Sun Focuses on Making LifeLong Learning a Global Reality with Forum

3/2/2004 - Scott McNealy, chairman, president and CEO, Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) will be joined by delegates of Ministries of Education from 25 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America and North America at the LifeLong Learning Forum in Madrid, Spain. Delegates to the international Forum will address their common vision for making lifelong learning a global reality and will also establish a dialogue to address the intersection between technology and education. Gathering global academic, political and private sector leaders in education, the Forum provides participants with a unique opportunity to discover, discuss and share best practices in lifelong learning.

As the demands on today's ministries of education and individual educational institutions grow - from high-stakes performance assessments and the need for greater accountability, to the need for equal access to curricula and tools for learning - education leaders are increasingly looking how to better use technology to help address these challenges. The LifeLong Learning Forum allows education leaders to work together to devise solutions and initiate change on a global level. Following the Forum, Sun Microsystems will release a summary of conclusions available to the public.

Sun is also calling for a global Education Learning Community (ELC) to be formed in order to establish a unified infrastructure and set of standards that joins nations and academic institutions together with universal access to curriculum, services and training. It is Sun's vision that the ELC will share resources, leverage best practices and work on collaborative projects, such as grading, testing, enrollment and online curriculum. The first step in bringing Sun's ELC to light is today's LifeLong Learning Forum.

"Sun is always working to champion best practices in global education through the development of tools and technologies that give students a learning advantage and education leaders a budget advantage," McNealy said. "To have more than 40 Ministries of Education represented from 25 nations demonstrates that there is a strong worldwide commitment toward improving the quality, access and openness of education for everyone. This forum will demonstrate that when great minds put their head's together amazing results can be achieved."

Distinguished education leaders Jose-Maria Figueres, former president of Costa Rica, co-chief executive officer, World Economic Forum, and chairman of the board of leadership in environment and development (LEAD), and Dr. Otto Dibelius, senior advisor to the director-general, DG Education and Culture, European Commission, will join Sun Microsystems to address the gathering of leaders at the LifeLong Learning Forum. In total, more than forty Education representatives from around the world are attending the Forum.

"Building an inclusive Information Society requires new forms of solidarity, partnership and cooperation among governments, corporations and other stakeholders. Likewise, bridging the digital divide and ensuring harmonious, fair and equitable development for all requires a strong commitment by the global community," said Jose Maria Figueres, co-chief executive officer, World Economic Forum. "Today's Forum marks a turning point in education as it demonstrates a true commitment by the global community to move beyond geographic boundaries to work together to promote lifelong learning."

"The European Commission supports corporate partners such as Sun Microsystems through its cooperation with the eLearning Industry Group (eLIG)," said Dr. Dibelius. "Our shared vision of bridging the digital divide is firmly rooted in our commitment to improve the quality, access and openness of education, training and ICT skills development."

Agenda Highlights of the LifeLong Learning Forum
The LifeLong Learning Forum is a half-day event being held on March 1 in Madrid, Spain. Highlights of the agenda include:

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, StarOffice, Solaris and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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