He is a Principal Research Associate at UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, and a member of the Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, the European Commission Media Literacy Expert Group, and the Digital Literacy Expert Group. He is also the acting President of Global University System (GUS) and a Media Scholar at the Universities of Helsinki and Lapland well as the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. He is media education expert of the Finnish Board of Film Classification, and the Ministry for Education, and a contributor to the Media Literacy Education activities of the Alliance of Civilizations Forums of the UN.
Prof. Varis has held various posts throughout his career, including Rector of the University for Peace (created by the UN) in Costa Rica; Chair of Media Studies in the University of Tampere, Finland; and Director of Tampere Peace Research Institute. He has been visiting professor in many parts of the world, including Mexico, Venezuela, United States, Spain, and Austria. Prof. Varis has authored approximately 200 scientific articles on topics such as “Global Peace through the Global University System,” “The New Media, Cultural Identity and Integration in the New media World” and “Values and Limits of the Global Media in the Age of Cyberspace.” He contributes to scholarly publications as well as to print and broadcast media. He holds a Masters and Doctor of Social Science from the University of Tampere, Finland.