The Second General Conference of the BRICS NU took place in Zhengzhou, China.
On July 1-3, 2017, the North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, Zhengzhou, China hosted the Second General Conference of the BRICS Network University, which gathered representatives of the member universities as well as experts from the partner institutions. The conference has been attended by 161 participants, the representatives of 34 BRICS NU participant universities and of 25 partner universities.
The Brazilian delegation was headed by professor Tom Dwyer (University of Campinas); the leader of the of the Russian delegation was the head of the Russian National Coordinating Committee, Prof. Maxim Khomyakov; the delegation from India was led be the Joint Secretary of the Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of Human Resource Development Mr. Rakesh Ranjan; the head of the delegation from South Africa was Dr. Diane Parker, Deputy Director General of the Department of Higher Education and Training of the Ministry of Education. The hosting Chinese delegation was led by the Deputy Director of the Department of International Exchange and Cooperation of the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Wang Hui.
The conference started with plenary sessions, where the participants analysed the major achievements and problems of the BRICS NU’s activities, and continued with meetings of six thematic groups of BRICS NU, meeting of the BRICS NU International Governing Board, and a roundtable meeting of the Rectors of BRICS NU.
The presenters of the plenary meetings addressed the goals and tasks set before the BRICS NU in the context of the current state of the world’s higher education. A special attention was paid to understanding of the educational cooperation between the BRICS countries as an alternative to the existing structure of the global educational market. The reports also analysed the special characteristics of different educational systems of the BRICS countries.
At the thematic groups’ meetings, the participants considered the proposals made by the member universities concerning development of joint Master and Doctoral programs, and designed a plan for approval of the MA and PhD programs by the thematic groups. It is expected that 7 such programs will be available for enrolment in 2017.
The BRICS NU International Governing Board discussed the most important aspects of the Network University’s operation. The Board members signed the Regulations of the International Governing Board and the Statute for the BRICS NU International Thematic Groups as well as finalized the text of the “Zhengzhou Consensus”, the final statement of the Conference. The International Governing Board has also thoroughly discussed and approved the 2017-2018 Academic year roadmap for the BRICS NU IGB.
During the final panel session the leaders of the delegations signed the “Consensus” and the South African delegation invited the participants to the Third General Conference of the BRICS Network University, which is to take place in 2018 in Cape Town.