The UNESCO Chairs Programme promotes international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work.
Through this global network, higher education and research institutions all over the world pool their resources, both human and material, to address pressing challenges and contribute to the development of their societies.
In New Zealand, our two UNESCO Chairs are Professor Paul Morris and Dr Wayne Mackintosh.
Professor Paul Morris
Paul Morris is Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington where he holds the UNESCO Chair in Interreligious Understanding and Relations in New Zealand and the Pacific.
Paul studied under Lloyd Geering at Victoria and Ninian Smart at Lancaster University and taught at Lancaster University before returning to New Zealand. He has held visiting appointments at University of Queensland, University of Sydney, UNSW, University of California, Santa Barbara, Boston University, L'Observatoire du Religieux, Institut d'études politiques d'Aix-en-Provence (Sciences Po Aix), and most recently at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies where he was Dorset Fellow in 2013. Professor Morris is a New Zealand Literature Montana prize winner and finalist and received the 2007 International council of Christians and Jews Gold Medal for Peace through Dialogue (Heppenheim, Germany).
He teaches papers on religion and politics, religious diversity, theories and methods in the study of religion, Judaism, death, and the 100 level paper, What is Religion? His publications include books and articles on religion and politics, religion in the Pacific, theology, citizenship and religion, religious diversity, multiculturalism and religion, religion in New Zealand, and religion and poetry.
Current research includes religion and development in the Pacific; religion and citizenship; radical theologies; and a study of cosmopolitanism and religions.
Dr Wayne Mackintosh
Wayne Mackintosh is the Director of the Open Education Resource Foundation, an independent non-profit organisation head-quartered at Otago Polytechnic where he holds the UNESCO and ICDE Chairs in Open Educational Resources (OER).
The OER Foundation is coordinating the establishment of the OERu, an international network of universities, polytechnics and community colleges which aims to widen access to more affordable education for all.
Wayne has extensive international experience in educational technology, learning design and the theory and practice of open and distance learning (ODL). Previously, he was Education Specialist, eLearning and ICT policy at the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), an intergovernmental organisation based in Vancouver, Canada. Before joining COL he was Associate Professor and founding director of the Centre for Flexible and Distance Learning (CFDL) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. At the University of Auckland, he was tasked with eLearning strategy and leading CFDL's professional staff team. Prior to moving to New Zealand he spent eleven years working at the University of South Africa (UNISA), a distance learning institution and one of the world's mega-universities. Wayne has participated in a range of international consultancies and projects including work for COL, the International Monetary Fund, UNESCO and the World Bank. Wayne is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Wikimedia Foundation and the advisory panel for Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand.