The International Institute of Online Education was Successfully Co-Initiated in ShenzhenDecember 10, 2019
During 7th – 8th of December 2019, over 70 participants including policy makers, university leaders, teachers, researchers, and entrepreneurs from over a dozen of countries gathered in Shenzhen for the convening of the “International Institute of Online Education” Consultative Meeting. Mr. Peter Wells, Chief of Section for Higher Education, UNESCO; Mr. Yue DU, Director of Division for Cooperation, Intersectoral Follow-Up and Partnership of Africa Department, UNESCO; Mr. Qian TANG, Former Assistant Director General for Education, UNESCO; Mr. Changwei QIN, Secretary General of Chinese National Commission for UNESCO; Mr. Jianling XU, Deputy Director of Education Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality; and Mr. Ming LI, Director of International Centre for Higher Education Research under the auspices of UNESCO (UNESCO-ICHEI) attended the meeting.
International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) initiative is proposed by UNESCO-ICHEI with its partner higher education institutions (HEIs) in developing countries in Africa and Asia-Pacific, and its partner enterprises and HEIs in China. It is developed based on the framework of “Belt and Road” Initiative of talent cultivation and establishment of mechanisms for cooperative development across countries that draws on the Silk Road Spirit of “peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit”. The initiative addresses gender equity, encouraging and supporting more female teachers and students in gaining access to quality higher education opportunities.
During the course of a day and half, the IIOE team introduced the initiative through its over structure and quality assurance, online platform for course resources, and platform development and technology. In addition, representatives from the global partner universities, enterprises and course providers presented their demands, and discussed its implementation and maintenance.
At the meeting, a total of 11 global HEIs, 4 domestic HEIs and 8 enterprises signed the “Letter of Intent to Join the IIOE Network”, as well as the cooperation framework agreements with UNESCO-ICHEI, officially becoming co-initiators of IIOE. In addition, the meeting elected Ain Shams University (Egypt) to become the first Rotating Presidency Unit of IIOE for year 2020.
It is reported that the initiative has received a seed fund of 10 million CNY from Tencent Charity Foundation, along with provision of hardware and software from some partner enterprises to support its smooth implementation. Presently, IIOE has integrated approximately 100 online course resources. UNESCO-ICHEI plans to officially launch IIOE in March, 2020 during UNESCO Mobile Learning Week. Aligning itself to SDG4 – ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, IIOE intends to help partner universities in developing countries to enhance their capacity and increase their opportunities to access quality higher education opportunities.
Co-initiators of the IIOE Initiative
Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia)
Ahmadu Bello University (Nigeria)
Ain Shams University (Egypt)
Makerere University (Uganda)
Mongolia University of Science and Technology (Mongolia)
Royal University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
University of Colombo (Sri Lanka)
University of Djibouti (Djibouti)
University of Engineering and Technology Lahore (Pakistan)
University of Gambia (Gambia)
University of Nairobi (Kenya)
Southern University of Science and Technology (China)
Xidan University (China)
Shenzhen Institute of Information Technology (China)
Shenzhen Polytechnic (China)
Weidong Cloud Education
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