The 2022 application period to the International Design Education (IDE) Program is open from January 26 to March 31, 2022. Aiming to provide educational support to the world’s 46 least developed countries (LDCs), scholarship opportunities are provided to students of the LDCs. Eligible students who hold Bachelor’s degrees can submit an online application here external link with supporting documents. Upon review process, selected students will be granted scholarships. Students who successfully complete the Program will be conferred with a Master’s degree in industrial design engineering by Zhejiang University.
The scholarships of the IDE Program were jointly launched in 2021 by the United Nations Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries (UN Technology Bank), the World Eco-Design Conference (WEDC) and Zhejiang University, Ningbo (ZJU, Ningbo). In offering 2.5-year long postgraduate program to 50 eligible students each year, ZJU, Ningbo provides an opportunity for LDC students to specialize in industrial design while also cultivating interdisciplinary design talents. The LDC students will study industrial design at ZJU, Ningbo, and promote knowledge transfer to their home countries. The South-South program will contribute to enhancing science, technology and innovation in LDCs and add to capacity to innovate, solve problems, boost national economic growth and achieve sustainable development.
During the scholarship selection process to the IDE Program in 2021, ZJU received 83 applications, 16% of which were female, from students of 14 LDCs, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Comoros, Ethiopia, Guinea, Lesotho, Mali, Nepal, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Yemen and Zambia. After a comprehensive review, 36 outstanding students from these LDCs were offered scholarships. The scholarships enabled these students from 14 LDCs to unleash their potential and constitute various cultural interactions, bringing inspiration and energy to industrial design in the IDE Program. For example, in January 2022, the first cohort of the IDE Program students have designed and presented a “Culture from afar-Charity Digital Arts Exhibition”, demonstrating the best of the achievements of the First IDE Program. In the future, more designs and exhibitions initiated by the students will be displayed in public during joint events such as the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), the Ecology Exhibition of the World Eco-Design Conference, and further harness the potential commercial opportunities.
The Acting Managing Director of the UN Technology Bank, Mr Taffere Tesfachew, has stressed the importance of enhancing science, technology and innovation in the LDCs as a means to achieving sustainable development, as well as contributing to graduation from LDC category. The scholarships to the IDE Program contribute to fostering entrepreneurship in the LDCs, supporting structural transformation and addressing the issue of youth unemployment and skills mismatch. Mr. Tesfachew further encourages eligible female applicants to apply for the scholarships.
Mr. Hu Zhengyu, Party Secretary of ZJU, Ningbo highlighted that, the IDE Program has made substantial achievements since its implementation in 2021. He hopes that the admission in this year will continue playing the role of a hub, supporting more students who are ideal for the cultivation concept of the International School of Design and enabling them to stay up to date and resonant with new technology, new industry, new business forms, new modes, and new era. He affirms the academic teams of ZJU will support the international students to strengthen their understanding of industrial design and contribute to the discipline.
The President of the WEDC, Mr. Ying Fangtian indicates that the IDE Program is an important force in achieving leapfrog development for international design education. The three parties hope to further promote the implementation of cooperation and continue to attract more higher education institutes and international organizations to join the international design collaboration, taking initiatives to foster more and more young designers who have international perspectives and worldviews.
In the future, both the UN Technology Bank and WEDC will continue to promote the development of science, technology and innovation for the LDCs, and will keep strengthening their strategic partnership. This partnership will play a key role in providing extensive educational support to the LDC students and promoting education in industrial design.
For more information and application details, click here.