Global Forum on Digital Transformation in TVET (Shenzhen) 2023 held at Shenzhen Polytechnic, China

March 18, 2023 | by

Global Forum on Digital Transformation in TVET (Shenzhen) 2023 was held on 16 March 2023at Shenzhen Polytechnic (SZPT), China. The theme of the forum isEmbracing Digital Economy, Driving Digital Transformation. Around 1,300 TVET stakeholders were attracted to theforum, including representatives and experts from governments, international organizations, TVET institutions,private sectors, NGOs, and representatives of the UNESCO UNEVOC Network covering more than 140 countries. The forum was organized in a hybrid format bothonsite and online, and it was mainly held in Chinese, while English simultaneous interpretation was offered.

A group photo of all participants on the site

Seven experts in the field of digital transformation were invited to speak on the forum, and they are Robert Parua, Education Officer of UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office, Sarah Elson-Rogers, Team Leader for the Innovation and Future of TVET programme of UNESCO UNEVOC, Wilson Junior, Project Manager for the Innovation and Future of TVET programme of UNESCO UNEVOC, Alexandra Filipova, Assistant Officer for the Innovation and Future of TVET programme of UNESCO UNEVOC, XibinHan, Vice Dean of Institute of Education of Tsinghua University, Zhenbo Zhang, Vice President of Education & Healthcare Account Dept, Huawei China Government & Enterprise Business, and Xinbin Yang, holder of UNESCO Chair on Digitalization in TVET, They spoke in-depth on five topics, including Mission and Trends of UNESCO Chairs, Digital Transformation Programmes in UNESCO UNEVOC, Digital Transformation of TVET: Characteristics and Strategies, Quality TVET empowered by digital technology innovation, Digital Transformation in TVET: Methodology and SZPT Solutions. Methodologies and paths of digital transformation in TVET were thoroughly discussed, aiming to contribute to the innovative and quality development of global TVET community.

Some recommendations for the new Chair were recommended by Robert Parua. He mentioned that it must strengthen close cooperation between UNESCO Chairs in TVET and other related disciplines and the UNESCO family network, by cooperating with UNESCO networks to organize strategic seminars, conferences, and capacity building in digitalization.

Presentation by Mr. Robert Parua

Sarah Elson-Rogers and her team members Wilson Junior and Alexandra Filipova stated that UNEVOC hopes to fulfill two aims in work on digitalization. The first aim is to be a hub of global information on digitalization in TVET, where they bring information together. The second aim is to be a hub of peer learning, where they bring people and TVET stakeholders together. In order to reach the above aims, UNEVOC is working on four relateddigitalization sub-projects, namely Trends in digital skills training for TVET teachers and trainers, Digital Competence Frameworks for teachers, learners and citizens, Toolkits for TVET providers, and Open Educational Resources. They said that the objectives of these sub-projects are in line with the mission and vision of the new Chair and also with the latest UNESCO TVET strategy for 2022-2029, therefore, they suggested that the new Chair consider combining with these sub-projects.

Presentation byMs. Sarah Elson-Rogers, Mr. Wilson Junior and Ms. Alexandra Filipova

Xibin Han explained that how institutions should echo the nation's strategies to implement digital transformation tasks at institutional level in three dimensions. Firstly, it is to understand that digital transformation is a national strategy, and so in the process, institutions have to establish a digital awareness and digital mindset and also to come up with the right method. Secondly, it is to establish a rational perspective of digitalization in TVET when institutions develop vision and objective for digital transformation in TVET. Thirdly, it is to establish the TVET development system with the help of internet thinking.

Presentation by ProfessorXibin Han

Zhenbo Zhang mentioned that stakeholders now strive for quality TVET development,but not in scale. From the perspectives of industries, there are three issues in the quality development of TVET, and the three issues are how to cultivate talents according to their personal traits, how to increase the sharing rate of quality teachers and resources, and how to innovate pedagogies to meet the new demands of talents cultivation. Huawei is tackling the issues from two dimensions. Firstly, it is to make cooperation between TVET institutions and enterprises through ICT academy aiming to integrate industries and education. Secondly, it is to promote smart campus through ICT technology.

Presentation by Vice PresidentZhenbo Zhang

Xinbin Yang shared how SZPT pioneered on digital transformation of TVET with the pioneering foundation, pioneering goals and pioneering measures. The pioneering foundation is about that China’s digital economy ranked among the world top, China’s digital technology innovation is in the forefront of the world, China has the most abundant digital application scenarios, China boast the largest TVET system, and SZPT has accumulated a deep digital transformation foundation. The pioneering goals include the overall goal for contributing Chinese academia, standards, paradigms, contribution and productivity, and the specific goals include establishing an infrastructure and education management system adaptive to the digital age, establishing a global TVET innovation & practice hub adaptive to the digital economy, and sharing SZPT solutions among global TVET community. At last, he shared six pioneering measures which are digital transformation of TVET learning programmes and curricula, digital capacity building for TVET teachers, digital literacy development of students, digital teaching and learning methodologies, digital transformation of training environments, and digital transformation theory development.

Presentation by the Chairholder Prof. Dr.Xinbin Yang

Generally, the forum aims to share and exchange insights, solutions and practices on digital transformation among international TVET community, to consolidate partnership with more private sectors, peer TVET and higher education institutions and research institutions on the promotion of digital transformation, and to establish a TVET community with a shared future of digital transformation, for closing the digital divide and contributing to global sustainable development.

The forum is one of the major events during the 1st phase of the UNESCO Chair on Digitalization in TVET. The 1st phase lasts four years and will end on 31 December 2026. Similar global forums on digital transformation in TVET will be held annually, with the aims at promoting international academic exchange and cooperation, initiating south-south cooperation and multi-partner cooperation, innovating T&L technologies and pedagogies empowered by digital technologies, and improving the governance and teaching of digital transformation in TVET.