Huai Jinpeng and Gong Zheng meet with foreign guests at 2024 WDEC


Minister of Education Huai Jinpeng and Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng jointly met with foreign guests attending the 2024 World Digital Education Conference (WDEC) in Shanghai on Jan 30. Vice Ministers of Education Chen Jie and Wu Yan and Shanghai Vice Mayor Xie Dong also attended the meeting.

Minister Huai said that education serves as an effective means of achieving holistic development at the individual level and is a crucial pathway for building a community with a shared future for mankind. Faced with increasing challenges amidst global changes and the accelerating technological revolution, educational reform has become a global consensus, with digital education becoming a strategic priority. China has established the world’s largest educational system and has entered the ranks of world-leading nations in terms of overall level of educational modernization. In recent years, China has actively developed digital education, providing students with high-quality educational resources and convenient learning experiences, thus realizing greater educational equity. As the largest developing country and a responsible major power in the world, China is willing to work with the international community to discuss the development of education, create a platform for educational cooperation, and share high-quality educational resources and achievements. Shanghai, as a leading city in China’s reform and opening up, has demonstrated China’s commitment to openness by hosting this year’s WDEC. Huai added that he hoped this conference would inject new momentum into international cooperation in digital education.

Mayor Gong stated that digital technology is becoming a leading force driving change, while presenting new opportunities and challenges for global education. Shanghai is accelerating its development into a modern socialist metropolis with global influence. It has adopted a coordinated approach to the development of education, technology, and talent. It has leveraged educational reform with a focus on digital transformation to improve the quality of educational development, enhance innovative service capabilities, and deepen international cooperation and exchange. Looking ahead, Shanghai will continue to increase international cooperation in digital education and promote innovation and transformation in digital education, thus making a larger contribution to the development of global education. It will steadfastly open the education sector more widely to the outside world and create favorable conditions for enhancing international educational cooperation. Gong said he hopes to attract more leading higher education institutions to establish campuses in Shanghai and more leading enterprises to engage in investment and business development in the city. All in all, he hopes to work together with all parties to create a model of open cooperation and mutual benefit.

During the meeting, Simona-Mirera Miculescu, President of the 42nd UNESCO General Conference, and representatives from various countries’ educational departments and embassies in China delivered speeches. The speakers stressed the imperative of digital education for the world today and said China has made significant strides in digital education by offering digital educational resources to a vast number of students. It was noted that UNESCO member states were wise to establish the International Institute for STEM Education (IISTEM) in Shanghai, a beautiful, creative, and vibrant city. They looked forward to in-depth exchange with China so they could engage in broader cooperation and jointly create a better future.

The 2024 WDEC, themed “Application, Sharing, and Innovation”, highlighted the trends of the digital age, promoted innovative changes in education, showcased China’s latest achievements in digital education, and established an international platform for exchange and cooperation in digital education. More than 800 Chinese and foreign attendees participated in the conference, including over 400 overseas guests from more than 70 countries and regions around the world and relevant international organizations.