Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list

BRICS Ministers of Education meeting outcomes – strengthened commitments to mobility

The Education Ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (the BRICS) held their 5th meeting on 5 July in Beijing.  During the two-day deliberations, the delegation of all five countries discussed key reforms, approaches and collaborative strategies to successfully advance the education landscape of BRICS member states.

Recalling milestone commitments made during previous meetings, such as the 2015 Brasilia- and Moscow Declarations and the 2016 New Delhi Declaration, as well as taking account of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in education, key thematic foci in the meeting comprised the promotion of equity and quality in education, exchanges of students, scholars and teachers across the continents, and the significance of enhancing partnerships among BRICS members.

Education was emphasised as key to facing common challenges, including the development of high-level human resources, economic and societal development. Enhanced mobility and information sharing opportunities, this year consensually were regarded as key to implementing joint plans marking the way forward on shaping long term collaborative bonds.

The meeting also placed the spotlight on The BRICS Network University  (BRICS NU), established by the signing of a memorandum of understanding at the third meeting of BRICS education ministers 2015. Talks backed the development of the five areas of cooperation prioritised by the BRICS NU, namely - Communication and IT, Economics, Climate Change, Water Resources and Pollution, and BRICS study.

As an outcome of the meeting, the 2017 Beijing Declaration was signed, stating the following commitments:

  • The BRICS Network University & Think Tank Council, comprising 12 leading institutions, will receive enhanced political backing to foster collaboration in education, research and innovation and encourage the engagement of more institutions.
  • Language education will be strengthened to increase cultural cooperation and awareness of shared history.
  • More initiatives will be rolled out to promote the professionalisation of higher education academics through the BRICS Network University. Administrators and teachers are to benefit from peer learning exchanges across countries and international exchanges to promote education developments.
  • Cooperation between think tanks and researchers is to be streamlined, and supported through a dedicated conference hosted by China.
  • Scholarship opportunities across the BRICS are to be expanded with greater support of Member States, to achieve equity for disadvantaged groups.

Major events that will mark the next steps forward to reaching the outlined strategy and commitments during the 5th meeting of the BRICS Education Ministers, are the upcoming BRICS Global Business and Innovation Conference on 14-15 September 2017 in St. Petersburg and the 3rd BRICS Network University Annual Conference in 2018, held in Cape Town.

5th Meeting of BRICS Education Ministers - Press release