Centre of Excellence

UN Institute for Training and Research Joins EFQUEL

Brussels (BE)/Geneva (CH), May 2009 - Dr. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Vice-President of the European Foundation for Quality in eLearning, welcomed the first UN body to join the organization's Network: "That the United Nations Institute for Training and Research is now a member of the EFQUEL Network is a big step for our Foundation."

The collaboration extends the new era of international activities started by cooperative efforts with the Middle East, Asia, and Russia.

Rolf Reinhardt, the Executive Manager of the Foundation, is sure that "... UNITAR and EFQUEL share the common goal of being a centre of excellence. "Knowledge to Lead" is UNITAR's slogan, and EFQUEL asserts its role of being the perfect host to provide and enrich eKnowledge on the leading path."

UNITAR is the first UN body to join EFQUEL. The organization offers training for capacity development in the fields of environment; peace, security and diplomacy; and governance. Moreover, the Institute has identified the need to deepen its research activities in knowledge systems, including through the utilization of technology-enhanced learning. Its main aim is the expansion of its virtual learning environment in order to increase the number of its online courses and to create innovative ways of utilizing technology for learning.

UNITAR comes from its internationally renowned role in knowledge transfer, delivering adult training and professional training to UN Member States and other audiences. By adding UNITAR to its portfolio of members, EFQUEL expands and enriches its eLearning community and strengthens regional development through the integration of the UNITAR goal of promoting social cohesion into its endeavors. By joining EFQUEL, UNITAR seeks to benefit from the Network's eLearning services expertise, particularly in the area of quality standards.

Joining the EFQUEL Network takes around three weeks and consists of three steps: application, receiving the Board's agreement, and the actual granting of membership. Once a full member, UNITAR has the right to propose the formation of a Special Interest Group (SIG), which can afterwards turn into a Working Group (WG).

EFQUEL has some examples of this successful approach, joining with German agency InWent, UNITAR, and UNESCO, in the OPEN ECBCheck project, which was developed out of the Global Learning Working Group.