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Expert Consulting Conference on International Center for Higher Education Innovation Shenzhen China Successfully Held

Nov 18, 2015 Latest

From November 14 to 15, 2015, the Expert Consulting Conference on International Higher Education Innovation Center was successfully held at SUSTC. More than 20 scholars and experts from home and abroad were present at the Conference. Prof. Wang Libing, Senior Programme Specialist in Higher Education, UNESCO (Bangkok Office), Prof. Li Xiaoming, Assistant President of Peking University and other eminent scholars delivered key-note speeches; Mr. Ngoy Mak, Director of the Cambodian Ministry of Education attended the Conference upon invitation; and Mr. Fan Kun, Deputy Director of Shenzhen Municipal Education Bureau was also present and delivered a speech at the Conference.

Prof. Li Ming, Chairman of SUSTC University Council and Director of the International Center for Higher Education Innovation Shenzhen China (ICHEI)–a UNESCO Category II Institute to be established soon at SUSTC, said in his speech that with the advantage of Shenzhen’s information industry and the academic resources of SUSTC, Shenzhen is actively applying to establish the UNESCO Category II Institute, and significant progress has been made. It is hoped that this Category II Institute could work well with the industrial advantages of Shenzhen to promote the innovation and development of higher education on a global scale, thus assembling and integrating domestic and foreign higher education resources and sharing them with more people through open platforms.

Mr. Fan Kun, Deputy Director of the Shenzhen Municipal Education Bureau said that the Shenzhen Municipal Government, as the window and bridge of China’s reform and opening-up, would spare no effort to build Shenzhen into an international city, and the international education is an indispensable part of this process. Shenzhen will strengthen cooperation with UNESCO on an all-round basis and contribute to the construction of Shenzhen into a modern, international and innovative city.

Prof. Wang Libing, Senior Programme Specialist in Higher Education, UNESCO (Bangkok Office) said that young as it was, Shenzhen attaches great importance to higher education and has given generous support to SUSTC. Despite the short history of SUSTC, it has an elevated starting point and its faculty team is high in quality, energetic and united, “so it can’t be more suitable for SUSTC to prepare for the establishment of this UNESCO Category II Institute.”

Mr. Ngoy Mak, director of the Cambodian Ministry of Education, briefly introduced the situation of higher education in Cambodia, particularly their practice to upgrade higher education with Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

The Conference focused on the application of ICT in higher education, including ICT & international higher education governance, approaches and methods to apply ICT in higher education, cases and successful stories of institutions of higher education achieving innovation and development with ICT.

On the topic of “ICT & international higher education governance”, Mr. Zha Jianzhong, Professor of Beijing Jiaotong University and the Chair Holder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UNESCO Chair on Cooperation between Higher Engineering Education and Industries, elaborated on the importance of ICT to the upgrade of students’ professional quality and employability in modern society, adopting the perspective of IT application in the professional education of the Information Age. Dr. Han Wei, Deputy Head of the Preparatory Working Team for the UNESCO Category II Institute introduced the whys and hows of applying to establish the UNESCO Category II Institute. He listed the specific approaches as follows: First, to fully open educational resources, integrate all the available educational resources and build on the existing research and development findings for further exploration. Second, to pay more attention to mobile learning in practice. Third, to develop learning APPs and platforms that can be used on cell phones and other mobile devices. In addition, Dr. Han also introduced some pilot online education projects carried out by SUSTC. Dr. Xiong Jianhui from the Education Development Research Center under the Ministry of Education introduced the latest development at the UNESCO General Conference, and interpreted the close relation between Internet+ and higher education in China from the perspective of national macro-policy. Mr. Fu Yingbao, Deputy Managing Director of the Higher Education Institutions Teacher Online Training Center of the Ministry of Education, introduced the successful experience of promoting teachers’ development with ICTs and making the best resources in the country accessible to the faculty of local universities. Mr. Chen Zhiwen, Editor in Chief of the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) analyzed the effects of different web-pages on the student appeal, and emphasized that they should be “user-centered” so that they can serve students, teaching and research in real sense. Mr. Deng Weiqiang, Director of the Huawei Corporate Business Education, held that technology could give wing to education reform, making knowledge readily accessible to everyone. Now Huawei is cooperating with some institutions to seek after the most advanced ICT solutions and thus to provide powerful guarantee for the construction of educational informationization. Anna Chung of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding shared their successful experience, and expressed their willingness to cooperate with Shenzhen.

On the topic of “approaches and methods to apply ICT in higher education”, Prof. Li Xiaoming, Assistant President of Peking University said that with the rapid development of online education becoming a normal, innovation should be reflected on the teaching methods, technology and management as well as on the educational system and ecology. Prof. Hyo-Jeong So of the Pohang University of Science and Technology maintained that the openness and accessibility of MOOC must be taken into serious consideration, including the design of making the resources accessible to disabled people. Prof. Huang Ronghuai of the Beijing Normal University discussed the relationship between training ecosystem and innovation ability of colleges and universities in the Information Age. He insisted that the Internet strategy, in turn, will force the training models of colleges and universities to reform, and for colleges and universities, it is an important approach of enhancing their innovation ability by using the advanced education technology to optimize the ecological chain from the learning environment deployment, curriculum construction, teaching management innovation to scientific research and knowledge transfer. Ana-Paula Correia of the Iowa State University introduced the MOOC cases in their university, saying that MOOC requires an ideal curriculum design and should be combined with educational research. Kirk Franklin Perris of the Beijing Normal University probed into the relationship between MOOC, credits and tuition; he went on to analyze the higher educational costs and said that students could pay their tuition according to their actual needs. Prof. Wang Qiong of the Peking University believed that the development of MOOC enables us to forecast the postmodern evolution of higher education: the decomposition and restructuring of courses themselves and the challenges for teachers and students in teaching-learning interaction will give birth to a new culture of E-learning, and promote the resource exchanges in university alliances. Dr. Allan Yuen of the University of Hong Kong maintained that with technological advance, teaching now has become a design science, and teachers must keep pace with the times. Prof. Thanomporn of the Chiang Mai University shared their success in ICT application and management, and explored the feasible ways to cooperate with private enterprises. Prof. Lim Chol-yil of the Seoul National University introduced how to use ICT tools and some intelligent instruments to improve the quality of teacher training. Ms. Liu Hongxia of the New York University Shanghai illustrated with a case of her university the reliance of global network on ICT hardware and technology, and the feasibility of using such technology for teacher training. Prof. Zhang Qingyuan of the University of Macau introduced the two influencing factors of technology application in teacher training, which are helpful to guide our daily practice and enable us to take appropriate measures to enhance technical application.

On the topic “cases and successful stories of institutions of higher education to realize innovation and development with ICT”, Prof. Zhao Jianhua of the South China Normal University shared their practice of online education, including the construction of learning environment and curriculum platforms, as well as the supporting services. Christian Grewell of the NYU Shanghai introduced his tentative efforts for space innovation in creating virtual-reality classrooms for college students. Dr. Swati Mujumdar introduced the practice of his country in carrying out distance education in India and the results achieved. Mr. John Donovan, the representative of Oxford University Press, provided new insights into the role ICT plays in teacher training. Crace Oakley of the University of Western Australia explored the revolutions of ICT application in education from the perspective of school organization structure.

At the closing ceremony, Prof. Wang Libing said ICT can save costs and yet can be very costly in some other aspects, bringing some changes to the management, decision-making and process of schools or institutions of higher education; particularly, the application of new technology has produced mass data, and it was one of UNESCO’s concerns to ensure the openness and accessibility of such data. Prof. Li Ming held that the society needs to enhance the cultivation of high-class innovative talents through the application of the new technology; in this process, it is essential that colleges change their ways, methods and platforms in a timely manner. Meanwhile, higher education should also be made accessible to those who were deprived of the opportunities to attend college, providing them with a selection of courses of different levels and types, which represents an inevitable trend. As a young university, SUSTC is willing to make some new attempts through technological advance, build a platform through resource integration, and make contributions to the development of higher education in the developing countries of Asia and Africa.

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