2023 IIOE Global Partners Summit “Transforming Higher Education in the Age of AI” was held in Shenzhen

From December 7 to 9, 2023, the “Transforming Higher Education in the Age of AI” International Institute of Online Education (IIOE) Global Partners Summit was held in Shenzhen (China), which was co-organised by UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE), International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (UNESCO-ICHEI), Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), under the supervision of Secretariat of the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO.

The summit brought together global education leaders, policymakers, experts and scholars, entrepreneurs and other higher education stakeholders to collectively explore the opportunities of higher education in the age of AI, the empowerment of AI in institutional management and teacher professional development channels, effective governance of AI and other issues. The summit had approximately 200 attendees from 28 countries from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Arab region, and Europe, including ministries of education officials, presidents and vice-presidents of HEIs, international experts, and other high-level leaders in higher education.

The event included seven forums on the following topics:

  1. Higher Education Governance in the AI Era;
  2. Higher Education Teacher Professional Development in the AI Era;
  3. Micro-certification for Higher Education Teacher Professional Development;
  4. Innovation and Applications of AI in Higher Education Teaching and Learning;
  5. Digital Environment and Management of HEIs in the AI Era;
  6. High-Quality, Inclusive Digital Content under the Principle of Joint Development and Shared Benefits;
  7. Innovative Partnerships Driving Educational Change and Leadership.

The Summit actively advocated the common goal of the effective integration of higher education and artificial intelligence, shared and discussed different aspects of this process such as artificial intelligence technology governance, integration of industry and education, policy framework, case sharing, etc. Summit participants jointly looked forward to the transformative impact of good governance of artificial intelligence technology on higher education.

The Summit was opened by Mr. Tao Zhan, Director of UNESCO IITE, Mr. Jin Li, Director of UNESCO-ICHEI, Vice President of Southern University of Science and Technology, and Mr. Qian Tang, Former UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education. The Summit was committed to building a multilateral platform for dialogue and exchange between governments, universities, and enterprises of various countries, encouraging all stakeholders to share international resources and localized innovation experiences, and jointly create a digital transformation ecosystem for higher education. The main ideas of the Summit were reflected at the “White Paper on Higher Education in the Artificial Intelligence Era” drafted by the event’s organisers for the further comments and proposals by the participants.

Mr. Tao Zhan, Director of UNESCO IITE, moderated the Forum 2 “Higher Education Teacher Professional Development in the AI Era”. Ms. Tatiana Murovana (UNESCO IITE) delivered the presentation titled “Developing Resources on ICT Competencies of University Teachers: Challenges of AI-based Technologies” within the Summit’s Forum 6.

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