Turkey to host regional forum of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in South East Europe
The UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), and the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO have collaborated to convene a regional forum of the South East European UNESCO Chairs / University Twinning and Networking (UNITWIN) Programme which will take place from 12 to 13 June 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey.
The objective of the Forum is to identify and outline a shared regional roadmap and common vision of the role of UNESCO Chairs in the South East European (SEE) area. Discussions will be encouraged to reflect upon and enhance the dual function of these UNESCO instruments and networks as “think tanks” and “bridge builders” between the academic world, civil society, local communities, research and policy-making.
As “brain drain” is affecting the social and economic development of the region, it will also be an opportunity to promote regional and/or sub-regional poles of innovation and excellence. As well, the Forum will serve to share best practices and exchange knowledge. The final objective of the Forum will be to encourage a common strategy and vision for the role of UNESCO Chairs in the SEE region.
The one and a half day thematic sessions will also provide participants with an opportunity to discuss the operational framework of the Chairs Network and elaborate or propose regional projects for joint collaboration.
Established in 1992 following the relevant decision of UNESCO’s General Conference taken at its 26th session, the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme was conceived as a way to advance research, training and programme development through the recognition of excellence and university networking. So far UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks have proven useful in establishing new teaching programmes, generating new ideas through research and reflection, and facilitating the enrichment of existing university programmes while respecting cultural diversity.
Today about 766 UNESCO Chairs and 69 UNITWIN networks have been established, involving over 850 institutions in 134 countries. A majority of the projects are interdisciplinary and intersectoral and involve all of UNESCO’s programme areas: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information, with the active cooperation of UNESCO Field Offices, Institutes and Centres.
A number of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks are established in the SEE region. With reference to the ongoing overall review of UNESCO Chairs conducted by Headquarters, the UNESCO Venice Office would like to enhance cooperation amongst active SEE Regional UNESCO Chairs/UNITWIN Networks within the fields of science and culture.
The audience targeted comprises: UNESCO Chair-holders in the field of Culture and Natural Sciences /Coordinators of SEE area (geographical scope: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey as well as Armenia, Georgia, Republic of Moldova); representatives of universities and higher education institutions; and, representatives of relevant ministries and National Commissions for UNESCO.
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