The 6th Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Education Ministers Meeting welcomed the initiatives by each member state to promote a transformative education and training that addresses the 21st century challenges and exploits the opportunities of the evolving technological changes, commonly known as the 4th Industrial Revolution.
In a meeting held today in Cape Town, under the theme, “Deepening BRICS Education Partnerships and Exchanges”, the Ministers reflected on the successes and challenges related to earlier education commitments made by the BRICS countries.
Opening the meeting, the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor said, “As countries of the South, we must strengthen academic exchanges and student mobility between our countries.”
She said the world has become increasingly interconnected; global trade in goods and services has expanded; knowledge has been more widely disseminated; and technology transfer has increased.
“This integration has included the arrangement of global and regional supply chains within a worldwide production structure and a great proportion of global production, trade and investment continues to shift towards Asia, Latin America and Africa”, Minister Pandor added.
Minister Pandor said the shift provided BRICS countries with an opportunity to maximise regional and global integration to their advantage.
“We can strengthen integration by sharing knowledge and information research, development and innovation. If universities in BRICS collaborate successfully on research and teaching in student and staff exchanges, we can make a significant contribution to global knowledge” Minster Pandor said.
Minister Pandor cited the BRICS Network University as one initiative that is grounded in the challenges, opportunities and aspirations of the BRICS communities.
“Through its research partnerships, the BRICS Network University, can help reduce the poverty, unemployment and inequality that characterize many countries in the developing world”, Minister Pandor said.
Minister Pandor’s opening remarks were followed by a statement from each BRICS member on specific theme, as follows
- Ø Brazil – How Workplace-Based learning supports improved learning and employability.
- Ø Russia – Mutual Recognition of qualifications, transferability and portability, the BRICS experience.
- Ø India – Promoting digitalization to improve education and training.
- Ø China – Strengthening cooperation in the field of TVET in clearly articulated initiatives
- Ø South Africa – Universities partnerships, opportunities and challenges.
Since its inception in 2013, the BRICS Education Ministers Meetings have agreed on broad themes of education collaboration. These have included: university linkages, and higher education mobility; Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) exchanges; sharing of education statistics and learning assessment experiences; as well as mechanisms for cooperation between BRICS and UNESCO, which resulted in UNESCO releasing a report on the comparative analysis of education trends in the BRICS countries in 2014.
The Cape Town Declaration on Education and Training signed by the BRICS Education Ministers is available on DHET’s website and can also be read here (Read the full Cape Town Declaration)
Issued by the Ministry of Higher Education and Training