Posted on June 08, 2015

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), has entered into a number of new partnerships and initiatives with key Chinese educational institutions following substantive discussions with a range of senior Chinese educators and research officials in Beijing.  In addition to expanding Chinese representation at the WISE 2015 Summit, WISE will engage with Chinese institutions on collaborative research efforts in entrepreneurship education, twenty-first century skills and other areas of common interest.

Founded in 2009, WISE is an international, multi-sectoral platform for creative action, debate, and collaboration. In engaging with some of China’s most distinguished institutions and education innovators, WISE is supporting QF’s mission in new approaches to education, promoting innovation and building the future of education through both the Summit and a range of on-going programmes.

During the recent visit to Beijing, Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO, WISE, gave the opening keynote address to the Learners’ Innovation Forum on Education, organized by the 21st Century Education Research Institute, which was attended by more than 1,000 policymakers, educators and social entrepreneurs from across China. Mr Yiannouka also hosted a round-table discussion with Chinese education innovators, and gave several interviews with key Chinese media.

WISE agreed to establish a regular presence at key education forums in China, such as the Learners’ Education Forum on Education (LIFE), an annual conference on innovation in education.  WISE will also pursue collaborative research with Tsinghua University on entrepreneurial education and with the China Education Innovation Institute at Beijing Normal University on twenty-first century skills. Both institutions rank among the top ten Chinese universities, and high-level delegations from both universities will attend WISE 2015.

WISE will explore the possibility of partnering with the Rural Education Action Program (REAP), an initiative of the Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy and Stanford University, to conduct joint research on Early Childhood Development in disadvantaged rural areas of China and elsewhere.

WISE also announced a major partnership with China Renmin University Press, one of the oldest and most distinguished publishers of academic works, for the translation and publication of three WISE books into Chinese. The new partnership greatly expands the impact and reach of the WISE books as they will enter the largest education market in the world.

“We are delighted that the work of so many education innovators and entrepreneurs described and celebrated in the three WISE books –and indeed the work of Qatar Foundation - will be directly available to a potentially vast Chinese readership. The collaboration between WISE, Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP) and Renmin University Press could dramatically expand the impact of Qatar Foundation’s education agenda. We hope that the aspirations and accomplishments of the dedicated educators and thought leaders portrayed in these books will resonate productively with our readers in China, and help inspire and leverage new, exciting accomplishments. WISE is pleased to welcome our Chinese readers to the extended WISE community,” said Stavros N. Yiannouka, the CEO of WISE.

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BQFP, the original publishers of the WISE books, will license the rights to publish the books in Chinese to Renmin. With more than 3,000 college textbooks and academic works released each year, Renmin will publish the translated books as a series in April 2016, and WISE will launch them during the next LIFE Forum in Beijing.

Mr Arend Küster, Director of Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing said: “We are delighted to have licensed the WISE books to China Renmin University Press in support of WISE’s international reach and engagement. This license confirms that WISE and BQFP have created truly global titles, which connect Qatar Foundation with leading educators all over the world.” Ms Li Xu, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, China Renmin University Press, commented: "As a leading academic and educational publisher in China, we are keen to join hands with partners such as WISE to contribute to the development and innovation of China's education." 

The first WISE book,Innovation in Education: Lessons from Pioneers around the World (2012), by education specialist Charles Leadbeater, highlights lessons of innovation through visits to 16 projects across the world and serves as a unique, accessible reference for grassroots innovation in education. Learning a Living: Radical Innovation for Education for Work (2013), by Valerie Hannon and colleagues from the London-based Innovation Unit, explores ways to strengthen links between education and the rapidly changing world of work. The team visited a variety of dynamic projects from rural Nicaragua to urban Japan to examine how they have transformed education to prepare people for ever-changing job markets. The latest WISE book, Learning {Re}imagined: How the connected society is transforming learning (2014), by Graham Brown-Martin, investigates diverse approaches to the use of technology in education through a collection of essays, interviews, and portraits of schools and education initiatives around the world. All three of the WISE books are richly illustrated with works by a series of acclaimed photographers.

Mr Fayuan Wu, Editor of the WISE books in Chinese and President of Yuanchuang Education Institute, said, "WISE is a pioneering initiative. The WISE books, looking into innovative solutions and successful practices in education around the world, are a valuable source of inspiration for China. I am convinced that Chinese education policy-makers and reformers will benefit a great deal from the WISE books translated into their language."