around Bolton's role in the United Nations. Notably, it quotes the distinguished international civil servant, U.N. Deputy Secretary General Mark Malloch Brown who said in a public speech on June 6:
There is currently a perception among many otherwise quite moderate countries that anything the U.S. supports must have a secret agenda aimed at either subordinating multilateral processes to Washington's ends or weakening the institutions, and therefore, put crudely, should be opposed without any real discussion of whether they make sense or not.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"Future Leaders Meet Before World Heritage Session"

Lead: "Young leaders from around the Pacific will attend a global youth forum on world heritage ahead of next year’s UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Christchurch says Margaret Austin, chair of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO."

Wouldn't it be great if a delegation of young people from the United States could also attend?

Read the full article from Scoop (26 July 2006).

"Bolton Hopes for Vote on U.N. Nomination"

Read the full Associated Press article in The Washington Post. (Sunday, July 23, 2006.)

Last year Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee opposed Bolton's confirmation as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, leading to President Bush making a recess appointment. According to the WP:
the senator has had a change of heart, saying last week that he would not block Bolton's nomination this year because of an urgent need to ease tensions in the Middle East.
The GOP-controlled Senate Committee has scheduled a hearing for Thursday on Bolton's nomination. If confirmed by the Senate, Bolton would be expected to serve as UN Ambassador through the rest of the Bush Administration. It seems likely that the nomination will go forward to the full Senate, and that Democrats will oppose it in the Committee and on the floor of the Senate.

Since UNESCO is part of the United Nations family of organizations, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations has significant influence on U.S. policy towards UNESCO.

Friday, July 21, 2006

UNESCO Job: Senior ProgramSpecialist for Science and Technology Education and Technical Capacity Building

Purpose of post:: Promoting Natural Sciences Sector actions in Science and Technology Education & Technical Capacity building.

Main responsibilities: Under the authority of the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences and under the supervision of the Director of the Division of Basic and Engineering Sciences, the incumbent shall, in particular:
· Foster the quality of university science and technology education in developing countries and reinforce the linkage of university education with other levels of education in science and technology.

· Promote the Organization’s clearing house functions on science and technology education for sharing information on curricula development, innovative teaching methodologies, and best practices.

· Carry out and/or develop selected activities for capacity building in engineering and technology in developing countries. Oversee and foster collaboration between divisions of the Sector for Natural Sciences and regional offices in strengthening national capacities in engineering, science and technology and science-based monitoring of the environment.

· Provide back up to cross-sectoral activities on building capacities in developing countries and mainly, least developed countries and post-conflict countries to address the goals for sustainable development specified in the UN Millennium Declaration.

· Promote extra-budgetary activity in technical capacity building and in science and technology education.

· Advanced University Degree, preferably at Doctorate level, in one of the basic or engineering sciences.

· 10 to 15 years of progressively responsible relevant experience of which, at least 5 years’ experience in university teaching in science and/or engineering, and in the planning, management or administration of university education, and at least 5 years’ experience of regional or international activity in building up human and institutional capacity in science or engineering in developing countries. Part of this experience should be acquired at the international level.

· Demonstrated experience in science-based monitoring of the environment.

· Thorough knowledge and ability to use micro-computers (for retrieval and analysis of information and for information service to Member States and partner organizations) in particular mastering of Word; Excel, Internet, etc.

· Excellent oral and written communication skills.

· Excellent knowledge of English or French, and good knowledge of the other language.

Conditions of employment: UNESCO’s salaries are calculated in United States dollars but mainly paid in local currency. They consist of a basic salary and a post adjustment which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates. For this post, the annual remuneration in local currency will start at around €95,900 (€89,100 if without dependants), exempt from income tax. In addition, UNESCO offers an attractive benefits package including 30 days’ annual leave, home leave, an education grant for dependent children, a pension plan and medical insurance. The initial appointment will be for two years, with a probationary period of 12 months, and renewal of the contract is subject to satisfactory service. Wordwide mobility is required as staff members have to serve in other duty stations according to UNESCO’s job rotation policy. UNESCO is a non-smoking organization.

How to apply: Candidates should use UNESCO’s online application system at Candidates without access to internet may send a paper application by completing the official UNESCO CV form (available at Headquarters, UNESCO Offices, National Commissions in Member States, or any office of a United Nations Resident Representative) in English or French to Chief, HRM/RCR, UNESCO, 7 place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France, before the closing date, quoting the post number “SC-427”. There is no application, processing or other fee at this or at any stage of the process.

New Edition of the NatCom Newsletter

U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, Volume 2, Issue 2, April/May/June 2006

In This Issue:
* Comments from the Executive Director
* UNESCO National Commission Host Second Annual Meeting
* Mrs. Laura Bush Announces Global Literacy Conference
* U.S. Ambassador Hosts Reception for UNESCO Award Winning Journalist
* Newly Established U.S. National Committee for the International Hydrological Program Conducts Inaugural Meeting on Future Objectives
* UNESCO Overall Review of Major Programs II and III
* UNESCO Prizes Information
* UNESCO Job Vacancies

Marguerite H. Sullivan To Leave the State Department

To read a biography of Ms. Sullivan, click here.

Margerite Sullivan will be leaving the Department of State on August 4, 2006 to take up a new position in the field of international media. For the last two years she has served as the Executive Director of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

New World Heritage Sites to be Named

Read the story online in the Times of Oman.

"Thirty-seven sites are to compete for a place on UNESCO's prestigious World Heritage list at a meeting in Lithuania later this month, the UN's educational, scientific and cultural organisation said Monday."

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2006

Read the full report online (PDF file).

The MDGs Report of the United Nations was released on 3 July 2006. The report presents the latest assessment on how far we have come, and how far we have to go in reaching the goals, in each of the world’s regions.

Reuters AlertNet notes with respect to the report:
"With less than a decade left to meet its development targets, the United Nations said on Monday there were "staggering" obstacles to succeeding and conditions in many poor countries were actually worsening.

"The eight Millennium Development Goals include targets on health, poverty and the environment -- such as halving the number of people living on less than $1 a day and stopping the spread of AIDS and tuberculosis.

"The U.N. progress report on the goals, set in 2000, found that while global incidence of extreme poverty has declined, some 140 million more people have entered that category in sub-Saharan Africa.

"More people are also going hungry in the region, which has seen only modest improvements in child mortality and maternity rates in the past six years, according to the study."

Education Today is hot off the press!

Read the new issue of UNESCO's Education Today newsletter online!

In recent years, non-governmental organizations have established themselves as fully recognized partners in the Education for All movement. The latest issue of UNESCO’s Education Sector newsletter reports on how civil society involvement pushes the boundaries in education.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Aksu-Dzhabagly Nature Reserve

The Aksu-Dzhabagly Nature Reserve is the oldest nature reserve in Central Asia. It also the first in the world to get status of a UNESCO biosphere preserve. For more than 70 years fauna and flora of Aksu-Dzabagly have been safe from ax, hunting and industrial pollution. The symbol of the preserve is Graid's Tulip. The Aksu Canyon - is 15 km long and 500 m deep, with a width between the canyon walls of 600-800m.

There is also a paleonthological preserve a the altitude of 3000 m above the sea level. Petroglyphs here go back to the 5-7th cc BC.

Robert Rauschenberg: Artist and Citizen

Go to the Smithsonian’s Robert Rauschenberg Traveling Exhibit website.

Robert Rauschenberg, Artist-Citizen presents 17 framed prints produced between 1970 and 1996 that reverberate with Rauschenberg’s commitment to making the world a better place .

The exhibition includes posters created for and often donated to such organizations as the United Nations, UNESCO, and the AFL-CIO as well as work from the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI), an evolving multi-media traveling exhibition of the artist’s paintings, sculpture, prints, and objects. All of the posters in the exhibition, which was developed by the University Art Gallery, California State University, Hayward, have been lent by the artist.

The International Council of Museums

The ICOM Home Page.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is an international organisation of museums and museum professionals which is committed to the conservation, continuation and communication to society of the world's natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible.

Created in 1946, ICOM is a non-governmental organisation maintaining formal relations with UNESCO and having a consultative status with the United Nations' Economic and Social Council.

13 Specialist International Organisations are affiliated to ICOM. They are:
* AEOM - Association of European Open-Air Museums
* AIMA - International Association of Agricultural Museums
* AMOI - Association of Museums of the Indian Ocean
* CAM - Commonwealth Association of Museums
* IACM - International Association of Custom Museums
* IATM - International Association of Transport and Communications Museums
* ICAM - International Confederation of Architectural Museums
* ICMM - International Congress of Maritime Museums
* MAC - Museums Association of the Caribbean
* MINOM - International Movement for a New Museology
* PIMA - Pacific Islands Museums Association
* SADCAMM - Southern Africa Development Community Association of Museums and Monuments
* SIBMAS - International Association of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts