Name of Organization:
International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO
Other Organizations Involved:
13 universities in Asia and Africa, 4 universities in China, 21 Chinese companies and institutions
Name of Countries or Regions Covered or Related in the Practice:
Partner universities from 14 countries: China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Djibouti, Kenya, Gambia, Côte d'Ivoire, Pakistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia; more than 8000 registered teachers covering 135 countries and regions: China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Djibouti, Kenya, Gambia, Côte d'Ivoire, Pakistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, India, etc.
The International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (Shenzhen, China) (UNESCO-ICHEI) was established in 2016, with regard to the "UN Sustainable Development Goal 4" to "ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all". In 2019, UNESCO-ICHEI initiated the International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) project; the platform now serves global higher education development through multiple channels such as online teacher professional development courses, training for ICT-enabled teaching, institutional management, and talent cultivation. IIOE also conducts academic research, knowledge production and dissemination in related fields, and provides ICT infrastructural support for HEIs in collaboration with industrial partners, creating the community for the shared future of higher education digital transformation.
Adhering to the Belt and Road Initiative and promoting higher education digital transformation in developing countries
The International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) initiative is proposed by the International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (UNESCO-ICHEI). In December 2019, UNESCO-ICHEI joined hands with its 11 global partner Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in developing countries in Africa and Asia-Pacific, 4 HEIs and 9 partner enterprises in China to co-launch the IIOE platform.
The IIOE Project is developed to support the talent cultivation and international cooperation mechanisms in light of the Belt & Road initiative, which draws on the Silk Road Spirits of "peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit". Digital transformation has been a crucial strategy for global higher education sectors to achieve the "Education 2030" vision. Since its inception, UNESCO-ICHEI has intended to help partner HEIs build institutional capacity, enable university teachers to improve their digital literacy, and empower local talent cultivation in realizing digital transformation.
Representatives of IIOE's partner HEIs, enterprises, and international organizations initiating the project in 2019
Focusing on pandemic pedagogies and empowering university teachers with enhanced digital literacy
To address the urgent needs of HEIs in developing countries in implementing Online/ Blended Teaching & Learning (OBTL) amid the Coronavirus Outbreak, in April 2020, IIOE organized 10 special training sessions for Online Teaching Capability and Education Planning in English and French, providing timely support and targeted knowledge sharing for university teachers and administrators in Asia and Africa regions. During the "Covid-19 Response Training Series", IIOE engaged 2,108 university teachers and experts from 307 universities in 46 countries in improving pandemic pedagogies, while nearly half of the trainees are from the first batch of 11 IIOE partner universities.
IIOE's global partnership network
A significant obstacle to the capacity building of university teachers in developing countries is the lack of free, open, public teacher professional development courses and training resources. In this regard, IIOE has published over 600 multilingual ICT-related online courses in Chinese, English, French and Arabic, collaborating with national and international partners through the IIOE co-construction mechanisms for shared knowledge development. IIOE has also created various training sessions, documentation, Online and Blended Learning Quality Assurance tools; these works have effectively served the digital transformation needs for partner HEIs in developing countries in Asia and Africa. Since September 2020, IIOE has implemented innovative online educational approaches to design training in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, and more. By integrating self-learning with interactive webinars, IIOE supports HE educators’ digital reskilling & upskilling, serving over 8,000 university teachers from 135 countries worldwide.
Teachers from Pakistan, Côte d'Ivoire, Japan, and China teaching at IIOE
Creating a community for Higher Education Digital Transformation through Multi-party Collaboration, Co-sharing, and Co-construction Mechanisms
As an online education platform for resource sharing and exchange, IIOE adheres to the development principles of "wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefit"; it adopts and includes the educational development achievements of various countries and nationalities in facilitating cultural, academic, talent, and knowledge exchange in multilateral settings.
IIOE could not realize its visions without the support of partner HEIs: the two Rotating Presidency Units of IIOE, Ain Shams University (Egypt) and University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore (Pakistan), have contributed insights to the development of IIOE, other HEIs in Asia and Africa have also established active participation in IIOE events, consultation meetings and activities. IIOE's work will serve the global higher education sector; teachers from different countries in Asia and Africa can co-teach the same lesson in cyberspace. Through multiple channels such as curriculum & training design, educational tool development, and policy formulation, IIOE will gather strengths with partner HEIs, enterprises and institutions worldwide in constructing a shared community for higher education digital transformation.
The global expert committee supporting IIOE research and development
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