ICHEI emerged from the initiative of Dr. Xu Qin, the Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal Government and Dr. Hao Ping, the Vice Minister of Education of the People’s Republic of China and also the President of the UNESCO General Assembly (2013-2015), both of whom proposed to make Shenzhen a truly international and innovative city after its phenomenal economic growth over the last 35 years. In particular, they suggested the establishment of a UNESCO Category 2 Centre in Education in Shenzhen, China. This initiative was of special significance as Shenzhen recently gained recognition from UNESCO as a City of Design in 2008 and is now a member of its Global Network of Creative Cities. UNESCO also nominated Shenzhen as a Global Model City for the Promotion of Nationwide Reading in 2013.
Their initiative was also seen as a timely response to the financial constraints that UNESCO has experienced in recent years, a result of the slashed contributions by the United States and other European countries. This means the proposed Category 2 Centre will be an opportunity for China to pursue a leadership role at the global level through its increased financial contributions to UNESCO. Shenzhen, in particular, will collaborate closely with various local, regional and international organizations, in its effort to become a truly international city. The following is the chronology of events pertaining to the establishment of ICHEI.
- Year 2016
- January 8ICHEI attended the Working Conference on UNESCO Funds-in-Trust.
- Year 2015
- December 25-27Tang Qian, the Assistant Director-General for Education of UNESCO and Du Yue, the Secretary-General of Chinese National Commission for UNESCO visited ICHEI.
- December 19ICHEI attended the 30th Plenary Session of the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO.
- DecemberICHEI visited the UNESCO office in Bangkok.
- NovemberThe ICHEI International Experts Consultation Meeting was held in Shenzhen.
- November 13The establishment of International Centre of Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO(ICHEI) in Shenzhen, China was approved by the Thirty-eighth General Conference of UNESCO.
- October 15The project of ICHEI (Shenzhen, China), listed as Item 3, Agenda 16, was approved after the deliberation of UNESCO Executive Board.
- OctoberThe Project Team attended the 197th session of UNESCO Executive Board.
- August 19The Project Team visited the UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (INRULED.)
- July 31The Project Team attended the Dujiangyan International Forum.
- June 19-23A UNESCO panel visited Shenzhen to carry out a feasibility study on the establishment of a Category II Institute.
- June 3-5The Project Team attended the Asia-Pacific Expert Meeting on Blended Learning.
- May 23The Funds-in-Trust Agreement was concluded in Qingdao between the Shenzhen Municipal Government and UNESCO.
- May 2The International High-end Seminar on Higher Education Innovation was held in Shenzhen.
- April 21The Project Team visited the UNESCO Headquarters.
- Year 2014
- OctoberThe Project Team visited Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) under the Auspices of UNESCO.
- AugustSUSTech organized the Leading Group and Project Team for UNESCO CategoryⅡinstitute (the Project Team).
- June 5The Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation was signed in Suzhou between the Shenzhen Municipal Government and UNESCO.
- FebruaryThe consensus of establishing a UNESCO CategoryⅡ institute in Shenzhen was reached between Xu Qin, the Mayor of Shenzhen and Hao Ping, the Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Education of China.