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GEC Announced GCD Project 2.0 at the Shanghai Training Conference for Chinese Universities

By Yiran Zhuo, research fellow of ASI Global

April 15, 2023 UPDATED 12:17 AM. GMT+8

On March 25th and 26th, with an aim to share best practices and achievements in the Global Competence Development (GCD) course implementation, as well as exchange ideas and experiences in internship and practice programs among Chinese universities, the Training Conference on GCD Project for Chinese Universities was held in Shanghai. Organized by the International Competence Development Committee in the Chinese Society of Educational Development Strategy (CSEDS) and co-hosted by the UNESCO Teacher Education Center at Shanghai Normal University and GEC Academy, the two-day event brought together more than 90 representatives from 46 Chinese universities who have implemented the GCD Project.

People attending the Shanghai Training Conference on GCD Project for Chinese Universities

The GCD Project was co-developed by the GEC team and the International Competence Development Committee, aiming at cultivating students’ awareness and competence in creating a harmonious and collaborative global community that values diversity and promotes mutual learning through various teaching methods, including case studies, real-life project, and thematic workshops. Currently, 46 universities have enrolled in the GCD Project, representing an important step forward in preparing students for successful future studies and careers in the global marketplace. 


During the conference, representatives from 18 universities exchanged experiences in offering GCD courses at their schools, discussed students' achievements, and offered suggestions for future improvement. They also exchanged ideas on how to organize internships and practices that enhance students' global competency in a more practical way. Additionally, 9 members of the GCD Project teaching team, including former senior officials from international organizations, discussed key challenges and difficulties in developing global competence among university students and proposed to add specialized workshops to the curriculum.


Together with the International Competence Development Committee, GEC Academy announced an upgraded version (2.0) of the GCD course, expanding on business skills training and adding courses in psychology and career planning, with an aim to support students in better preparation for future work at international organizations.


During the conference, Mr. Ning Zhang, President of the International Competence Development Committee in the CSEDS, provided a detailed introduction to GCD Project 2.0, which was developed based on feedback from universities that offer the course and extensive interviews and surveys with students interning at international organizations. The updated version of the course covers a wider range of business skills training and includes additional courses on psychology and career planning. These changes were made with the intention of providing better support to students as they prepare for their future work in international organizations.

Mr. Ning Zhang introducing GCD Project 2.0 in detail

Three members of the GCD Project teaching team, including Mr. Changchui He, former Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Mr. Genxin Li, former Legal Advisor of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, and Mr. Yuxue Xue, former Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program in Afghanistan and Director of the National Bureau in Indonesia, unveiled their design philosophy of four specialized workshops. These four themed workshops - International Organization Project Management Workshop, International Organization Conference Workshop, International Organization Document Writing Workshop, and International Organization Protocol Workshop - offer targeted theoretical lectures and practical training to provide more specific guidance for students on the real-life problems they will face when working in international organizations.


In addition, seven internship and practice programs were announced with the aim of better meeting students' practical needs and enhancing teachers' international competence. These include a specialized workshop to celebrate the 200th anniversary of The Lancet journal, a museum-based research and study workshop, as well as a workshop for teachers and students from both domestic and overseas universities.


During the following roundtable meetings, six universities, including Tsinghua University, Peking University, Zhejiang University, Wuhan University, Nankai University, and Beijing Foreign Studies University, shared their accomplishments and expertise in devising and executing a diverse array of training activities both on and off campus. By capitalizing on their individual strengths and leveraging available resources, these institutions have achieved remarkable success in implementing effective programs.

Roundtable meetings at the conference

Moving forward, GEC Academy will not only continuously update and develop the GCD Project based on universities' feedback but also strive to assist students in finding more internship and practical opportunities, with an aim to promote international cooperation, understanding, and academic exchanges in international organizations.


Over the past two semesters,  several GEC teaching faculties have served as instructors for the GCD Project. The knowledge and expertise that they have brought to the project have been instrumental in ensuring that students are well-prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation. For GCD Project 2.0, GEC anticipates even greater inspiration and support from our faculty members. Collaboratively designed pre- and post-course assessments by the GEC team and our expert committee have demonstrated a significant impact on students' competencies and learning opportunities. We welcome additional overseas experts to join us in cultivating students’ awareness and competence in respecting diversity, embracing mutual learning, and fostering a harmonious coexistence of humanity. If you are interested in learning more about this initiative, please contact Wendy Wang at

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