Ms Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, and Mr Zhou Ji, President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering
UNESCO Director-General signed the agreement to establish the International Centre for Engineering Education with Mr Zhou Ji, President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, in Beijing on 6 June 2016.
The Centre, placed under the auspices of UNESCO (Category 2), will encourage research, cultivate high-caliber engineering talent in developing countries and provide support to governments to foster innovation and improve collaboration between industry and universities. Approved by UNESCO’s 38th General Conference in November 2015, the Centre will be based at Tsinghua University.
“Engineering is vital to all countries today, especially in the developing world, which face considerable challenges that require all the creativity and innovation that engineering can muster,” said the Director-General. “This is why engineering must stand at the heart of all efforts to take forward the 203 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Change Agreement.”
Professor Zhou Ji, President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, affirmed that “engineering contributes to economic and social progress by connecting scientific discoveries with industrial advancement. China’s experience proves that science and technology is the key to this progress and education is its foundation.”
He pledged that, through the Centre, China will share its experience in engineering education with developing countries to implement the 2030 Agenda.
Tsinghua University has a long tradition of innovation, international cooperation and the cultivating of first-class talents in science, technology and engineering, as outlined by its President, Professor Qiu Yong. “Many countries have launched industrial development strategies that provide historical opportunities for engineering education,” said Professor Qiu. “But engineering education confronts many challenges, such as how to attract young people, how to cultivate female engineers, how to ensure both high quality and equity, and how to train engineers in developing countries, especially Africa.”
He affirmed that “the Centre will provide a platform to increase exchanges and advance engineering education worldwide for the benefit of a better future for humanity.”