Media Invitation - Higher Education in Asia using the Internet

Members of the press are invited to the Press Conference on Occasion of the Signing of a Cooperative Agreement between UNESCO and Keio University on June 26.

20 June, 2008
Keio University

Contributing to Higher Education in Asia using the Internet Invitation to a Press
Conference on Occasion of the Signing of a Cooperative Agreement with UNESCO on
June 26 SOI Asia Summit Conference on June 26-27: 150th Anniversary Commemorative Event

Keio University launched the School on Internet Asia project (Principle Investigator:
Prof. Jun Murai, Faculty of Environmental Information, Keio University; hereinafter "SOI
Asia"*1) in 2001. Currently 27 universities and research institutions from 13 countries
in Asia participate in the project. Since its foundation, SOI Asia has been promoting
mutual exchange of lectures between institutions of higher learning in Asian countries
using the Internet, and training highly skilled Internet engineers in these countries
while also contributing to raise their quality of education. In this connection, Keio
University, on behalf of SOI Asia, have decided to enter into a cooperative agreement
with UNESCO. Through this agreement, UNESCO and partner organizations of the SOI
Asia project will collaborate to promote application of scientific knowledge and
information technology and employ a variety of methods to develop the human
resources needed in order to ensure sustainable development in Asia.

A press conference and signing ceremony will be held preceding the Summit
Conference as described below.

1. Press Conference and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Signing Ceremony
between Keio and UNESCO

(1) Date: Thursday, 26 June,
13 :00 – 13:30 Press Conference
13 :30 – 14:00 Signing Ceremony

Prof. Yuichiro Anzai, President of Keio University (T.B.C.)
Prof. Jun Murai, Vice-President of Keio University,
Chairman of AI3 Project and SOI Asia Project
Mr. Hubert Gijzen, Director of the UNESCO Jakarta Office, on behalf of the Director
General of UNESCO
Mr. Isao Kiso, Japanese National Commission for UNESCO

(3)Venue: Roppongi Academyhills 49

2.SOI Asia Summit Conference

■Thursday, 26 June Venue: Roppongi Academyhills 49
14:00~15:00 Keynote speech1
Mr. Hubert Gijzen, Director of the UNESCO Jakarta Office
15:10~16:10 Keynote Speech2
Mr. Koji Omi, Former Minister of Finance of Japan
16:30 ~ 18:00 Panel I: Research

■Friday, 27 June Venue: Global Studio, 6F East Building, Mita Campus, Keio
09:00~09:45 Keynote Speech3
Prof. Aftab Seth, Keio University
10:00~11:30 Panel II: Entrepreneurship
12:45~13:00 MoU Signing Ceremony between Keio SFC and SEAMOLEC*2
13:00~15:00 Panel III: Education

3. Language: English

(Press Conference and MoU Signing Ceremony between Keio and UNESCO:English
and Japanese, Others:English)

4.About the Memorandum of Understanding

(1) Purpose
In Asia, it has become increasingly important to achieve social and economic
development sustainability. To achieve such sustainability, the nurturing of highly
capable human resources are urgently required. Also necessary are development of
institutions of higher learning and reinforcement of educational methods and research.

SOI Asia has built a global educational environment that uses satellite and Internet
technology and is based on coordination among Asian universities. Taking this
environment as a platform, SOI Asia launched a “Renewable Energy e-learning Pilot
Project” in cooperation with UNESCO. This project has delivered lectures on bio-energy,
renewable energy policy and planning, and solar energy to countries in South and
Southeast Asia.

SOI Asia now seeks to expand these activities and to mutually apply UNESCO’s
abundant educational contents and the educational network that Keio University and
SOI Asia are building in Asia in order to promote the establishment of a richer
educational environment in the region.

In addition, education-related cooperation will be implemented based on the above
mentioned platform to achieve the following goals:

• Contribute to strengthening scientific and technological literacy in Asia and the Pacific
and bringing together regional universities and their existing resources and expertise
as well as their shared interest in broadening the reach and scope of their educational
activities, and strengthening the role of ICT in sustainable development.

• Enhance the education processes and broaden the scope of delivery of materials to
improve higher education system in Asia and the Pacific.

(2) Content of the Initiative

• Implement distance learning and e-learning programs through SOI Asia Network.

• Share expertise on the development and distribution of educational materials,
initiatives and publications made available to general public or target beneficiaries.

• Carry out projects (hereinafter referred to as "the Project"), in increasing the
outreach of distance learning activities and enhancing the capacity of ICT
infrastructures, such as exploring the possibilities of connecting SOI Asia Network to
other ICT networks in Asia and the Pacific.

• Make an effort to raise awareness of the importance of science and technology for
sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.

• Provide resources for promotion of the facilities provided under this cooperation so
that they can be optimally accessed by communities and individual recipients.

*1 SOI Asia
SOI Asia has contributed to development and practical application of Internet
infrastructure in Asia. Its internet network covers all parts of Southeast Asia, including
Myanmar and Laos. Through the project, people are being trained in the information
technology sectors of Asian countries, and personal collaborative relationships among
these people are being built. Such highly trained personnel play central roles in
development and application of information technology in these countries. When a
tsunami generated by an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra killed more than 100
teachers in Syiah Kuala University and made it impossible for the university to continue
lectures, SOI Asia quickly set up a system for delivering lectures from member
universities, thereby helping maintain the university’s function.

27 partner organizations in 13 Asian countries:

People's Republic of Bangladesh
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)

Kingdom of Cambodia
Institute of Technology of Cambodia(ICT)
University of Health Sciences of Cambodia

Republic of Indonesia
Brawijaya University
Sam Ratulangi University
Hasanuddin University
University of Syiah Kuala
Institute of Technology Bandung

NAra Institute of Science and Technology
Keio University

Lao People's Democratic Republic
Laos National University

University Sains Malaysia
Asian Institute of Medicine, Science & Technology

Mongolian University of Science and Technology

Union of Myanmar
University of Computer Studies, Yangon
University of Computer Studies, Mandalay

Kingdom of Nepal
Tribhuvan University(TU)

Republic of the Philippines
Advanced Science and Technology Institute
University of San Carlos

Temasek Polytechnic (TP)

Kingdom of Thailand
Chulalongkorn University
Asian Institute of Technology (AIT )
Prince of Songkla University (PSU)
Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy(CRMA)

Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Hanoi University of Technology(HUT)
Vietnam National University(VNU)
Institute Of Information Technology( IOIT)

In Japan, the official lecture providing partners include Tokyo University of Fisheries and
Marine Science, Tohoku University, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
(JAIST), Mie University and WIDE Project.

For those of you interested in covering the event, please fill in the application form on the link below and fax it to the Office of Communications and Public Relations of Keio University by noon of Wednesday, 25 June.

Ms. Kawagoe or Ms. Mizuno
Office of Communications and Public Relations,
Keio University
TEL: +81-3-5427-1541
FAX: +81-3-5441-7640
E-mail: [email protected]

Published: 22 Jun 2008


Contact details:

2-15-45 Mita Minato-ku Tokyo 108-8345 Japan

News topics: 
Content type: 
Websites: SOI Asia For more information and form to attend the press conferences