Global Advisory Board

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Dr Qian Tang

Former Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO
Chairman, Global Advisory Board, Yidan Prize

Dr Tang is leading UNESCO’s Education Sector, including Headquarters Divisions, Regional Bureaux for Education, seven Education Institutes, as well as education staff in other Field Offices, to realize the Organization’s overall education programme and facilitate its 195 Member States in the implementation of the SDG4 (education) at global, regional and country levels. Up to 2015, he has guided his team in implementing the Education for All (EFA) movement (2000-2015). At the same time starting from 2013, under the leadership of Dr Tang, UNESCO's Education Sector has been a driving force in formulating the new global education agenda, which was spelt out by the Incheon Declaration adopted at the 2015 World Education Forum in Incheon, Republic of Korea. In addition to guiding the UNESCO's team that co-organized this milestone event jointly with other 6 UN agencies, Dr Tang co-chaired the Drafting Group for the Incheon Declaration and the Framework for Action of the 2030 Education Agenda (Goal 4 of the new 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda).

Professor Kai-ming Cheng

Emeritus Professor, the University of Hong Kong
Convenor, Global Advisory Board

Kai-ming Cheng is Emeritus Professor at the University of Hong Kong. He was Chair Professor of Education, Dean of Education, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Senior Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor of the University. He is now Director of Education Policy Unit at the Faculty of Education. He taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education as Visiting Professor 1996-2007. Trained as a mathematician, he was a school teacher and a principal before he pursued doctoral study at the London Institute of Education. He has been involved in institutional evaluation and accreditation, policy discussion and training in higher education in various jurisdictions. He participated in the institutional evaluation of Peking University, Beijing Normal University, Nankai University, Xiaen University and Shantou University. Among others, he lectures at the National Academy of Education Administration, China, and SKOLKOVO, Russia. He created the Summer Institute on higher education at HKU. His current attention is on the fundamental changes in society and their challenges to education, and the attention to learning as the core business of education. He was founding convenor of the Strategic Research Theme on Learning Science which is a cross-disciplinary network with over 60 members across HKU. He has been consultant with the World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP and the Asian Development Bank. Recently, he is also involved in discussions about education reforms in the US. Currently, he is member of the National Advisory Committee on Curriculum Reform in China. Locally he is member of the Education Commission and was instrumental in the comprehensive reform which started 1999. He chaired the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications 2002-2008, and was Chairman of the Standing Committee on Language Education nd Research (2009-15). He also chairs the Hong Kong Regional Advisory Committee for PISA 2015. He writes a column in Hong Kong Economic Journal Daily, Shanghai Education and Escuela (Spain).

Dankert Vedeler

Deputy permanent delegate at the Norwegian Delegation to UNESCO/OECD
Member, Global Advisory Board

Mr Dankert Vedeler is former assistant director-general of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research’s Department of Policy Analysis, Lifelong Learning and International Affairs, working on the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Agenda.

Mr Vedeler has made contributions to Norway’s education system. He joined the ministry in the early 1990s, and implemented reforms of upper secondary education, specializing in the design of a large-scale in-service program for teachers and principals.

To improve the program’s effectiveness, he also initiated with colleagues an independent formative research program. In addition to national policy-making, Mr Vedeler took part in bringing two of the Europe Union’s education programs – Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci – to Norway.

Mr Vedeler plays a key role in the Education For All (EFA) movement launched by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

In 2014, he was elected chair of the EFA Steering Committee. Together with Dr Qian Tang, chairman of the Yidan Prize’s global advisory board, they co-chaired the Drafting Group of the Incheon Declaration, which represents the global education community’s commitment to the Education 2030 agenda, calling for bold and urgent country-led action to transform lives through a new vision for education.

Dr Manzoor Ahmed

Professor Emeritus, BRAC University
Member, Global Advisory Board

Dr Manzoor Ahmed is professor emeritus at BRAC University in Dhaka, chair of the Bangladesh Early Childhood Development Network and vice-chair of the Council of Campaign for Popular Education. He is also a founding-director of the BRAC University Institute of Educational Development.

Dr Ahmed’s professional and research involvement focuses on policy and planning for national learning systems. In addition to books and journal articles, he has published research reports on education and development, educational planning, and non-formal education.

Dr Ahmed held senior positions at the United Nations Children's Fund, including senior education adviser and country director in China, Ethiopia and Japan. He was a member of the interagency planning team for the 1990 World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien, Thailand, and helped launch the global Education for All movement.

He was also co-manager of the inter-country research project CREATE (Consortium for Research in Education Access, Transitions and Equity, 2005-11), which was later published as the book Education in Bangladesh, Overcoming Hurdles to Equity with Quality. He was the principal writer of a book on a study for UNESCO Institute of Research and Training on Rural Education (UNESCO-INRULED) in China.

Dr Jamil Salmi

Former World Bank Tertiary Education Coordinator
Member, Global Advisory Board

Dr Jamil Salmi, former World Bank tertiary education coordinator, is emeritus professor of higher education at the Diego Portales University in Chile.

Dr Salmi is a global expert in tertiary education. He provides policy advices and consulting services to governments, universities, professional associations, multilateral banks and bilateral cooperation agencies.

During his time at the World Bank, Dr Salmi was responsible for policy work on world-class universities, equity in tertiary education, rankings and league tables, financing mechanisms, and the benchmarking of tertiary education systems. He was the principal author of the World Bank’s publication The Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities (2009) and its first tertiary education policy paper Higher Education: Lessons of Experience (1994).

Over the past 24 years, Dr Salmi has provided policy advice on tertiary education development, financing reforms and strategic planning to governments and university leaders in about 90 countries. Currently he performs advisory or consulting roles to the governments of Macedonia, Mongolia, Norway and Saudi Arabia, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Commission, and a number of universities in Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East.

Marc S. Tucker

President and Chief Executive Officer, the National Center on Education and the Economy
Member, Global Advisory Board

Mr Marc S. Tucker is president and chief executive officer of the National Centre on Education and the Economy, a non-governmental organization based in Washington, DC, the United States.

Mr Tucker is an expert on academic and occupation standards and assessment, and a leader in researching the policies and practices of countries with the best education systems in the world. In the 1970s, he served as associate director of the National Institute of Education, where he was in charge of government-funded research on education policy for the United States.

He created the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy, which later became the NCEE, and authored the 1986 Carnegie Report, A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century. The Carnegie Forum team, led by Mr Tucker, later created the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, with him serving as its first president.

Mr Tucker was cited by former US president Bill Clinton as a major intellectual contributor to his education and labor policies. He received the James Bryant Conant Award from the Education Commission of the States in 2014.

Mr Tucker also has advised governments around the world on their education policies.