Goa: The collaboration and partnerships across the BRICS countries in the higher education sector is set to reach next levels as BRICS Network University and BRICS University League will commence their research and study programmes in 2017. BRICS countries emphasized on the importance of education and skills for economic development, and reaffirm the need for universal access to high-quality education. These are some key points of Goa Declaration at the 8Th BRICS Summit.
The Leaders of BRICS countries – Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, Michel Temer, president of Brazil; Vladimir Putin, president of Russia; Xi Jinping, president of China; and Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa – attended the Eighth BRICS Summit held at Goa on 15-16 October 2016, which was held under the theme “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions.” These leaders were satisfied with the progress of the BRICS Network University (BRICSNU) as well as the BRICS University League (BRICSUL), which will commence their programmes in 2017. These two initiatives will facilitate higher education collaboration and partnerships across the BRICS countries.
They welcomed the outcomes of the fourth BRICS Education Ministers’ meeting held on 30 September 2016 in New Delhi, including the New Delhi Declaration on Education. The BRICS Network University (NU) will facilitate mobility of students and scholars, and encourage exchange of teaching faculty, especially those working in the areas relating to the six domains identified for cooperation within the BRICS Network University.
The Goa Declaration also mentioned that the leaders appreciated the outcomes of the fourth BRICS STI (Science, Technology & Innovation), Ministerial Meeting held on 8 October 2016, wherein they adopted the Jaipur Declaration and endorsed the updated Work Plan (2015-2018) aimed at strengthening cooperation in science, technology and innovation, especially leveraging young scientific talent for addressing societal challenges; creating a networking platform for BRICS young scientists; co-generating new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes; and addressing common global and regional socio-economic challenges utilising shared experiences and complementarities.
BRICS countries focused on the importance of implementation of the BRICS Research and Innovation Initiative. They welcomed the hosting of the first BRICS Young Scientists Conclave in India, instituting of BRICS Innovative Idea Prize for Young Scientists.
The summit also took note of the progress of the first Call for Proposals under the BRICS STI Framework Programme, in ten thematic areas, with funding commitment from the five BRICS STI Ministries and associated funding bodies. The BRICS countries have committed to set up Working Group on Research Infrastructure, and Mega-Science to reinforce the BRICS Global Research Advanced Infrastructure Network (BRICS-GRAIN).
The summit also discussed outcomes of the Young Diplomats’ Forum held on 3-6 September 2016 in Kolkata. The five leaders appreciated the Memorandum of Understanding between BRICS Diplomatic Academies to encourage exchange of knowledge and experiences.