The International Design Education program in LDCs

Gebze/ Ningbo –  Industrial design offers great potential for least developed countries (LDCs) as a driver of innovation, problem-solving and economic growth. The UN Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries, the World Eco-Design Conference (WEDC) and the International School of Design at Zhejiang University (ZJU-ISD) in Ningbo, China announced a jointly signed agreement on cooperation and promotion of the implementation of International Design Education (IDE) program.

Under this partnership, eligible students from the world’s 46 LDCs will be supported to undertake training on industrial design. Students with a bachelor's or master's degree in any major can log into the International Student Application & Admissions System of Zhejiang University, fill in the online application form and upload all supporting materials and submit their application materials to before 30th April 2021.

The cooperation aims to enhance the design education capacity of the LDCs, and jointly build an international design education cooperation base. The parties agreed that the signing of the Cooperation Agreement is a starting point for establishing a long-term strategic partnership.

The UN Technology Bank and the WEDC will partake in outreach activities to promote the IDE program across the LDCs, so eligible students who meet the admission criteria can submit admission applications. Zhejiang University consented to provide scholarships and identify high-quality supervisors for IDE students and ensure access to adequate research facilities and resources. More education support to the LDCs is anticipated as the program expands and the cooperation between the UN Technology Bank and the WEDC flourish in upcoming months.

Mr. Zhengyu Hu, Party Secretary of Zhejiang University, Ningbo, pointed out that recruiting international students from the LDCs to study in Ningbo was pivotal in creating the IDE initiative. Mr. Hu highlighted the actual need to set a foothold in the Zhejiang University's expansion - Zhejiang University, Ningbo and the whole design industry of Ningbo. In this sense, the IDE program is a strategic measure of the international design education that LDCs students can acquire at Zhejiang University and bring it back home. 

The University plans to take advantage of its scientific research, talents, and management to carry out various IDE program tasks conscientiously, including further cooperation development in international design education and substantially carrying forward the spirit of the Zhejiang University's motto of "Seeking Truth, Pursuing Innovation." Mr. Hu underlined the University's openness in welcoming students from other countries and expressed the importance of making a difference by each international student while studying in China.

Mr. Joshua Setipa, UN Technology Bank's Managing Director, affirmed his appreciation to Zhejiang University and the WEDC for long-term concern and support to the education development of LDCs. Mr. Setipa noted that the IDE program aligns perfectly with the UN Technology Bank mandate and will provide significant intellectual support and promotion of science, technology, and innovation in the LDCs.

Mr. Ying Fangtian, President of the Organizing Committee of the WEDC, indicated that the IDE program serves as an incubator for bridging innovation and entrepreneurship by transforming projects and research into start-ups, from making research achievements of students to commercialization and manufacturing. Mr. Ying shared his view of this partnership as the opportunity to bring out more academic achievements, realize the integration of production and education, strengthen university-industry cooperation, and promote industrial innovation development.


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