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Declaration of the 7th meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education 21 October 2020

We, the BRICS Ministers of Education and assigned representatives of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of South Africa, having met on October 21, 2020 via videoconference to discuss high-priority issues of BRICS cooperation on education and given the current global health and economic challenges;

Recalling the roadmap for BRICS education collaboration outlined by the Ministers at their inaugural meeting on November 2013, Brasilia Declaration on March 2nd, 2015, Moscow Declaration on November 18th, 2015, New Delhi Declaration on September 30th, 2016, Beijing Declaration on July 5th, 2017, and Cape Town Declaration on July 10th, 2018;

Acknowledging the crucial role of education in the social and economic recovery of BRICS Member States;

Recognising the importance of ensuring education continuity and quality of all levels despite epidemiological restrictions and obstacles;

Welcoming the exchange of the BRICS Member countries’ best practices to restructure education and training during the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic period, including online resources, blended learning, and digital technologies;

Noting the outcomes of the BRICS Network University International Governing Board meeting and BRICS Senior Officials Meeting of Education held under Russian Chairmanship prior to the Ministerial Meeting;

Ensuring coordinated and deep cooperation among the BRICS Member States, hereby declare to:

1. Strengthen and deepen the BRICS Network University cooperation aimed at building members’ capabilities to respond to challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial

Revolution through:

1.1. Supporting the establishment of a coordinating body for the BRICS Network University;

1.2. Promoting a structured dialogue and exchange of best practices between BRICS Network University members on enhancing competitiveness and the role of universities in driving digital transformation and leveraging innovations to increase economic growth and expand prosperity;

1.3. Supporting the BRICS Network University work on mutual recognition of credits and development of joint/collaborative programmes in the fields of Computer Science and Information Security, BRICS Studies, Energy, Ecology and Climate Change, Water Resources and Pollution Treatment, and Economics with a strong emphasis on comparative studies and interdisciplinary study programmes;

1.4. Supporting the digitalisation of the BRICS Network University activities, including development and implementation of online master’s and doctoral programmes, digital education technologies, digital learning-teaching-testing tools and resources, administrative regulations frameworks;

1.5. Supporting the international thematic groups of the BRICS Network University work on harmonisation of the educational quality assurance standards in the areas of their expertise;

1.6. Promoting the BRICS Network University research collaborations to foster productivity, innovation, economic growth and well-being;

1.7. The outlined actions will help to develop the BRICS Network University, as an open virtual global university, and make it an attractive destination for students across the world.

2. Promote educational cooperation among all BRICS universities and education institutions by:

2.1. Supporting collaborative research on the COVID-19 impact on education and sharing of knowledge among our institutions on policy responses;

2.2. Encouraging the BRICS Network University and the BRICS University League to develop collaborative research and expand academic exchanges, including online distance learning and research platforms;

2.3. Fostering synergetic engagement between the BRICS Network University and the BRICS University League activities;

2.4. Exploring the possibility of expanding the number of BRICS scholarships to students across the BRICS Member States in the mid-term;

2.5. Encouraging the organisation of “winter/summer schools”, including online schools, for students to develop competencies relevant for the BRICS emerging digital economies, to build communication and cooperation ties among the young generation.

3. Strengthen collaboration in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) among BRICS Member States through:

3.1. Developing and implementing a programme of action for collaboration in TVET, including joint projects and activities;

3.2. Facilitating the sharing of experience and information about TVET educator development, TVET qualifications and TVET curricula;

3.3. Developing and sharing of open online courses and learning materials among Parties;

3.4. Cooperating in terms of advanced training of TVET specialists;

3.5. Promoting the development of TVET championship movement. The Federative Republic of Brazil, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of South Africa extend their gratitude to the government of the Russian Federation for hosting the 7th BRICS Education Ministers Meeting.

The English version of this Declaration was unanimously approved on October 21, 2020 and distributed by the Ministry of Science and Higher

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