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2021 India meeting: Documents

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Declaration of the BRICS Education Ministers Meeting onJuly 6, 2021, India

We, the BRICS Ministers of Education 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 July 6, 2021 via video conference to discuss actions required for ‘leveraging digital and technological solutions for inclusive and equitable quality education’, and ‘enhancing research and academic collaboration”,

Recalling the proposal to promote the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for improving access to education, enhancing the quality of teaching-learning process, teacher preparation and development, and strengthening educational planning and management (New Delhi Declaration, 2016); and to undertake a comparative study of digital learning (e-learning) across schools, colleges and universities in BRICS countries (Cape Town Declaration, 2018),

Considering approved Concept of the BRICS Network University Operation and Development, as well as Road Map of the BRICS Network University for short and medium term (BRICS Ministers of Education Declaration, 2020)

Acknowledging the significant progress achieved in integrating digital technology into education, especially for ensuring education continuity in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic,

Recognizing the need to intensify efforts to harness the potential of digital technology for expanding access to equitable, inclusive, and quality learning opportunities in our countries,

Noting the role of research in enabling evidence-based decisions on education policies, and programmatic initiatives to tackle the learning divide, with special contribution from think tanks in BRICS countries (Beijing Declaration, 2017),

Recalling the proposals for the establishment of networks of researchers and the development of joint projects in areas of mutual interest (Brasilia Declaration, 2014); undertaking joint research projects (Moscow Declaration, 2015); the development of an enabling framework to promote research cooperation (New Delhi Declaration, 2016); pursuing research collaboration through the BRICS University League (Beijing Declaration, 2017) as well as the BRICS Network University (Cape Town Declaration, 2018); and undertaking collaborative research by the BRICS-NU, including research on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on education (BRICS Ministers of Education Declaration, 2020),

hereby declare to support collaborative initiatives for:

1.0. Leveraging digital and technological solutions for inclusive and equitable quality education by:

1.1. Constituting a mechanism in each BRICS country for preparing proposals for analyzing existing research and collaborative research on the use and implications of digital and technological solutions on student learning opportunities and learning outcomes.

1.2. Generating and expanding the knowledge base that would help formulate initiatives for effective use of appropriate digital and technological solutions for promoting inclusive and equitable quality education in BRICS countries.

1.3. Harnessing the potential of digital and technological solutions to improve access to quality school and higher education, and enable teachers and educators to create quality learning experiences for students.

1.4. Sharing information relating to policies and practices, challenges and experiences, and best practices and innovations relating to the use of digital and technological solutions in education across BRICS countries, including through seminars/conferences and other modalities for dissemination of findings of policy analysis and research studies through infographics.

1.5. Organizing regular meetings of experts (this will be available via videoconference) from BRICS countries to discuss and formulate policies and strategies required to harness the potential of appropriate digital and technological solutions for improving students’ learning opportunities and outcomes.

1.6. Organizing policy dialogues involving education authorities, experts and other stakeholders in BRICS countries to facilitate effective use of digital and technological solutions for educational purposes.

1.7. Exchanging best practices among BRICS countries on mobilizing public-private partnerships for ensuring appropriate infrastructure and learning environments, accessibility to digital devices, and digital skills among students and educators etc. that would help reduce and eventually eliminate the digital divides that lead to inequities in student learning opportunities and outcomes.

1.8 Developing a repository where resources (policies, strategies, research reports) will be available.

1.9 Sharing best practices on faculty development, on the integration of ICT into teaching and learning, along with development, distribution and access to open digital content.

2.0. Enhancing research and academic collaboration among BRICS countries by:

2.1. Undertaking research in areas of mutual interest, including those relating to the priority fields of study — Energy, Computer Science & Information Security, BRICS Studies, Ecology & Climate Change, Water resources & pollution treatment, and economics — identified for collaboration between institutions involved in the BRICS-NU.

2.2. Encouraging ‘twining arrangements’ whereby students enrolled within a Higher Education Institution (HEI) or Technical Vocational Education and Training organizations (TVET) in one BRICS country may complete their programme of study partly in that country, complying with relevant national regulations, and partly in an HEI
or TVET in another BRICS country, and thereafter receive Diploma/Degree from both organizations the HEIs on successful completion of the programme of study.

2.3. Facilitating student mobility across BRICS countries for pursuing Masters, doctoral and post-doctoral programmes of study.

2.4. Facilitating mobility of faculty and scholars by expanding tie-ups between HEIs involved in BRICS-NU in one country and HEIs involved in BRICS-NU in another country for implementing collaborative research.

2.5. Designing and implementing an initiative project that would provide opportunity to faculty from HEIs involved in BRICS-NU in one country to teach courses in HEIs involved in BRICS-NU in another country, and for developing course materials in cutting edge areas that would help balanced faculty mobility.

2.6. Designing and implementing an initiative/project that would provide opportunity to faculty in HEIs involved in BRICS-NU in one BRICS country to participate in research with the faculty in HEIs involved in BRICS-NU in another BRICS country.

2.7. Sharing information on structure of higher educationand Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) systems, description of the higher education and Technical Vocational Education and Training qualifications and learning outcomes pertaining to the various programmes of study, quality assurance, and qualification frameworks; recognition authority that makes decisions on matters pertaining to recognition of qualifications; system of assessment, approval, recognition, and quality assurance of higher educational and professional education institutions; and constituting an expert group to work towards the development of a framework for mutual recognition of qualifications concerning higher education. Technical Vocational Education and professional training, conducting relevant comparative studies;

2.8 Enhancing student exchange programmes, including online, in HEIs to build communication and cooperation ties among the younger generation, provide students with a chance to better understand BRICS cooperation and changes in global governance.

2.9. Organizing periodic policy dialogues involving BRICS countries to facilitate research collaboration, and student and faculty mobility.

2.10 Sharing experiences to improve the structure, quality and effectiveness of training process in educational institutions that implement Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and exploring the possibility to create BRICS platform (including online) for cooperation in TVET.

The Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of South Africa extend their appreciation to the Government of India for coordinating the organization of the 8th meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Education.

The English version of this Declaration was unanimously approved on 6 July, 2021 and distributed by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of India.

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