UNESCO IITE co-organizes Global MOOC Conference with Tsinghua University

Global MOOC Conference: Learning Revolution and Higher Education Transformation

Co-hosted by Tsinghua University and UNESCO IITE


In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, governments, teachers, and students have led and participated in an online education experiment of unprecedented scale and scope. Using MOOC (massive open online courses), OER (open educational resources) and other online learning tools, schools and universities were able to continue providing education, largely undisrupted, although most campuses were closed. While different level of education faces its distinctive challenges, higher education is unique in that university students are both old enough to handle the pressure and rigours of online work, while at the same time technologically savvy enough to navigate new online tools and platforms. Therefore, the higher education segment likely ends up, by necessity, triggering a “learning revolution.”

International organizations also played a crucial role throughout the COVID-19 education disruption. For example, in March 2020, UNESCO launched the Global Education Coalition, a multi-sector partnership to meet the urgent need worldwide for continuity of learning on an unprecedented scale, by monitoring global school closures and provide distance learning solutions and recommendations. Governments, higher education institutions, and relevant stakeholders around the world were also prompt to mobilize resources for developing effective responses; coordinate action for maximizing impact and sustainable support to teachers and communities; further increase access of MOOC and online learning platforms for matching on-the-ground needs with local and global solutions; leverage hi-tech, low tech, and no tech approaches for providing diverse quality education programs and learning services.

As a result of individual efforts and collective actions across sectors and stakeholders, higher education has witnessed how MOOC, OER and online education have led a movement of “higher education transformation” during the crisis, and these transformative “bold steps” will no doubt help to create inclusive, resilient, quality education systems fit for the future.

In response to the “emergency for global education” as recently described by the UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, as well as the global educational challenges and opportunities presented by the age of internet and virtual interconnectivity, the Global MOOC Conference aims to bring together world-leading universities and online education platforms across all geographical regions at this unprecedented time.

Additionally, the Conference aims to:

  • promote MOOC development and online education good practices and resources,
  • explore the role of technology in shaping the future of higher education,
  • encourage international cooperation on educational technology innovation, and
  • raise awareness for the inclusion and equity in education for achieving the UN SDG4.

During the Conference, two other expected outcomes include:

  • launch the Global MOOC Alliance, and
  • release the “2020 Beijing Declaration of MOOC Development” outcome document

Representatives from over 2000 education organizations worldwide will participate in the three-day event, including Ms Stefania Giannini, the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education and CHEN Baosheng, the Minister of Education, People’s Republic of China.

For detailed information and agenda please visit: