The five member countries of BRICS – Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa – today resolved to encourage and ease the mobility and exchange of students and faculty in each others institutions especially in the areas relating to the six domains identified for cooperation within the BRICS Network University like energy, climate change, water resources and economy.
The countries will “share the best practices available in BRICS countries on collaboration in education, research and innovation through the BRICS Network University…organise an annual conference of the BRICS Network University in the country of the current BRICS Chair; and encourage more universities to participate in the BRICS University League to facilitate student mobility and collaborative research”.
A statement by the HRD, ‘New Delhi Declaration of Education’ was issued on Friday after a meeting of the education ministers of the five countries. The nations have also decided to organise an annual conference of the BRICS Network University. The conference would be held in the country of the current BRICS chair, the declaration says.
BRICS countries account for one in three students in the world. Though most member countries are making efforts to improve their education systems, most outbound students from BRICS enroll in universities in the West. In 2014, the U.S. was the main destination for 210,000 Chinese students, 97,000 Indian students and 9,000 Brazilian students. Other key destinations include Britain, Japan, Australia, and Germany.
BRICS came into existence 10 years ago. The grouping of the five member countries do need more meeting points to build greater connection and propagate a development doctrine. Education can be one of the necessary cementing factors to enhance cooperation and coordination. Now the BRICS nations are making efforts to mobilise students to each other’s countries.
Another major decision made today was to select a nodal institution within each country and create an institutional network to share ICT policies, Open Educational Resources and other e-resources including e-libraries.
At the conclusion of the BRICS conference, Minister of State for HRD Mahendra Nath Pandey thanked the visiting ministers for their support.
In the declaration, the five countries also decided to strengthen the BRICS – TVET (Technical and vocational education and training) working group to develop national reports and undertake various studies.
The other areas of cooperation include using information and communication technologies (ICTs) for improving access to education, enhancing the quality of teaching-learning process, teacher development, and strengthening educational planning and management.
The BRICS countries also expressed commitment to work towards ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.