International Competition “Innovative University Practices in ICT in Education”

Within the framework of the joint project “Access, Equity and Quality: Envisioning the Future of Higher Education in a Digital Age” implemented by the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) and the Higher Education Sector of UNESCO Education Sector, the UNESCO IITE launches a call. The project is aimed at capturing the ongoing trends in the impact of digital technologies on society and on higher education based on the analysis of ICT-related innovation. UNESCO IITE wishes to engage a broad range of stakeholders in a structured evidence-based dialogue about long-term implications of ICT-related innovations in higher education in order to draw up recommendations for policy and decisions makers in higher education on innovative ways to leverage cutting-edge technologies and to stay competitive and prepare students for successful careers throughout life.  The project will involve foresight and innosight components. The innosight exercise results will provide practical illustration to the recommendations.

Competition Objectives

This exercise aims to encourage and promote best practices, expertise and innovation and to reward excellence in ICT in teaching and learning in universities in different countries:

  • To foster the expansion of the use of ICTs in teaching/learning within the education system.
  • To encourage the development of 21st Century Digital Media Literacy Skills
  • To promote the development of innovative models for teaching/learning and curriculum materials using ICT
  • To focus attention on using ICTs by rewarding good practice, expertise and innovation in teaching and learning
  • To develop problem solving and computer programming skills.  

Within the competition UNESCO IITE is inviting UNESCO Chairs and Universities beyond the UNESCO IITE Network to share their innovative ICT in education practices and submit a one-page case study answering the question: How do we use ICT at our university in an innovative way in order to enhance access, equity or quality of the education? The competition is open to all universities/ university chairs.

The case studies should report on projects/products reflecting the new paradigm of learning, including 21st century skills, student-centered and collaborative approach, critical thinking, cultural relevance, interactive learning styles and multimedia for learning, networked and social learning, and development of collective intelligence, multiple intelligences, creativity and innovativeness. Examples of what kind of narration the Organizers of the Competition have in mind can be found at pages 11, 15, 19 and 25 of The volume of the contribution should not exceed 600 words.


All submissions for the competition will be judged by a jury using a set of predefined selection criteria. The criteria include innovative use of technology in instructional practices that demonstrate an engaging and inspiring character that makes learning enjoyable, motivates students. However, the innovations described can deal with other aspects of educational practice, for example, administration, credentialing, learning analytics, etc. Depending on the type to technology and its application, the other criteria will be originality and structure of the project/case study, design of the learning environment, collaboration, technical reliability and reproducibility/scalability, engagement of teacher and student, presentation.

The winners of the first round of the UNESCO IITE Competition

A Competition for UNESCO Chairs and universities was organized within the framework of the project “Access, Equity and Quality: Envisioning the Future of Higher Education in a Digital Age”.

Since the project is aimed to identify the current trends of higher education development and the prospects of using information and communication technologies in the context of changing educational needs and opportunities, and develop recommendations for policy development in this area, to participate in the competition was taken as a case study, describing the innovative use of ICT in higher education.

More than twenty applications were submitted within the first round of the Competition. When assessing applications the jury evaluated the originality and structure of the project/case study, the design of the learning environment, collaboration, technical reliability and feasibility/scalability, engagement of teachers and students and other aspects.

During the V International Conference “UNESCO Chairs Partnership on ICTs use in Education” held on 1–5 June 2015 in St.-Petersburg (Russian Federation) the winners of the first round of the Competition were awarded prizes and diplomas:

Ben Koo (China)

Gennady Selutin, Guldina Kamalova, Svetlana Koneva (Republic of Kazakhstan)

Ruwaida Abu Rass   (Israel)

Abtar Darshan Singh (OAE)

Oleg Konstantinov (Bulgaria)

Lyudmila Tarenko (Russia)                                                     

Mikhail Puchkov (Russia)

The UNESCO IITE is accepting applications for the second round of the Competition until 15 August 2016. Applications should be sent to:

Photo and video materials are available in Mediagallery.

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