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Tsinghua University, University of Geneva forge links on SDGs education

Author  :       Source  :    Xinhua     2019-01-22

The University of Geneva and China's Tsinghua University came together again Monday, bringing together the young and experienced to forge new ways of jointly providing education to make the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) happen.

The Geneva Tsinghua Initiative (GTI) is a partnership between the University of Geneva and Tsinghua University, a top-ranked Chinese university.

On Monday it held a meeting titled "Geneva Trialogue -- Scaling Education for the SDGs".

For the Geneva Trialogue, Geneva University is collaborating with UNITAR, the UN Institute for Training and Research, and XuetangX, China's largest MOOC (massive online open courses) platform.

They assembled thought leaders, education innovators, and decision makers from educational institutions, international organizations, and the private sector.

They held keynote talks, networked and explored ways to collaborate on scaling SDG education, which was partially supported through the GTI.

Keynote speaker Joanna Newman, the Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, of more than 500 educational bodies said, "The Geneva Tsinghua Initiative is a great example demonstrating a partnership that is working very well."

The GTI brings together one of Europe's oldest universities surrounded by United Nations and international organization and Tsinghua with its main campus in Beijing's high-tech corridor, and another in Shenzhen, heart of the Chinese manufacturing ecosystem.

"We met exactly three years in Davos in 2016 and from that meeting we have been able to construct so much together," said Yves Fluckiger, Rector of the University of Geneva at the event.

Both universities launched SDG solutions centers together in 2017, and they have a shared masters' program.

Geneva University's program runs from its Campus Biotech.

"Campus biotech is surrounded by international organizations, by international Geneva -- the WMO (World Meteorological Organization), the WTO (World Trade Organization), UNHCR (UN High Commission for Refugees), the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) and GAVI, (a public-private partnership) -- which are just across the street from the campus," said Fluckiger.

Tsinghua University President Qiu Yong said that Tsinghua University and the University of Geneva signed the memorandum on Jan. 16 of 2017, which was witnessed by the two country's leaders.

He said that Monday's meeting was to "to discuss ways to enhance cooperation to tackle challenges" in implementing the SDGs which aim to help the upliftment of humanity.

"We discussed how to promote SDGs education through mass education," Qiu said.

Geneva and Tsinghua universities have established a joint masters' program on sustainable development. Upon successful completion of the dual degree requirements, international students and Chinese MPA students will receive one master's degree from each party.

Editor: Li Yujie

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