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Lucent Technologies Foundation Funds Distance Learning Program In Latin America

Submitted by: Lucent Technologies, Inc.

Categories: Community Development

Posted: Mar 08, 2000 – 11:00 PM EST


Awards $1.5 Million Grant to Connect Academic Institutions in Brazil, Mexico And the United States

Mar. 08 /CSRwire/ - Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) today announced the funding of a collaborative effort between Bell Labs and universities in Brazil, Mexico, and the U.S. to advance distance learning education around the Latin American region. Made possible by Lucent's philanthropic arm, the Lucent Technologies Foundation, the funding will total $1.5 million over three years.

Named the Partnership in Global Learning (PGL), the collaborative effort represents an unprecedented international initiative designed to produce distributed learning on a global scale using technologically enhanced distance learning methods. It will develop state-of-the-art curricula in science and telecommunications technology as well as in other academic fields.

"Our goal is to advance global education at every level using technology to enhance the learning experience," said Art Medeiros, president and CEO of Lucent Technologies in the Caribbean and Latin America region. "The Partnership in Global Learning will initially begin this year in Brazil and Mexico, but in the future we expect to roll the program out in other countries in the region and around the world."

The PGL pilot program is being spearheaded by the University of Florida in collaboration with The Technological Institute of Higher Education of Monterrey, (Mexico), the Fundacao Getulio Vargas (Brazil), the Pontifica Universidade Catolica (Brazil), and the Universidade de Campinas (Brazil). The University of Florida is recognized as a leading academic institution as well as a leader in Latin American Studies and the four universities from Latin America are recognized as the leading academic institutions in the region.

"We are very pleased to be a part of this bold initiative that recognizes an opportunity to further utilize available technology in the global education arena," said Charles Young, president of the University of Florida. "We congratulate Lucent Technologies and Bell Labs for placing such a high priority on education, one of the most important factors in the continuing development of communities around the world."

As part of the PGL initiative, the universities will "adopt" primary and secondary schools located in their areas and work with teachers in those schools to develop Web-based curricula that can be replicated. These Web-based distance learning courses will then be delivered to other schools to widen the reach and effectiveness of the program throughout Latin America. It is hoped that after the initial phase is completed, universities from other regions of the world, such as the Asia/Pacific, European and African regions, will be able to join the program.

"I am very excited about the opportunities to not only enhance global education, but to also bridge cultural differences around the world," said David Ford, president of the Lucent Technologies Foundation. "By providing students an opportunity to interact with other students in distant countries and regions of the world, they will be able to understand and celebrate their cultural differences."

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