International Competence Centre for Mining-Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO
In 2012, the World Forum of Universities of Resources on Sustainability (WFURS) was established at the initiative of two oldest mining schools: St. Petersburg Mining University (Russia) and the Freiberg Mining Academy (Germany); it united 120 resource universities from 32 countries. The past meetings of the Forum that took place in Freiberg (Germany), Trondheim (Norway), Leoben (Austria), and Akita (Japan) have developed for UNESCO proposals on joining the efforts of all leading universities of the world to address global issues of the world economy, training specialists and enhancing the safety and efficiency of the use of raw materials.
In December 2015, at the UNESCO session at St. Petersburg Mining University with participation of the UNESCO Director-General Ms. I. Bokova, following on the Forum’s idea, a Communiqué on the establishment of an “International Center for Competence in Mining Engineering” was signed. At the subsequent meeting of Ms. I. Bokova and RF President V. Putin in Moscow, the initiative to establish the Center was fully endorsed and supported.
This Center is designed to unite the world's leading universities to implement a large number of tasks, including creating conditions for the mobility of students, postgraduate students and top experts, harmonizing educational and professional standards, shaping a unified system of international professional certification for the title of "Professional Engineer" with the requisite of production experience.
On October 13, 2017, the Executive Board of UNESCO at the 202nd session adopted resolution on the establishment of the Center, which was approved on November 6, 2017, at the 39th session of the General Conference of UNESCO.
The agreement on the establishment of a Competence Center under the auspices of UNESCO was signed on March 7, 2018 in Paris. From the Russian side, Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy, signed the document; on UNESCO’s part, the signee was the new Director-General of the organization Audrey Azoulay. Vladimir Putin signed the Federal Law “On the ratification of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on the establishment of the International Center for Competence in Mining Engineering Education in St. Petersburg (Russian Federation) under the auspices of UNESCO”.
Mission of the Center
- Promote the principles of sustainable development at the national and international levels in relation to the mineral resource sector of the economy in support of UNESCO's Global Priority Gender Equality and Global Priority Africa for achieving sustainable development. This concerns UNESCO and sustainable development goals #4 “Quality Education” and #9 “Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.”
- Create conditions for the continuing education of qualified specialists and scientific manpower in the mining engineering field, which would be able to form optimal integrated systems for managing prospecting, exploration, mining, transportation and processing of mineral resources on the basis of information and communication expertise.
Main goals of the Center
- Elaboration of proposals for the improvement of systems of engineering and vocational education and training in the mineral resource sector of the economy (as parts of continuing education), including the entire range of essential knowledge, skills and experience, in order to integrate mining engineering specialists into the international professional environment
- Development of a comprehensive system of international assessment of professional competencies with the assignment of qualifications to mining engineering specialists (engineers) and managers employed at enterprises of the mineral resource complex.
The tasks of the Center include elaboration of a training system and activities on the enhancement of its potential with the primary focus on:
- Contributing to the development of a policy in the field of mining education at the state and interstate levels;
- Promoting the development of ideas and innovations, as well as global dialogue among states and educational institutions of higher education in the field of natural sciences and technical education in order to form an information base and encourage the progress of technical and vocational education and fact-based training
- Creating a unified system of international professional certification of mining specialists
- Creating a supportive environment for global mobility of students, teachers and researchers.