UNESCO Chair Initiatives
In 2011, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) awarded a UNESCO Chair in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Lifelong Learning to the Education University of Hong Kong.
The role of the UNESCO Chair is to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on SDG No.4 Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. The Chair helps UNESCO in capacity building and knowledge transfer, with a focus on meeting the needs of under-serviced groups such as minorities, youth and the elderly.
To this end, we offer a range of resources (learning materials, policy briefs, references, etc.) in five key areas.
We have developed an online platform of simulations and video resources where students can learn skills that are valued by employers and thus increase their opportunities for employment, in line with SDG No. 4, Target No. 4. As a university of education, one section of the resources is devoted to helping our graduates to adjust to the teaching profession.
The Chair's research and development work in the area of education for minority groups seeks to inform education policies, which, if implemented effectively, will enable minority groups to engage fully in the social and political life of mainstream society and create greater opportunities for personal and career development. Our work in Hong Kong focuses on students whose first/home language is not Cantonese. The Chair has held a series of forums on issues relating to minority education, and has produced policy briefs to feed our ideas to the relevant government bureau.
Our work also extends to mainland China, where our Trilingual Education Project continues in collaboration with a well-established network studying multilingualism in ethnic minority areas.
Third Age Learning is the focus of our Elder Academy, which was established in 2008 with a mandate to promote “Active Ageing, Active Learning” in order to enable elders to enjoy fulfilled lives through engaging in lifelong learning. The objectives are to encourage elders to continue to learn to maintain their physical and mental well-being; to foster a sense of worth; and to promote intergenerational harmony. The Elder Academy engages strategically and proactively in research, programme development, education and training projects that help elder students and elder teaching professionals, and also to connect older and younger students through common learning spaces and mentoring.
Our work in International Education covers research and projects in the areas of International Schooling and international education for development. The focus is on: enhancing research and knowledge transfer in the areas of international education, comparative education and education for development; enhancing global perspectives; and developing programmes in learning and teaching in International Baccalaureate schools. We have a major role in a university project in globalization which is designed to enhance the global perspectives for our students through their programmes of study.
Inclusive Education is a new strand for the UNESCO Chair. Here we are tapping into the expertise of our colleagues in the university who work in special education. We are making plans to build on collaborative links with major Chinese universities in this area.
We have established a number of partnerships with individuals and organisations to increase the opportunities for mutual sharing of research and projects.