A Round Table on the Role of UNESCO in the Construction of Knowledge Societies through the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Program is to take place as part of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), on November 10, 2005 in Tunis. WSIS is sponsored by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNITWIN is UNESCO's Universities Twinning and Networking Scheme.
The Round Table will address the role of higher education in the construction of knowledge societies and the challenges facing university systems in effectively contributing to the social, economic and cultural development of nations.
"A number of crucial challenges will be discussed, such as:
* equity and quality of higher education,
* barriers to harnessing ICT in education,
* under-development of research,
* diminishing government financial support to higher education,
* the brain drain,
* language barriers preventing access to information on the Internet, and
* bridging the knowledge gap."
The round table will be conducted in three languages - Arabic, English and French - with simultaneous interpretation.