ICHEI Visited Latvia and Serbia to Explore CooperationJune 19, 2019
During June 10th to 15th 2019, the delegation of the International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (ICHEI) under the auspices of UNESCO led by Director LI Ming visited Latvia and Serbia to explore potential cooperation possibilities.
In Latvia, the delegation visited University of Latvia (UL) and held a discussion with Prof. Peteris Pildegovics and Prof. SHANG Quanyu, Deans of the Confucius Institute at UL. Director LI Ming introduced ICHEI’s work in Smart Classroom Project, MOOC and online course resources, ICT capacity building seminars, and expressed willingness to carry out higher education programmes with UL. Prof. Peteris Pildegovics said he will provide any support that is necessary for ICHEI to establish cooperation in Latvia. Professor SHANG proposed that ICHEI could establish ties with faculties of UL and strengthen the cooperation gradually.
After the meeting with UL, the delegation paid a visit to HUAWEI Latvia branch office and held a meeting with local employees in charge of ICT business so as to learn about the development of ICT in education in Latvia and assess the feasibility of programme implementation in Latvia.
On June 12th, the delegation embarked on an arduous trip of investigation and communication in Serbia. Chronologically, the delegation visited University of Novi Sad, the Serbian National Commission for UNESCO under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Belgrade Metropolitan University, the Ministry of Culture and Media, the Cabinet of Minister for Innovation and Technological Development, and HUAWEI Serbia Branch Company. The delegation held fruitful meetings with the above organizations and established regular contact channels, laying a sound foundation for ICHEI’s work in Serbia in the future.
At the University of Novi Sad (UNS), the delegation met with Prof. Dejan Madic, Vice Rector for Internationalization, and representatives from the International Relations Office, Information and Public Relations Centre, the Biosense Institute and the Faculty of Technical Sciences. Both sides exchanged ideas on online degree-awarding education, refugee education, and information sharing channels, etc, and reached a consensus on cooperation. After the meeting, the delegation visited the E-learning Lab of UNS and learned a lot about UNS’ efforts in ICT in education development.
UNS hosts the Secretariat of China-Central Eastern European Countries Higher Education Institutions Consortium and is a pioneer in advancing cooperation among Chinese and Serbian universities. Vice Rector Dejan Madic said that UNS stands ready to cooperate with ICHEI and Southern University of Science and Technology to promote common development.
As a UNESCO Category 2 Centre in education, ICHEI paid a visit to Ms. Alexandra Kovac, Secretary General of the Serbian National Commission for UNESCO under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia. Ms. Kovac said, Serbia has placed great importance to ICT industrial development and ICT talent training, especially the improvement of ICT skills and capacity of women and girls. Serbian National Commission for UNESCO is willing to cooperate with ICHEI and by making use of the advantage of ICHEI and Shenzhen in ICT, to utilize ICT to improve education quality.
Later, the delegation visited the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and held discussions with Mr. Bojan Tubic, Assistant Minister, and Ms. Marija Kuzmanovic, Minister Assistant. Both sides exchanged in-depth ideas on online learning and refugee education. Mr. Tubic introduced that in Serbia, there are only online education credit-bearing courses, rather than all the courses of a certain major. Serbia has also taken some measures to include some of the refugees into the national education system in the stage of primary education. Mr. Tubic expressed strong willingness to cooperate with ICHEI in the field of online education and refugee education.
The delegation visited Belgrade Metropolitan University (BMU) and met with Rector Prof. Dragan Domazet. BMU has a huge advantage in online learning and online course resources development. Currently, BMU can provide more than 200 online courses. Both sides reached a consensus in sharing online courses resources.
The delegation also visited the Ministry of Culture and Media of Serbia, and discussed potential cooperation opportunities on utilizing ICT to improve media literacy with Assistant Minister Ms. Slavica Trifunovic and Head of International Cooperation Unit Ms. Maja Zaric. On behalf of ICHEI, Director LI Ming invited representatives from the Ministry to participate in the 17th International Conference on Media and Education to be held in this July in Shenzhen, China. Assistant Minister Ms. Slavica Trifunovic also invited ICHEI to take part in the 1st International Meeting on Media Literacy held by the Ministry of Culture and Media of Serbia and UNESCO Headquarters.
ICHEI also visited the Cabinet of Minister for Innovation and Technological Development and met with Prof. Bojan Lalic, Adviser to the Minister. Both sides exchanged ideas on the Smart Classroom Project, online degree-awarding education and ICT capacity building, etc.
Last but not the least, the delegation visited HUAWEI Serbia Branch Company. HUAWEI introduced the ICT development in Serbia and its application in education. Both sides discussed possibilities to carry out ICT in education programme and the refugee education issue.
This visit to Latvia and Serbia is another attempt by ICHEI to establish cooperative ties with Central and Eastern European countries under the 17+1 framework, which facilitates ICHEI to promote bilateral higher education programmes with Central and Eastern European countries.