All politics is local, it is claimed. By the same token, perhaps, we can say the opposite about science and knowledge. It is global and borderless. Both statements are mostly true, but not always and not everywhere. In science and technology, medicine, mo-bile phone and computer technology and so, most knowledge and new inventions are universal. We even say that technology is neutral, and it is up to the individuals and groups how it is used, and to countries how it is regulated. But what about the social sciences and the humanities, are they also universal? Not to the same extent as the sciences, because they are often closer to politics than the pure sciences. For example, without specific local knowledge about a countrys history, traditions, politics, majority and minority cultures, and so, theories can easily become abstract and too general, proving that one size does not always fit all. It can become very arrogant, insensitive and outright wrong not to seek information from people themselves at the local level before we propagate our 'universal ideas. Yet, knowledge in social sciences and the humanities can be generalised, but we need to compare global knowledge and values with such from other places, not only one place. Yes, we do need theories and standards, but when studying society we can never be 100 percent correct. At the most, only 80 percent, and sometimes, what is true for me may be wrong for you. This article is touching upon the importance of learning from others, about comparing notes, about questioning own values and ways, and about letting others learn from us. We will discuss a few aspects of 'borderless knowledge and 'local knowledge, with some examples related to schools and universities. In 1953, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) decided to set up experimental activities among its member states to encourage wider cooperation in education, especially as related to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted in 1948). The experiment started with 33 schools in 15 countries; UNESCOs Associated Schools Project had been born. Today, this is the worlds largest network of schools, with about 8,500 members worldwide in what is now known as 'ASPnet. Three hundred schools are in Pakistan. They cooperate with sister schools in all kinds of fields, with focus given to peace and human rights for men and women, life skills, environment and climate change, and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Young people are enthusiastic in discussing and working for a fairer, more tolerant and better world for all. ASPnet facilitates schools, teachers and students in their cooperation, so they can get to know each other and communicate through old and new communication technologies and exchange visits. When UNESCO was established after World War II, its major purpose was to encourage greater intellectual cooperation so that the people would get to know each other, and through that, respect each other, develop understanding for different ideas, and so on, which would become defence-mechanism against the war, so that wars would never happen again. The famous statement in the preamble to UNESCOs Constitution can be cited: Since war begins in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences against war must be created. The fact that terrible wars and conflicts still exist, also in our region, means that we have not yet fulfilled the ideals and aims, and that the work must go on and be expanded. Today, it is sometimes easier to keep in contact with school and university colleagues abroad than with relatives in the home village. We should do both, and not forget those nearest even in our globalisation efforts. Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting four enthusiastic secondary school teachers from my home country, Norway. They had had contact, exchange visits and other cooperation with schools in Gujrat District in Pakistan for more than 10 years. One had retired but the fire was still burning for learning from Pakistanis, and sharing knowledge and opinions from her own experience. And the young member of the visiting delegation was fascinated, and so was the Norwegian Principal from Lindeberg School in Oslo, and the Pakistani colleague from Al-Mudassar Special Education Centre in Kharian. The Norwegian Ambassador, too, said he sometimes gets carried away when he hears about, and talks about, international cooperation, and I suppose, especially when it includes Norway and Pakistan. That was last week. And this week, I will attend the opening of a new Pakistani-Norwegian seminar series at the University of Gujrat. This is the main sending area of emigrants to Norway, recalling that the Pakistanis constitute the largest group of non-European immigrants in Norway. The Pakistani university with its Norwegian partners are planning courses, research projects and information activities about migration issues, remittances, development and humanitarian aid, and so on, and the benefits to the Norwegian society of inputs from the 'new Norwegians. I believe that cooperation of this kind will help in creating greater understanding, respect and further cooperation between people from the two countries, in trade, culture, religion, and so on. Not only that, I also believe that the quality of our research reports, educational courses and so on will be better because they are implemented by people from two or more cultures and of diverse backgrounds. That leads me to state that the migration in recent decades, from the south to the north, and the new multiculturalism in Europe, has many positive aspects, mainly benefiting the recipient countries. But we must talk about the ways of integration and diversity, and we must learn about each others cultures. We must also find fairer ways of migration, so that poor, sending countries and communities are not drained and become losers, while the receiving countries take the gain. Through further intellectual and practical cooperation we can develop win-win situations, benefiting all who participate, from those with broad theories and great ideas to those with local knowledge and real-life experience, and indeed those who do the practical job and mingle with people in everyday situations. Norway is oil-rich; it is the worlds fifth largest exporter of oil and gas, and it does investment in education, research and development. The 10-year primary and lower secondary school is compulsory, followed by another universal (but not compulsory) upper secondary education and training. About 50 percent go to university and it is now a principle that every student shall spend at least one semester abroad during his or her undergraduate studies. There are about 20,000 foreign students in Norway in a total student population of well over 200,000. That is not quite good enough, and Norway, too, needs to continue its internationalisation efforts, which has been high on the agenda only in the last two to three decades. Pakistani universities, too, with important support and initiatives taken by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), do what they can, in difficult economic times. How to internationalise should always be debated, and how much we should focus on international aspects and how much on national, local and remote-area issues. Obviously, a number of other issues must be included, such as those related to class and gender. We must remember that progress should include all, especially the lowest, the least and the last. When it comes to the latter, I believe that cooperation with Norwegians can be useful. After all, Norwegians have not always been amongst the wealthiest in the world. One hundred and fifty years ago, Norwegians were poor and many immigrated to America. The welfare state is only about 60 years old. And Norwegians are still down-to-earth and ordinary people. The oil-riches have not quite gone to our heads. Yes, it does get cold in winter, so a turban for the blue-eyed sheiks might have been appropriate. But culturally, that would be going too far. It is good to get impulses and ideas from others, and share the best of ones own. But we dont have to change and become parrots either. The writer is a senior Norwegian social scientist currently based in Islamabad. Email: