Sunday, October 15, 2006

Internet Access to Educational Resources

Read the full statement made by Richard C. Levin at the 175th session of UNESCO's Executive Board.

Levin, the President of Yale University, gave his talk on Wednesday, October 4, during the thematic debate titled:“In the age of globalization, UNESCO as a specialized agency of the reforming UN system : challenges, roles and functions at global, regional and country levels”.

It seems clear that UNESCO should do whatever it can to encourage these growing tendencies toward making instructional materials and scholarly publications freely available on-line. These trends could have a major positive impact on the quality of tertiary education in developing countries. In some cases achieving wider access may require the modification of existing copyright law, but in many cases the need to change the law may be avoided by encouraging scholars and publishers to use more creative forms of licensing, which allow royalty-free re-use and distribution for non-commercial and educational purposes. UNESCO could be very helpful in disseminating information to its member nations about the availability of free on-line resources, and it could help to educate scholars and publishers about the new forms of licensing that are emerging to facilitate access.

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