Chulalongkorn University-Global Development Learning Network (CU-GDLN)
From the initial projects between the World Bank and Chulalongkorn University, which were made possible through donations, further cooperation has ensued to develop another university project, Chulalongkorn University-Global Development Learning Network (CU-GDLN).
The World Bank established the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) in 1997. GDLN is an offshoot of the World Bank Learning Network (WBLN), which links together World Bank offices worldwide. The learning programs are conducted between offices, clients and related parties. Because of its initial success, the World Bank decided to expand the network to include other organizations, particularly those involved in education.
GDLN is a telecommunications network that links together the World Bank's Distance Learning Centers (DLCs), which are found in different cities located around the world. GDLN has made possible through the cooperation of many different organizations, government, private sectors and NGOs to develop a multichannel network using the most advanced technology. This serves as a tool to reduce the so-called knowledge gap and to promote continuous dialogues between those who possess knowledge, provides opportunity for people to improve themselves and contributes to development. Distance learning is a communication channel that bypasses obstacles caused by time or distance restraints as well as language. It can provide interactive learning through formats of videoconferencing and the Internet for the greatest advantage, or as the GDLN slogan states, "Linking the World Through Learning".
From the year 2000 until now, there are approximately 120 DLCs in the network including those in 14 Asia Pacific countries, namely Thailand, Singapore, China, Japan, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Timor-Leste, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia.
The DLC in Thailand is officially known as Chulalongkorn University-Global Development Learning Network (CU-GDLN). It is the first DLC in the Asia-Pacific region and had its soft launch in February 2000. Then along with the one in Singapore, they are the first two DLCs in the region, being officially launched on June 21, 2000. It is also among the first 15 DLCs that the World Bank supported to establish worldwide.
CU-GDLN received funds from the loan project of the University of Science and Engineering Education Project (USEEP), a project under the supervision of the Ministry of University Affairs that the World Bank has been supporting since 1994. The Ministry established an information network (UniNet) to support development in university education. It serves as a highway that links 24 state universities nationwide together as well as to foreign databases. Meanwhile, CU-GDLN was established as part of the Office of Academic Resources' network, CARNET, a sub network of Chulalongkorn University's network or CUNET, which is linked to UniNet. Thus, it not only serves the learning requirements of the university community, but also virtually outreaches every region in Thailand. As it is also linked to the World Bank's GDLN, it is thus linked to other DLCs in many countries simultaneously.