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Tsinghua, Geneva universities forge links

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-01-30 09:15
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The University of Geneva and Tsinghua University have recently come together to forge new ways of jointly providing education to make the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals happen.

The Geneva Tsinghua Initiative is a partnership between the University of Geneva and Tsinghua University, a top-ranked Chinese university.

On Jan 21, they held a meeting titled Geneva Trialogue-Scaling Education for the Sustainable Development Goals.

For the trialogue, Geneva University collaborated with the UN Institute for Training and Research, and XuetangX, China's largest massive online open-course platform.

For the meeting, the universities brought together thought leaders, education innovators and decision-makers from education institutions, international organizations and the private sector.

And they networked and explored ways to collaborate on scaling education to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

Keynote speaker Joanna Newman, secretary-general of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, representing more than 500 education bodies, says that the initiative was a great example of a partnership that is working very well.

The GTI brings together one of Europe's oldest universities, surrounded by the UN and other international organizations, and Tsinghua, with its main campus in Beijing's high-tech corridor, and another in Shenzhen, the heart of the Chinese manufacturing ecosystem.

Speaking about the initiative, Yves Fluckiger, the rector of the University of Geneva, says: "We met three years ago in Davos in 2016, and from that meeting we have been able to construct so much together."

Both universities launched solutions centers for SDGs in 2017, and a joint master's program.

Geneva University's program runs from its Campus Biotech.

"The Campus Biotech is surrounded by international organizations-the World Meteorological Organization, the World Trade Organization, the UN High Commission for Refugees, the International Telecommunication Union and Gavi (a public-private partnership), which are just across the street from the campus," says Fluckiger.

Tsinghua University President Qiu Yong says that the meeting was to discuss ways to enhance cooperation to tackle challenges in implementing the SDGs.

"We discussed how to promote the SDGs in education."

Meanwhile, the Geneva and Tsinghua universities have established a joint master's program on sustainable development.

And upon completion of the dual degree's requirements, international students and Chinese students will receive a master's degree from each side.

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