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Curtin partners with UNESCO to tackle world problems

Media release

Curtin University has embarked on a partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that will give students a chance to solve world problems and win a university scholarship.

The collaboration with UNESCO is a significant step for the University as it seeks to take its educational expertise worldwide.

UNESCO has said Curtin’s proposed Global Challenge app, currently under development, supports its charter to pursue sustainable development goals through education.

Curtin is already the organiser of participation in UNESCO’s UNEP-DHI 2014 Eco Challenge, a strategic online game on water sustainability that provides an authentic learning experience for students aged 11 to 17.

Both the Eco-Challenge and new Global Challenge are part of Curtin’s Learning for Tomorrow strategy and its plans to engage one million learners in 2017.

In two weeks, more than 1500 students enrolled in the Eco Challenge, which also attracted 2,000 Facebook likes and 300 first tier Twitter followers, Curtin University Director Learning Engagement Professor David Gibson said.

The gateway to the Global Challenge project would be through an online mobile app that would outline potential real-world issues existing in the Asia Pacific region.

“The app will blend online learning, team-based design and problem-solving experiences in an interactive way,” Professor Gibson said.

“What’s most exciting about this challenge is that participants will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to UNESCO and potentially see their project implemented.

“There will also be a number of other awards for individual and team projects including a Curtin University scholarship, with a participation certificate from both organisations for those who complete the challenge.

“The Curtin/UNESCO Global Challenge app will be used by students engaged in leadership development at Curtin and will devise ways of affecting real change in the lives of people, tackling real problems in their environments.”

“And while the focus of the Global Challenge is the Asia Pacific, entrants are eligible from anywhere in the world.”