The Director General affirmed that Tongji University in Shanghai could become a gateway for joint work with China on developing sustainable solutions after becoming the first United Nations representative to receive a doctor honoris causa from the institution on 16 May.
Addressing students from a range of faculties, Mrs Bokova gave a lecture on the new paradigm of sustainable development. "Sustainability has deeper roots than financial and economic assets. Prosperity is also about access to information and knowledge. It is about respecting cultural diversity, equal opportunity and learning to live together." She stressed the importance of quality education, social skills for green jobs and culture as forces for shaping the future. She also praised China's' commitment to education as a means to develop innovation and creativity, and its resolve to put culture high on its development agenda.
UNESCO already enjoys privileged links with Tongji University through the World Heritage and Training Centre for the Asia and Pacific Region, belonging to UNESCO's network of Category 2 centers. The President of Tongji University Professor Gang Pei expressed strong interest in establishing cooperation on sustainability studies from the perspectives of education, science, culture and heritage. Mrs Bokova and Mr Gang discussed the possibility of setting up an internship program and activities to build capacity on sustainability issues.
Tongji University, founded in 1907, has a student body of over 50,000 students at all levels and over 4200 academic staff.