UNESCO higher education consultation held at SUSTech
Chris Edwards | 09/28/2019

September 24th saw Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) work with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to consolidate the lessons learned from the Shenzhen Funds-in-Trust project by hosting the Regional Consultation on ICT-Driven Innovation in Higher Education in Asia-Pacific (Regional Consultation) with the support of UNESCO-Shenzhen Funds-in-Trust. The International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (ICHEI) was one of the key sponsors of the event, along with the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education and SUSTech.

Chief of Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development at the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education Wang Libing, China National Commission for UNESCO Deputy Secretary-general Zhou Jiagui and Shenzhen Municipal Education Bureau Deputy Director Xu Jianling were joined by SUSTech Vice President Lu Chun, UNESCO-ICHEI Director Li Ming took part in the Regional Consultation, along with more than 40 policy makers, university presidents, entrepreneurs, teachers and researchers from 15 countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Wang Libing pointed out at the opening ceremony that UNESCO attached great importance to informatization of higher education, youth skills and employment. With the support of the UNESCO-Shenzhen Funds-in-Trust, Cambodia and Sri Lanka have continued to improve. He acknowledged the great work done by the UNESCO-ICHEI in Asia and Africa in recent years, and hoped that UNESCO-ICHEI would expand into the South Pacific region.

Lu Chun said that as one of the youngest universities in the world in a rapidly developing city, SUSTech actively promotes international exchanges and cooperation, and uses information communication technology to promote innovation in higher education. He is looking forward to continued contributions to scientific development of higher education in the Asia-Pacific region through mutual collaborations with institutions of higher learning in Asian and African countries.

Li Ming introduced the great importance UNESCO-ICHEI places on the application of ICT in higher education. It has long devoted itself to improving the equity and quality of higher education in developing countries in Asia and Africa, and established smart classroom projects in 12 countries in Asia and Africa. He revealed that the project results in Cambodia and Sri Lanka had also provided benefits to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Xu Jianling explained that the Shenzhen Municipal Government, as a donor of the UNESCO-Shenzhen Funds-in-Trust, paid close attention to the development of its fund projects. He affirmed the contribution of UNESCO-ICHEI to the development of higher education throughout Asia. In the future, Shenzhen would continue to support the development of its fund projects by creating a good environment for cooperation that contribute to the development of higher education in Asia.

Zhou Jiagui talked about the many educational collaborations conducted between the Chinese government and UNESCO in recent years. He hoped that the Regional Consultation would offer further contributions in global education informatization.

The Regional Consultation will see the peer-reviewing and finalization of the joint UNESCO policy brief on ICT-driven innovation. It will also introduce the flagship project of UNESCO-ICHEI, the International Institute of Online Education.

2019, 09-28
By Chris Edwards

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