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Monday, June 11, 2018
AND POST-2015 EDUCATION
Seize digital opportunities. Lead education transformation.
23-25 May 2015
Qingdao City, the People’s Republic of China
QINGDAO DECLARATION | PAGE 1
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ICT AND POST-2015 EDUCATION
Seize digital opportunities, lead education transformation
23-25 May 2015, Qingdao, the People’s Republic of China
1. We, Ministers responsible for Education, high-level government officials, representatives of civil
society organizations, teachers’ organizations, United Nations (UN) agencies and development partners,
and members of academia and the private sector, have gathered at the International Conference on
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Post-2015 Education from 23 to 25 May 2015 in
Qingdao, the People’s Republic of China, to affirm our collective understanding of how to unleash the full
potential of ICT for education and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We thank
UNESCO, the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the Qingdao Municipal Government and the
Shandong Provincial Government for convening this milestone event.
2. We reaffirm the new vision of Education 2030 articulated in the Declaration adopted at the
World Education Forum 2015 in Incheon, Republic of Korea, with access, equity and inclusion, quality and
learning outcomes – within a lifelong learning perspective – as the key pillars. We are convinced that
equitable and inclusive access to quality education for all across life is an imperative for building
sustainable and inclusive knowledge societies, and as a key means of implementation to achieve all of the
3. Inspired by a humanistic vision of education based on human rights and social justice, we further
affirm that the remarkable advances in ICT and the rapid expansion of internet connectivity have made
today’s world increasingly interconnected, and rendered knowledge and familiarity with ICT essential for
every girl and boy, woman and man.
4. To achieve the goal of inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning by 2030,
ICT – including mobile learning – must be harnessed to strengthen education systems, knowledge
dissemination, information access, quality and effective learning, and more efficient service provision.
ACCESS AND INCLUSION
5. Technology offers unprecedented opportunities to reduce the long-existing learning divide. The
application of ICT is essential if we are to deliver on our commitment in the Incheon Declaration to nondiscrimination
in education, gender equality and women’s empowerment for sustainable development. We
commit to ensure that all girls and boys have access to connected digital devices and a relevant and
responsive digital learning environment by 2030, irrespective of their disabilities, social or economic
status, or geographic location. In striving to achieve universal access to basic education and skills
development, we recommend that all education stakeholders recognize enrolment in quality-assured online
courses as an alternative or complementary mode to face-to-face programmes of study.
6. We stress the value of ICT-based solutions in ensuring that, in the wake of a conflict or natural
disaster resulting in the destruction of schools or universities or in the impossibility of normal operations, the
right to education is enforced. We therefore invite governments, international organizations, nongovernmental
organizations and technology providers to cooperate in designing and implementing,
quickly and efficiently and whenever they are needed, the most suitable solutions.
OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES AND OPEN SOLUTIONS
Open Educational Resources (OERs) provide education stakeholders with opportunities to improve the
quality of, and expand access to, textbooks and other forms of learning content, to catalyze the
innovative use of content, and to foster knowledge creation. We commit to developing sector-wide
QINGDAO DECLARATION | PAGE 2
strategies and capacity building programmes to fully realize the potential of OERs to expand access to
lifelong learning opportunities and achieve quality education.
7. We recommend that stakeholders facilitate access to Open Access (OA) Journals in Education for
teachers, researchers and learners, and fully evaluate the potential of Free and Open Source Software
(FOSS) and Open Standards for the development of ICT solutions, including for learners with disabilities
and for promoting learning in the first language.
8. We commit to developing well-informed long-term policies and strategies to unleash the potential
of ICT to achieve greater quality in education and transform learning. We recognize that there is a need
to redefine learning outcomes and the way in which we organize and assess learning if we want our
education systems to prepare lifelong learners — both children and adults — to thrive in networked
knowledge societies and succeed in economies that are increasingly reliant on technology.
9. We recognize that the ability to leverage ICT for learning is no longer a specialized skill; it is
foundational to success in today’s societies. We therefore acknowledge the need to integrate basic ICT
skills and information literacy into primary and secondary education curricula. We support the adaptation
of learning assessments in order to reflect the use of ICT and its impact on learning and on outcomes.
10. Successful integration of ICT into teaching and learning requires rethinking the role of teachers
and reforming their preparation and professional development. It calls for promoting a culture of quality
in all its aspects: staff support, student support, curricula design, course design, course delivery, strategic
planning and development. We will therefore ensure that teacher training institutions are equipped and
prepared to use ICT adequately to expand the benefits of training and professional development
programmes to all teachers, and to act as the vanguard for technology-supported innovations in
education. We also commit to providing teachers with system-wide support for the pedagogical use of
ICT, to incentivize teacher innovation, and to develop networks and platforms that allow teachers to share
experiences and approaches that may be of use to peers and other stakeholders.
LIFELONG LEARNING PATHWAYS
11. We reaffirm that lifelong learning is the guiding principle to enhance individuals’ knowledge,
skills and competences for work and life. We recommend that ICT be used to deliver education and
training, including technical and vocational education and training, in both formal and non-formal settings,
at all times and in all places, as it can improve and diversify learning pathways, improve quality, and
further reach vulnerable and underserved groups including rural youth and adults, women and girls, outof-school
youth, and people with disabilities.
ONLINE LEARNING INNOVATIONS
12. While we are aware of the challenges linked to quality assurance, pedagogical effectiveness and
certification, we recognize the benefits of well-organized online learning courses for learners, institutions,
systems and society at large. Online learning, including in the form of Massive Open Online Courses
(MOOCs), has the potential to build new learning pathways towards tertiary education and lifelong
learning. We therefore recommend that governments, institutions and other stakeholders further consider
and harness the opportunities brought by online learning innovations.
13. We recommend that efforts be made to explore the potential of ‘big data’ for enhancing online
learning in order to inform our understanding of students’ behavior and learning, and to improve the
design and organization of online courses. In this context, governments must develop policies and systems
to ensure secure, appropriate and ethical use of data, including safeguarding the privacy and
confidentiality of students’ personally identifiable information.
QUALITY ASSURANCE AND RECOGNITION OF ONLINE LEARNING
14. We consider quality assurance and recognition as crucial and interlinked elements for enhancing
the relevance and credibility of online learning, and for supporting lifelong learning and professional
progression and mobility. We call for the establishment of transparent quality assurance measures of
online learning that support reliable, valid and credible assessment.
15. We recognize the potential of innovative ICT-based approaches in certification and assessment,
including competency, portfolio, online badging and peer assessment, as tools that can broaden routes to
QINGDAO DECLARATION | PAGE 3
employment, fulfilment and achievement of qualifications by all learners. We call for fair and transparent
recognition of learning outcomes and qualifications acquired through online learning. We encourage
Member States and other stakeholders, including education and training providers, to use ICT to promote
recognition, validation and accreditation of the knowledge, skills and competencies acquired through
informal and non-formal settings, and to build bridges between formal, non-formal and informal learning.
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
16. We commit to developing comprehensive national monitoring and evaluation systems to generate
sound evidence for policy formulation on the integration, use and impact of ICT in education, in order to
enhance the management of education systems, ensure accountability, and understand the key roles that
ICT increasingly plays in the transmission of knowledge, the acquisition of new skills and competencies, and
in the development of values and attitudes that are relevant to the building of sustainable and peaceful
17. We further recommend that governments and other concerned partners support capacity
development in data collection, analysis and reporting at the country, regional and global levels. We
request the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and other partners to support countries in reinforcing and
sustaining efforts to establish the appropriate national-level mechanisms and processes. We commit to
continue to report accurate and complete data in a timely manner to the UIS, facilitating its work and
advancing its mission to build and maintain a global repository for ICT in education data.
18. We recommend that the Global Education Monitoring Report, to be hosted and published by
UNESCO, uses UIS core indicators on ICT in education to provide regular global-level monitoring of ICT in
ACCOUNTABILITY AND PARTNERSHIP
19. We encourage governments, industry partners and all other education stakeholders to join forces
and share resources to create equitable, dynamic, accountable and sustainable learner-centred digital
20. We recognize the growing importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships for successful ICT in
education policies, based on cooperation between governments, industry partners, civil society
organizations – including teachers’ organizations – and academia.
21. We call for further consultation and dialogue between governments and the private sector to
design scalable innovative funding mechanisms to secure the financial resources needed to unleash the full
potential of ICT for learning, in line with the 2030 education agenda.
22. We invite UNESCO to explore the feasibility of three activities in support of international
cooperation in the field of ICT in education, in line with Education 2030:
1. an international fund to assist developing countries, with special focus on the least developed
countries, to use ICT to achieve their national goals in education;
2. a global network of expertise and knowledge-sharing on ICT in education, including the
specialized Institutes and Centres under the auspices of UNESCO, which would serve the needs of
three different user communities – namely policy-makers, researchers and teachers; and
3. a clearinghouse of good practices and lessons learned on technology-supported innovations in
Qingdao Declaration promotes use of ICT to achieve education targets in new sustainable development goals
The Qingdao Declaration on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education was approved at the conclusion of the conference on ICT for the 2030 Education Agenda held in Qingdao, China.
The Declaration outlines how technology can be used to achieve educational targets for equity, access, quality and lifelong learning in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be used to coordinate international development for the next 15 years.
The conference was jointly organized by UNESCO, the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Qingdao Municipal Government and the Shangdong Provincial Government, and the sponsorship of the Weidong Group. Key partners included the Commonwealth for Learning, the OECD and UNWomen. The conference gathered participants from more than 90 countries, including ministers and vice-ministers of education.
The Qingdao Declaration is the first global declaration on ICT in education. The text, approved unanimously by participants, highlights the different ways in which technology can support the global agenda for education which was suggested at the World Education Forum for the next 15 years. It states that “the remarkable advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the rapid expansion of internet connectivity have made today’s world increasingly interconnected and made the knowledge more accessible for every girl and boy, woman and man. To achieve the goal of Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Lifelong Learning by 2030, ICT must be harnessed to strengthen education systems, knowledge dissemination, information access, quality and effective learning, and more efficient service provision”.
The Declaration is a clear statement in favour of the use of ICT to foster access and equity in education as well as to promote the effective pedagogical use of ICT. It highlights in particular the paramount role that teacher development and support will have to play. It stresses that increasing efforts have to be made to promote the culture of open educational resources and the need to ensure quality assurance and recognition of online learning. Finally, it encourages governments, industry partners and all other education stakeholders to join forces and share resources to create equitable, dynamic, accountable, and sustainable learner-centered digital learning ecosystems.
The Declaration also recommends that UNESCO support international cooperation in this field by establishing a clearing house on good practices and lessons learned concerning technology-supported innovations in education. The creation of a global network of expertise and knowledge-sharing on ICT in education which would serve the needs of three different user communities, namely policy-makers, researchers, and teachers. It would support further consultation and dialogue between governments and the private sector to design scalable innovative funding mechanisms to secure the financial resources needed to unleash the full potential of ICT for learning in line with the 2030 education agenda.