UNESCO-ICHEI – TU Partnership for Digital Higher EducationDecember 15, 2020
In early December 2020, the UNESCO International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (Shenzhen) (UNESCO-ICHEI) and the Tribhuvan University (TU) of Nepal formally signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Established in 1959, TU is the first national higher education institution in Nepal. TU consists of 125 campuses and 1085 affiliated colleges, which makes the university one of the largest universities with a wide range of programmes in the world. In terms of the student population, more than 80% of the total number of enrolled students in the country studying at TU. In 2019, TU announced the Vision 2030, a new vision and plan with emphasis on ICT-related initiatives. In the Vision 2030, TU will focus on strengthening ICT capacity for knowledge dissemination, accumulation and creation, equipping the Open and Distance Education Centre (ODEC) with physical and human resources, and expanding open and distance programmes to reach the unreachable.
The Faculty of Education (FOE) is one of the nine institutes at TU. It is a leading institution in teacher education in the country and hosts the largest network of teacher education. The FOE aims to train school teachers and teacher educators for the country and promote International collaborations. Established in 2015, the Online and Distance Education Centre (ODEC) is committed to providing opportunities for those who are interested and have needs and integrating e-learning components in conventional programmes to make a hybrid system to expand learning opportunities in higher education. ODEC was listed as one of the pilot programmes of the Nepali government’s Master Plan for ICT integration in education.
TU and UNESCO-ICHEI share common goals in improving teachers’ ICT capabilities to achieve quality education. According to the MoU, the two parties will carry out further cooperation in the following areas:
– Teacher professional development programmes for ICT in education capacity building;
– Resource sharing and networking for educational purposes;
– Training for ICT-enabled education innovation;
– Technical expertise on distance learning development;
– Support for standardised teacher evaluation systems;
– Research collaboration in higher education.
The MoU symbolises that UNESCO-ICHEI and the TU will join hands to support more knowledge production and share benefits. At the same time, UNESCO-ICHEI remains committed to cooperation with more higher education institutions in Asian and African developing countries. Based on the contexts and needs of different countries, UNESCO-ICHEI will continue to provide tailored training programmes and ICT-enabled solutions for the digital transformation of its partner institutions and work towards realising the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4).