BRICS Academic Forum in Goa, India focused on the moral foundations of education, intellectual development and educational network.
During BRICS Academic Forum experts, universities rectors, scientists and scholars from the member countries meet and engage to encourage academic exchange, come up with ideas and recommendations, and provide policy advice. This forum has been held before, prior to BRICS Summit every year. The Forum invites educators, scholars from each member nation to speak on themes of importance. In addition, a large number of scholars from all countries participate in discussions.
This year universities’ rectors, professors and scientists from Russia, India, China, Brazil and South Africa met to discuss the moral and intellectual development, not only of their countries but also of the entire human civilization. The forum also approved the concept of the BRICS Network University, a joint educational project aimed at creating a common educational space for young professionals. Thousands of students from BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will be able to study for free at this university, proving that moral aspects of education are on top of BRICS’s agenda.
As a symbol of this approach to education the book of the Chilean philosopher Dario Salas Sommer “Moral of the XXI century” was presented at the forum. Among BRICS institutions of high education, Chinese universities are the most influential and significant, both in the number of students and position in the international rankings. Notably, the first three places of BRICS academic ranking belong to the Chinese universities of Tsinghua, Beijing and Fudan (which should be noted in particular because of a unique BRICS studies and analytical center).
As a sign of China’s attention towards moral education the President of the People’s `Republic of China Xi Jinping sent his greetings to participants of the Academic Forum from Asia, Russia and this year also from Latin America. The Chinese president noted: “Morality is the basis of human life and civilization. You can not build a world order and social relations solely on financial gain, it is necessary to develop moral imperatives. In this regard, I note the role and importance of the work “Morals of the 21st Century” by Dario Salas Sommer, a thinker from Chile. The ideas in this book are very in tune with our time and based on philosophical wisdom, their practical application will open the way to happiness as an individual and society as a whole. In addition, it is morality should help us build a worldwide security architecture. The nations must cooperate in building a new, more equitable future, abandoning the law of the jungle and cultivating the higher human qualities. Justice must be above benefits. Efficiency and fairness must go hand in hand. Awareness of this is important both for the state and for each person.”. Its good to mention that this book dedicated to human morality was presented to five BRICS leaders in July 2015 in Russia to show that BRICS is a new model of international relations based on equality and collective management. Its worth saying that BRICS principles correspond to traditional Chinese values of “scientific development” (kexue fazhan) and “harmonious society” (hexie shehui).
Recently, during the BRICS Young Diplomats’ Forum, special attention to issues of morality paid Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is encouraging that the leaders of the two most populous countries in the world whose population combined is more than 2.5 billion people, pay special attention to the highest human values.